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Catherine is perhaps the only Austen character here examined who is not a feminist. As with Rosalind of AYLI, Catherine’s inability to assert herself or address the issues surrounding her determines her not to be a feminist. While she exudes certain aspects of positive female character growth, it is not, by the strictest definition feminist. Catherine’s indifference and naïveté prevent her from assuming the feminist role; she does not go out of her way to express her chagrin at any aspect of society, though she does transcend the limits of callous upper class living. Unlike Elizabeth and Elinor, she fails to confront the more abrasive characters in her life. Her preference of Henry and Eleanor Tilney is more of a reflection of her own desires and preferences superceding the impetus of wealth and social class; it is not a moral choice or conscientious action made as a statement of value.Elizabeth, on the other hand, is the archetypal feminist. She has a razor-sharp wit and does not hesitate to let her voice be heard. Her marriage to Darcy was one of her own decision, one made after an extended period of time and of her own volition. Unlike her mother, who represents the contingent of female society entrenched in the race for male domination, Elizabeth asserts her freedom as a woman, both intellectually and personally. Austen’s portrayal of Elizabeth paralleled with Darcy (revealed, in turn, at the end of the novel) enhances Elizabeth’s feminist character as she is made an equal with Darcy in her maturity and growth. Both Elizabeth and Darcy overcome their “pride and prejudice,” showing that while they are exceptional people, they both are fallible and subject to criticism at times.


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