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Awesome / Pride and Prejudice

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  • Elizabeth's glorious rejection of Darcy's first marriage proposal. Darcy, up until this point, has done nothing but acted like a total snot, and Elizabeth calls him out on it. Thus begins Character Development on Darcy's part, turning him into the guy that millions of women still swoon over.
  • Darcy laying the smackdown on a snide Caroline Bingley when she insults Elizabeth, informing her in the iciest manner imaginable that while he merely considered Elizabeth 'pretty' when he first knew her, it "has been many months" since he has "considered [Elizabeth] one of the handsomest women of [his] acquaintance." He leaves no room for doubt that Caroline herself doesn't share the honour.
    Miss Bingley: I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time.
    Mr Darcy: (who could contain himself no longer) Yes, but THAT was only when I first saw her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.
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  • The way Elizabeth handles Lady Catherine when the latter confronts her on the rumors that Elizabeth and Darcy are engaged. In particular, Elizabeth's response to Lady Catherine's snobbish objection that she would be "quitting her sphere in which you have been brought up.''
    Elizabeth: In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal.
  • Elizabeth's tranquilly furious telling off of Lady Catherine, when the latter essentially tries to bully her out of an engagement (which doesn't, at that point, actually exist) to Mr Darcy. Having previously unnerved the woman in Kent by making it clear she does not worship her like just about everyone else who knows her, she now defends her right to marry whomever she pleases, and basically tells her to "Mind your own business!" Go, Elizabeth!
    Lady Catherine: You are then resolved to have him?
    Elizabeth: I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to YOU, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.
    Reader: GO ELIZABETH!
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  • Mr Darcy's selfless heroic rescue of Lydia's — and, therefore, the whole Bennet family's — honor, which involves negotiation to his own financial loss with his Arch-Enemy. Elizabeth spends a whole page swooning over the awesomeness of it.
  • Mr Bingley, finding out that Mr Darcy kept him from seeing Jane, mans up the independence to escape Mr Darcy's command to go and propose to Jane. (Mr Darcy by that time was able to bless Mr Bingley's decision.) Even better in the 1995 BBC version, where Bingley is clearly furious with Darcy. It's the only time in the whole story that he ever gets angry at all.
  • Mr Bennet's letter to Mr Collins, announcing Elizabeth's and Darcy's engagement and acknowledging that Lady Catherine won't be happy to hear about it: "If I were you, I'd stand by the nephew — he has more to offer."


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