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Essay on Prejudice and Pride in Pride and Prejudice

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Prejudice and Pride in Pride and Prejudice

 
       In any literary work the title and introduction make at least some allusion to the important events of the novel. With Pride and Prejudice, Austen takes this convention to the extreme, designing all of the first and some of the second half of the novel after the title and the first sentence. The concepts of pride, prejudice, and "universally acknowledged truth" (51), as well as the interpretation of those concepts, are the central focus of the novel. They dictate the actions of almost all the major characters (not just Darcy and Elizabeth), and foreshadow all of the major events in the novel, especially in the first few chapters, involving the first ball at Netherfield. While Darcy comes to represent pride, and Elizabeth prejudice, all of the characters in Pride and Prejudice are impacted by both pride and prejudice, and their scorn towards the two central characters in the novel becomes only hypocritical.

 

While everyone (at first) scorns Darcy's excessive pride, that very same pride in self and family effects the actions of many of the characters. Pride in her daughters makes Mrs. Bennet confident that they will soon be married off. "It is very likely," she tells her husband, "that [Bingley] may fall in love with one of them" (52). Pride makes the early Darcy cold and disrespectful, and Miss Bingley haughty, jealous, and spiteful. "[The Bingley sisters] were in fact very fine ladies...but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds...and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others" (63). Pride drives Mr. Col...


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...Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993.

Butler, Marilyn. Jane Austen and the War of Ideas. Oxford. Claredon Press, 1975

Harding, D. W. "Regulated Hatred: An Aspect in the Work of Jane Austen." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray.

New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 291-295.

"Jane Austen, " Discovering Authors' Modules, http://galenet.gale.com/a/acp/netacgi/nphrs?d=DAMA&s1=bio&s2=Austen,+Jane&1=50&pg1=DT&pg2=NM&p=17

 

Johnson, Claudia L. "Pride and Prejudice and the Pursuit of Happiness." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray.

New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 367-376.

Mudrick, Marvin."Irony as Discovery in Pride and Prejudice." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray.

New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 295-303.

Sherry, Norman. Jane Austen. London. Montegue House, 1966

 


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