This is Sampurna Majumder’s homage to the attractive and vivacious Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, which completed 200 years in 2013.
If Elizabeth Bennett would have been alive today, what would she be doing? At twenty and one, searching for a husband and marriage would probably had been the last thing in her mind. Then what? Studying in college for a degree and later focusing on a career?
Well, 200 years later, Elizabeth Bennett remains one of the much-loved fictional heroines ever produced. Her wild ways, sharp wit and frank disposition makes her as alluring as ever. Elizabeth is probably the heroine we all want be secretly. Despite residing in a rigid society that is steeped in moral codes she rejects all corsets of conventions by out rightly refuting the likes of Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She firmly believed that women have every right to marry out of love and their own will.
However, she is not without her follies. She is easily clouded by Darcy’s remarks and mistakes his reserved nature as arrogance. This leads not only her rejecting his proposal but also considering him responsible for creating differences between her sister Jane and her fiancé Mr. Bingley.
The outspoken and straightforward Mr. Wickham impresses her and she is carried away by him so much so that she even goes on to the extent of falling in love with him. Though warned by her best friend Charlotte and Caroline Bingley, she does pay much heed only to be disheartened at Mr. Darcy’s revelation of Wickham’s true character.
She is not cowed by Mr. Darcy’s social and economic superiority, but challenges him. Even when she is called an ‘obstinate headstrong girl’ by Lady Catherine, she is not scared to retort. She stands her ground saying that Mr. Darcy is a gentleman and she is a gentleman’s daughter.
There’s a real sense of new order coming in, that of Elizabeth’s vitality and her ability to stand up for herself and her family. In this case, consider the case of Kate Middleton marrying Prince William. The fairy tale love affair does remind us of Elizabeth and Darcy and also that whatever ‘class’ we are born into, as human beings we are equal.
Whatever it may be, Elizabeth Bennett will continue to be our beloved fictional heroine of all times.