Jane Austen is probably one of the most prolific women writers of her time and maybe of all times. She has rarely portrayed her heroines as helpless damsels waiting to be rescued. There are some female characters who have stayed with me even after finishing the book.
Probably one of her most famous works, Pride and Prejudice is about the four Bennet sisters and their mother’s obsession to have them married handsomely. Though she gets little support from her husband, she leaves no stone unturned to find a good match for her daughters.
The Bennet sisters themselves are free spirits for whom wit and intelligence matter a lot. Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia are the five sisters. Jane and Elizabeth are close to each other and they are both intelligent and smart. Elizabeth being the main character of the novel and a lot is always spoken about her but I believe Lydia too should get enough attention.
Lydia, the youngest and wildest of the five sisters, she has no regard for society and it’s rules. At a time when it was completely unacceptable, Lydia runs away with Wickham. Darcy makes sure that Wickham and Lydia get married and it is mostly against Wickham’s wishes. Lydia ends up taking regular financial help from her two eldest sisters.
Jane Austen describes her as “untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless” and that is not a very popular trait for a girl of that period. She is vain and in no way makes any smart choices but she sticks by her choice and never backs down.
Elizabeth, the second Bennet sister is smart, witty and knows what she wants. Although her future is dependent on who she marries, she does not accept just any marriage proposal that comes her way. Elizabeth Bennet serves as a paradigmatic example of the conflicting transformations in women’s roles that occurred in the late eighteenth century. She asserts an intellectual and moral independence that reflects a movement towards new gender roles in the society.
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” – Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.