Elizabeth Bennet's Unyielding Spirit: The Triumph of Strong Will in Pride and Prejudice


For my case, I decided to create a silhouette of Elizabeth Bennet. She was the character that I resonated with the most in reading all 6 of Austen's novels. Elizabeth Bennet of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) is considered the most brilliant and quick-witted of the Bennet daughters and the main character of the book. She is a very well-known female character in English literature. She has many admirable traits; she is attractive, intelligent, and outspoken in a good way. Despite being surrounded by nonsense and bad behavior, she can rise above it because of her honesty, liveliness, and virtue. Nowadays, women identify strongly with the heroines of Jane Austen's novels and none more so than the indomitable Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth's timeless allure lies in her unwavering spirit, intelligence, and refusal to conform to societal expectations—a defiance that echoes loudly in the hearts of women of all ages. Much like the women of today, Elizabeth navigated a world filled with societal constraints, challenging the prevailing norms of her time. Her sharp wit, resilience, and commitment to authenticity connects with modern women striving for independence and self-determination. Elizabeth's journey, marked by complex social dynamics and the pursuit of genuine love, mirrors the multifaceted lives of present-day women, who, like her, seek fulfillment beyond traditional roles. In Elizabeth Bennet, contemporary women discover a kindred spirit, an enduring muse who transcends the pages of literature to become a beacon of inspiration in their quests for autonomy, real love, and individuality. This relatability is perhaps one of Austen's most apparent reasoning as to why her work remains so popular to this day.  Through the creation of this silhouette, I hope to highlight the sense of timeless embodiment that Elizabeth Bennet has on women, such as me. In addition to the mini portrait, I included an illustration from CE Brock in order to truly emphasize the type of character that she was. 


Silhouette of Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, Crafted by Bella Jevenson, 2023. This is the final product of my mini portrait of Elizabeth Bennet. I first chose pink because it is one of my favorite colors, but I also felt it adds a romantic feel to the portrait. It also just adds a more modern touch instead of the standard look that these silhouettes would normally have. I painted the first layer, and then after it dried, I started to draw a stencil of Elizabeth with pencil, and once I was satisfied with it, I went in with black paint to fill it out. I then added a border which was the same process of me drawing it with pencil first and then I filled it out with black. For the border though, I used a thin black Sharpie pen to get it precise. Instead of stopping at that, I felt as if it was missing something. So, along the edge of the portrait I glued on very tiny pearls, which I feel is very fitting of Elizabeth. The overall process was simpler than I thought it was going to be. However, adding the pearls did take some time as I had to individually pick them up with a pair of tweezers and place them along the edge. It was worth it in the end to achieve the results that I was satisfied with. 

Process of Crafting Elizabeth Bennet Silhouette, Crafted by Bella Jevenson, 2023. This photo is of the silhouette without any added details. I was able to get this much done during our time in the idealab. It looks pretty good, but again I felt as if there was more I could add to truly make sure that this mini portrait did Elizabeth justice. When I look at this photo, I can only think that it is plain. But that is the one thing that Elizabeth Bennet is not. She is a lot more than that, which is why this was never going to be my final version. 

Process of crafting Elizabeth Bennet Silhouette, by Bella Jevenson, 2023. This photo was taken courtesy of Dr. Golden. With this picture, you can actually see me in the middle of filling out the stencil with paint. I really love this photo, and I think it is perfect for my case as it really emphasizes the idea of how I see myself in the character of Elizabeth Bennet. A reason why Pride and Prejudice and many of Jane Austen’s work is so popular to this day is because of how much individuals can relate to her characters. 

C. E. Brock, "Elizabeth Bennet Overhears Mr. Darcy At The Ball," for Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, 1895 edition. Image 4 is the illustration by Brock, and I chose to include it in my COVE case since it emphasizes Elizabeth's personality. You are able to visualize her demeanor through this amazing illustration. Despite Mr. Darcy being a rich and handsome man who simply calls her "tolerable," she is for the most part very unbothered. Many of the women of the Regency era would freak out from finding out that they were found as just "tolerable" or over the fact that they have not been asked to dance, which is very understandable of the time as there was a lot at stake for them. However, what makes Elizabeth stand out is that she does not care. She even rejects two proposals, which is so unlike the time. Growing up, and still to this day, I would have the same exact ideals that I would not ever let go of, just because a man would ask. 


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