Pride, Prejudice, and Paradox Essay Sample

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It has been said: “Elizabeth’s own personality presents her with the greatest obstacles to her happiness. Her personality also presents her with the potential for extraordinary happiness.” Discuss this paradox.

Elizabeth Bennet is a perfect example of such a woman that has a strong independent nature, and stands for the right for women to marry for love rather than for status or wealth. This being said, her personality gives her the potential for extraordinary happiness because she won’t settle for being unhappy. Elizabeth Bennet is intelligent, the most intelligent of her sisters. Her intelligence is actually part of what makes her Mr. Bennet’s favorite, but Mrs. Bennet’s least favorite; there is already paradox. Mrs. Bennet seems to ignore Elizabeth’s intelligence and states that she is no better than the rest of her sisters. The readers also get a different sense of her intelligence not only by her dialogue, but also by her observation skills.

She enjoys watching people’s behaviors to decipher their personalities, for example when she states, “intricate characters are the most amusing” (chap.9) Elizabeth is the most independent woman in this story, considering that she rejected two proposals that surely would have made her future secure after her father’s death. The first being from Mr. Collins, and although he was rather ridiculous, the Bennet’s estate was entitled to him next and marrying him actually would have saved them all from becoming homeless. Despite knowing this, Elizabeth still refuses to marry him because she believes to only marry for love and she obviously does not love Mr. Collins. She might be unhappy being homeless, but atleast she is happier in the long run, because she would not have been happy married to Mr. Collins. Almost everything about her is paradoxical.

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