The Female Characters Of Women And Prejudice

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In War and Peace, the female protagonist Natasha is depicted as beautiful and fresh young woman who attracts many suitors. However, a close reading of the novel reveals that Natasha’s beauty derives from her inner spirit and liveliness, aspects that disguise her impulsive behavior. Natasha can get away with her imprudence because her behavior is seen as product of her love for life and her free spirt, and her beauty and liveliness allow her to do things that were not socially accepted, such as kissing Boris or visiting Prince Andrew in bed in the middle of the night. Like Elizabeth from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Natasha’s looks are enhanced by other qualities such as her ability to sing and dance, her wit and her compassion, in the end showing that what is perceived as beauty in female characters is a reflection of these characters’ behavior and interior qualities. In War and Peace, Tolstoy creates a female protagonist who, like Elizabeth Bennet from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is not at first admired for her physical appearance, but rather for her beauty of spirit. When we first read about teenager Natasha, the narrator stresses that her attractiveness is not physical; it is Natasha’s joie de vivre that makes her stand out: The little girl with her black eyes and wide mouth was not pretty but she was full of life. In the wild dash her bodice had slipped from the bare childish shoulders and the black curls tossed back in confusion. She had thin bare arms, little legs
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