Elizabeth shares Jane Austen's interests - social and family life, relationships with young men, the study of people in a country setting. Cheerfulness is natural to them both. When slighted (Darcy describes her as 'tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me'), she enjoys telling the story 'with great spirit' among her friends, 'for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous'. In the same way, being 'not formed for ill-humour', she soon overcomes her disappointment at Wickham's absence from the Netherfield Ball on November 26th, by having fun telling Charlotte about the 'oddities of her cousin', Mr. Collins.
Conversations between Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth sometimes have uncomfortable undertones. Fun is made of Mrs. Bennet and even of Jane, who - we must believe - is genuinely suffering. However, Mr. Bennet also makes fun of Elizabeth, who receives it in kind. The reason we like this conversation is that it is private between the two of them, and it is very much only between them. Because they can do this, they can otherwise suffer fools gladly in more public situations. Mr. Bennet can deal with serious family interactions only through humour, something that many people do. He is aware of Jane's unhappiness but can only joke. He also disapproves of Mrs. Bennet's harping on it.
Elizabeth is very much her father's daughter – as shown by her remarks about the few she loves and the few of whom she really thinks well. She tends to be contemptuous easily and thinks well of her perception and character-studying ability at this time. She is going to revise her opinions fairly soon, but she will always maintain the distinction in her mind - the distinction between loving and thinking well of someone.
Elizabeth is so lively, cheerful, witty and sensitive – in most cases - to the feelings of others that her attraction to readers is obvious. Add to this her interesting discovery of love, through esteem for a man she at first dislikes, and we have one of the most appealing heroines in literature.
She values books, but claims 'I am not a great reader, and I have pleasure in many things'. She chooses to read rather than play at loo when visiting the sick Jane at Netherfield, but this is because she suspects the company to be 'playing high'. (In a letter to her sister Cassandra, Jane Austen also once said she opted out of a gambling game – commerce – because she could not afford to risk losing).