Comparing Elizabeth Bennet And Charlotte Lucas In Pride And Prejudice

1509 words - 6 pages

The intent of this essay is to compare and contrast the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. The main points that will be compared and contrasted include the relative beauty, age and the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. The similarities and differences in their families, position in society and their wealth, their differing attitudes to marriage, and finally, who has the better deal and why, will also be discussed. By the end of this essay, the reader will be able to discern the differences and similarities in both Elizabeth and Charlotte.

The physical appearance of Elizabeth Bennet is quite often referred to as pretty by many people. The first mentioning of her beauty is by Mr. Bingley , but she is also referred to as pretty by Sir William Lucas , Lady Catherine , and Colonel Fitzwilliam . Perhaps the most important person of all who comments on her beauty is Mr. Darcy. Although at first he only viewed Elizabeth as tolerable , his opinion of her later changed and grew. Mr. Darcy begins to admire her fine eyes, but he also begins to view her as pretty. This can be observed when he states ‘a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman’ . He even goes on to say that he considers her ‘one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance. ’

Unlike Elizabeth, Charlotte is not so fortunate in her physical appearance. She is referred to as plain by Mrs. Bennet and even her own mother views her as such, which can be seen when Mrs. Bennet states, ‘she is very plain. Lady Lucas herself has often said so, and envied me Jane’s beauty. ’ Charlotte is aware that she is not the most beautiful woman, and she states this when she describes herself as having never been handsome . These physical attributes of both characters, do indeed affect their chances of marriage. Elizabeth’s beauty is one of the first things that attracts Mr. Darcy, and it is most likely because of Charlotte’s lack of beauty that she is still unmarried.

Looking at the age of Elizabeth and Charlotte, will help in understanding why Charlotte saw urgency in getting married. Elizabeth first makes her age known when she informs Lady Catherine that she is not yet ‘one and twenty ’. Charlotte however is a lot older than Elizabeth, she is twenty-seven , making her Elizabeth’s senior by seven years. Age plays a vital part when it comes to marriage, especially in Elizabeth Bennet’s day. Charlotte had now passed the normal age of marriage, and prospects of marriage would be very slim for her, (according to different sites the average age of marriage in the 1800s was between the age of 14 to 22, and if u were not married by 25, you would have been humiliated, in those days the earlier you marry the better). She was becoming a burden to her parents, because they still had to provide for her, and because of the fact that she was still not married, it looked like they were going to have to provide for her for the rest of her life. Again, Elizabeth in this sense was...

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