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Book Notes

Pride and Prejudice Notes on Characters

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Pride and Prejudice Major Characters

Elizabeth Bennet: Elizabeth Bennet is the second of the five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Elizabeth is the most logical and level-headed of the Bennet daughters, and that makes her her father's favorite. Although Elizabeth is thoughtful, intelligent, and practical, she comes to realize that she is just as capable of letting her own feelings get in the way of her good sense as her feather-brained sisters. Elizabeth realizes her grave mistake when she understands that she has greatly misjudged both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham.

Mrs. Bennet: Mrs. Bennet is Elizabeth Bennet's pushy, ignorant, and embarrassing mother whose greatest aspiration is to have her five daughters married off. Mrs. Bennet does not approve of Elizabeth's logic and practicality, and Elizabeth is her least favorite daughter.

Mr. Bennet: Mr. Bennet is a country gentleman and Elizabeth Bennet's father. He has very little interest in the duties of polite society or in raising his daughters. He finds his wife and his three youngest daughters to be unbearably frivilous and silly, but Elizabeth and Jane (the oldest daughter) make him proud.

Mr. Bingley: Mr. Bingley is a wealthy, young bachelor who moves into the Bennet's neighborhood and triggers Mrs. Bennet's schemes to marry Jane off to Bingley. Bingley is fashionable, charming, and kind, but he and Jane don't get together right away because of a misunderstanding.

Lydia Bennet/Wickham: Lydia is the youngest Bennet girl, and she is the biggest flirt as well. Lydia chases the soldiers quartered in Meryton and follows along when they move to Brighton. She and Mr. Wickham are forced to marry after Lydia runs away with him expecting to become his wife although Wickham has no such plan before Darcy pays him off.

Mr. Darcy: Mr. Darcy is Bingley's best friend as well as a very wealthy, handsome, and proud bachelor. Darcy is viewed as rude and conceited by all the inhabitants of Meryton as well as Elizabeth Bennet. But through a strange course of events, Elizabeth comes to learn that she was wrong about Darcy, and they fall in love with each other.

Jane Bennet: Jane is the Bennets' oldest daughter. She is practical like Elizabeth, but she is kinder and more understanding. Jane is greatly hurt when Bingley rejects her, but she overcomes her pain and the two of them end up together.

Mr. Collins: Mr. Collins is Mr. Bennet's cousin who will inherit Mr. Bennet's estate when Mr. Bennet dies. Collins is a pastor for Darcy's aunt's parish, and he is a pushy, obnoxious man. He considers himself more important than he really is because he works for Darcy's wealthy aunt, but the Bennet family dislikes him because he is long-winded and boring.

Wickham: Wickham is a charming con-man who convinces Elizabeth that he was greatly wronged by Mr. Darcy, although things are actually the other way around. Elizabeth initially likes Wickham, but the more she learns of his true character, the more she realizes that she has been wrong. Wickham ends up marrying Lydia after they run away together and Darcy pays Wickham off to marry Lydia to save her family from disgrace.

Mrs. Gardiner: Mrs. Gardiner is Elizabeth Bennet's aunt. She and Elizabeth are quite close because Elizabeth's own mother is silly while Mrs. Gardiner is more thoughtful and practical like Elizabeth. Mrs. Gardiner suspects that Elizabeth and Darcy are falling in love with one another before the rest of Elizabeth's family has any idea. Because Elizabeth went on a vacation with the Gardiners, she meets up with Darcy again at his own estate and their relationship is renewed.

Mr. Gardiner: Mr. Gardiner is Elizabeth's uncle who takes care to try to find Lydia and Wickham when they have run away together and hidden themselves in London. Darcy works with Mr. Gardiner to anonymously arrange Lydia and Wickham's wedding so that none of Elizabeth's family will know what Darcy has done.

Minor Characters

Miss Bingley: Miss Bingley is Mr. Bingley's younger sister. She pretends to be Jane's friend, but when she sees that Mr. Darcy is developing interest in Jane's sister (Elizabeth), Miss Bingley does everything she can to separate her brother and Jane so that Darcy and Elizabeth will not see each other. Miss Bingley is kind to Jane's face, but she makes fun of the Bennet family behind Jane's back as a way to make Darcy more interested in her and less in Elizabeth.

Mrs. Hurst: Mrs. Hurst is Bingley's older, married sister who is just as two-faced as Miss Bingley.

Charlotte Lucas/Collins: Charlotte is Elizabeth's friend. After Elizabeth turns down Mr. Collins' marriage offer, Charlotte snaps him up because she wants a simple life and can't imagine that a better offer will come her way. She and Elizabeth remain friends despite Charlotte's marriage to the awful Mr. Collins.

Mary Bennet: Mary Bennet is the middle child in the Bennet family, and she is odd. She is a prudish homebody who spends her time reading scripture. She is the only one of the Bennet girls who remains unmarried.

Sir William Lucas: Sir William is Charlotte's father who has a title and pretends to be a great part of high society, but he is really no one all that special. He is kind, though, and Elizabeth appreciates that about him.

Kitty (Catherine) Bennet: Kitty is the second youngest daughter of the Bennet family, and she is not quite as bad a flirt as Lydia. Kitty and Lydia are partners in crime, but Kitty doesn't get into nearly as much trouble as Lydia.

Lady Catherine De Bourgh: Lady Catherine is Mr. Darcy's wealthy aunt and Mr. Collins' patroness. She is a pushy lady who expects everyone to appreciate and follow her advice on every topic. She and Elizabeth butt heads when Elizabeth visits Charlotte and Mr. Collins, and Elizabeth and Lady Catherine have a great showdown when Lady Catherine insists that Elizabeth cannot marry Darcy because she doesn't have the breeding for it.

Miss Darcy: Miss Darcy is Mr. Darcy's younger sister. Miss Darcy is quiet and shy, and she is wary because she was almost conned into eloping with Mr. Wickham, which would have been a grave mistake.

Maria Lucas: Maria Lucas is Charlotte's younger sister who goes to visit Charlotte and Mr. Collins at the same time that Elizabeth goes to see them.

Miss De Bourgh: Miss De Bourgh is Darcy's cousin and Lady Catherine's daughter. Lady Catherine has always planned that her daughter and Darcy would marry and unite their inheritance into great wealth.

Colonel Fitzwilliam: Col. Fitzwilliam is Darcy's cousin and also co-guardian of Miss Darcy, Darcy's little sister. Elizabeth likes the colonel because he is kind and enjoys her company without treating her with condescension, unlike Mr. Darcy.

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