My dear Lizzy,
I know that I am being totally cliché when I say that you are my favourite literary character of all time. But you truly are.
With your quick wit, intelligence and unwavering determination, it’s no surprise to see why you are one of the most celebrated and respected female literary characters that ever graced our imaginations.
I think I was 14 when I first picked up my pre-loved copy of Pride and Prejudice at the annual second-hand book fair. I eagerly took it home and read it cover to cover, the whole time realising how unjust I had been to myself, not allowing you and your world into my life before. From the first line, a line that has be repeated countless times, we can see that this love story will be like no other; “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Through this singular line, Jane Austen dimishes all notions of this being any old frivolous story.
“Do not consider me an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rationale creature, speaking truth from her heart.” – Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice.
In a novel defined by dialogue, you converse like no other. It is this admirable quality, among others like honesty and virtue that allow you to rise above your class-bound society and shine through like a beacon of hope for women the world over. I can only imagine what a character like yours would have done for women in the early 1800’s. You are not afraid to say what you feel, you chase your passion, you do not care for wealth and material things, you long for love, but ‘finding a man’ doesn’t define you. You have taught so many women the importance of independent thinking, especially from the expectations of your society.
Oh, and one more thing.
You rejected Mr. Darcy.
I’m not going to lie Lizzy, my initial thought when you rejected him was ‘bitch be cray’ – a thought which only intensified after watching the 1995 BBC mini-series adaptation with Colin Firth (the only acceptable Mr. Darcy). Obviously you had sufficient reasons for the rejection. This dude was an ass. When you first met, you overheard him tell Mr. Bingley that you were not handsome enough to tempt him. WTF Fitzwilliam! (Darcy’s actual name, which I only just found out. I think I’d just accepted that it was ‘Mr’).
When this guy initially (SPOILER) proclaimed his love for you, you couldn’t think of anything worse than shacking up with a man who had done nothing but be rude and snobbish to you and your family. Not to mention that Darcy played a large part in keeping your much-adored sister away from Mr. Bingley, who was obvs the love of her life. You were also under the impression that he had unjustly reduced Mr. Wickham to a state of poverty, before you knew that Mr. Wickham was also an ass. And to top it off, during the first proposal he dwelled on what an unsuitable pair you were rather than focussing on your many fine qualities. Rookie error mate.
Obviously some other shit went down and you realised that you had his character mistaken and he thought you were the most endearing lady in the land and it was all happy days.
The point of all this, my dear Lizzy, is to thank you for being my literary feminist hero. You don’t take no bull from no-one, you will never settle for less, you’re intelligent, articulate, stubborn all while being a truly empowering female.
Authors note: as mentioned prior, if you haven’t watched the 1995 BBC mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice your life is lacking. It’s everything.
Like this? Try: