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The Strong Characters In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, follows Elizabeth Bennet and her transition into the world of marriage and suitors. Elizabeth, after reading Mr. Darcy’s letter, has a pivotal shift in her character that carries on throughout the rest of the novel. Although this shift from making judgments to being shaped by them might make her appear weak, the letter is the point in which she begins to mature into a rational young woman. Some scholars pose the argument that Elizabeth becomes a weaker character by trying to please other people due to Mr. Darcy’s letter. One of the attributes that comes with being a strong character is that they make their own judgments and are not shaped heavily by the judgments of others. A side effect of…show more content…
Amidst a family that makes analyses of other people either incorrectly or not at all, Elizabeth prides herself on her ability to correctly assess people. Overshadowed by her admiration of Mr. Wickham and her unfortunate first impression of Mr. Darcy, her ability to be an impartial spectator of each of these men’s characters is askew. “She had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd” (Austen 178). Her preference dictates which facts and opinions she regards as correct, therefore showing her lack of maturity leading up to the letter itself. When she reads the letter, she finally sees the full picture and realizes that she had thrown out facts that did not fit her initial impression of the men. “I have courted the prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away” (Austen 179). Elizabeth was letting her emotions cloud her rationality. Once shown how she had unfairly judged both men, she comes to the realization that she hides the true judgmental aspect of her personality even from herself: “Till this moment I never knew myself” (Austen 179). Blinded by a superiority that comes with being the most praised child, she never doubted a fault within herself. After the encounter with Mr. Darcy’s letter, Elizabeth does not quickly judge people, but takes her time to speculate rationally, showing how she has matured. The next person of high stature and class that Elizabeth meets is Miss Darcy. “She had heard that Miss Darcy was exceedingly
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