Lydia's Character Analysis

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As already mentioned at the very beginning of my introduction, Lydia’s unexpected step of running away together with George Wickham in chapter 46 leaves Elizabeth behind in a miserable condition; even pouring her heart out to Darcy, who has just coincidentally come to visit her, does not really help her soothe her nerves (cf. 211 - 213). Brooke appropriately describes Elizabeth’s conviction of the Lydia drama as a “barrier between [Darcy and her]” (81). This raises the question of Lydia Bennet’s thoughts and intention behind this behaviour.
Generally, one can say that the elopement has been caused by an interplay of Wickham being in the right place at the right time and Lydia possessing certain personal conditions without which she would have
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Lydia’s selfishness and her introduction to society may have caused her to think that she has equal rights in finding a suitable husband, although her other sisters are older. Since Jane has been in focus before, due to the prospect of marrying Charles Bingley at the age of 22, Lydia now has the possibility of triumphing over Jane by being the first Bennet sister to be married at 16 and receiving attention again. As it turns out in her letter to Harriet Forster, she rather prefers to drop a bombshell instead of telling her parents first: “You need not send them a word at Longbourn of my going, if you do not like it, for it will make the surprise the greater when I write to them and sign my name ‘Lydia Wickham’. What a good joke it will be! I can hardly write for laughing” (223). This extract also shows that Lydia does not think and care about the consequences of her actions. In comparison to her sisters, she is still very immature and this can be easily seen in chapter 51 of the novel, when she returns to Longbourn as a married woman: “Lydia was Lydia still, - untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless. She turned from sister to sister, demanding their congratulations” (241). Her demand for congratulations could be also seen as a demand for confessing defeat from her sisters. Lydia’s carelessness increases even more in the following
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