Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen, two hundred years ago is still among one of the most famous pieces of literature of all time. The story takes place during the Regency era in England and follows the life of Elizabeth Bennet and those around her during a time where a woman her age needs to find a husband. The characters within the novel are well-rounded characters with flaws. The most developed characters within the novel are Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy who we see major character development throughout the entire novel.
While we get to see into the mindsets of many characters, we get to be in Elizabeth’s head the most, and we get to see how she’s thinking, feeling, and what’s going on around her. She’s the second eldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Elizabeth is a strong-minded, strong-willed, free-spirited, loyal, and a very intelligent young woman. However, like most characters in the story, she holds a flaw that causes conflict within the story. She holds great pride in the fact that she thinks that she is a good judge of character, the majority of the time. However, this gets her into trouble. As she isn’t correct about two characters within the story.
After hearing a rude remark by Mr. Darcy and watching his behavior at the ball, Elizabeth, as well as several other people there take an instant disliking to him. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world,”(Ch3, pg. 7.) But because of her first meeting, she allows the meeting to cloud her judgment and becomes quite prejudiced towards him despite not getting to know him better. Which Mr. Darcy points out after getting into a debate about their flaws. “And yours,” He replied with a smile, is to willfully misunderstand them.”(Ch11, pg36)
Later on, she meets Wickham and she falls for his handsome appearance and charm. When he tells her of how Mr. Darcy ‘cheated’ him out of money, she is quick to believe him. Despite being told of Wickham true colors by Miss Bingley and hearing her older sisters opinion of Wickham, she chose to keep her opinions on both men the same.
It’s not until after she rejects Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal and reads the letter that he sends explaining Mr. Wickhamr’s transgressions towards him and his sister, that she notices her flaw. That she allows prejudice to cloud her judgment of others. While she tries to deny it at first, she quickly comes to realize that while shed thought she was good at judging a personr’s character, that shed been wrong all along. I who have prided myself on my discernment! I who have valued myself on my abilities! Who have often disdained the generous candor of my sister and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust!”(ch36 pg.121) After this revelation, she begins to change her views for the better and does her best to not allow her own opinions cloud her judgment of character.
Mr. Darcy is a wealthy landowner, who is a good friend of Mr. Bingley. He’s seen as a tall, handsome, and intelligent man. But, he comes across as arrogant, rude, and seems to act as if he is better than those who have a lesser means of income. As seen during the Netherfield ball, he only spoke to people in the same class as him, refusing to speak or dance with anyone else, insulting Elizabeth by claiming “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me,” (Ch 3 pg. 8) refusing to dance with her, seeing as she was from a lower class than he was. However, as he gets to know her better, he finds himself growing feelings for her even though he feels he shouldn’t.