Study Guide

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet has always been witty, vivacious, clever, and outspoken. Here, she also kills zombies on the side.

Nice.

Lady Killer

It's not like Elizabeth Bennet now and then just shoots a zombie from her porch. Nope—she's pretty much a remorseless, ruthless warrior. Take a look at this moment when she's just set some zombies on fire on the road to Meryton, for example:

Jane raised her Brown Bess, but Elizabeth pushed the barrel aside.

"Let them burn," she said. "Let them have a taste of eternity."

Turning to her cousin, who had averted his eyes, she added, "You see, Mr. Collins…God has no mercy. And neither must we."

Though angered by her blasphemy, he thought better of saying anything on the matter, for he saw in Elizabeth's eyes a kind of darkness; a kind of absence—as if her soul had taken leave, so that compassion and warmth could not interfere. 
(62.14-17)

Elizabeth also tries to literally kill Mr. Darcy when he first says he doesn't want to dance with her at the ball. After that, she vows once again to destroy him when she finds out that he cost Jane a chance at happiness with Mr. Bingley.

Geez. Dude may want to sleep next to her with one eye open next time they have a fight before bed.

This Elizabeth doesn't think much of touchy-feely emotions: she tries to control her "feminine weakness" (34.31) when she's sorting out her feelings for Mr. Darcy. She's a warrior first and a woman second, so she's got to keep herself under control at all times.

Yeah. That sounds tough.

The Softer Side

But that's only one side of Elizabeth. She may spend most days savagely mowing down zombies and ninjas, but she's also a loyal sister and friend to Jane and Charlotte:

She thought often of striking Charlotte down—of donning her Tabbi boots and slipping into her bedchamber under cover of darkness, where she would mercifully end her friend's misery with the Panther's Kiss. But she had given her word, and her word was sacred. She would not interfere with Charlotte's transformation. (23.6)

Elizabeth swore an oath to kill all the zombies in England, but she doesn't go over and behead Charlotte—and that has to count for something, right? Friendship definitely trumps zombie slaying for Elizabeth…at least for a while.

Elizabeth learns another lesson about mercy when she decides not to take her fight to the death with Lady Catherine literally:

Elizabeth backed Lady Catherine against a wall, and held the tip of her sword to her wrinkled throat. "Well?" said Catherine, "Take my head then, but be quick about it."

Elizabeth lowered her blade, and with a voice much affected by exercise, said, "To what end, your ladyship? That I might procure the condemnation of a man for whom I care so much? No. No, your ladyship—whether you shall live to see him married to your daughter, or married to me, I know not. But you shall live." 
(56.76-77)

Yes, there's no quicker way to a man's heart than by not killing his elderly aunt. Seriously, it works every time.

So maybe this remorseless killing thing isn't all it's cracked up to be? Maybe feelings aren't so bad, after all? And what about that Mr. Darcy fellow? He's been awfully nice lately, too.

As Elizabeth Bennet learns, life is about more than just ninjas and zombies. Even if ninjas and zombies are pretty cool.