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.
In Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” through strong characters she demonstrates how prejudice between social classes blinds the heart from falling in love. Austen’s flawless utilization of characterization and her ideas of society and class develop a timeless love story that invites the heart to become consumed with love. Each device that Austen uses paints a vivid picture in the readers mind and helps the plot of the story unfold. The characters that Austen uses each play a huge role in how the story will end and add suspense and interest while reading the entire novel.
Austen, Jane, and Donald J. Gray. Pride and Prejudice. An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews, and Essays in Criticism. New York: Norton, 1966. Print.
The Pride and Prejudice is an 18th century novel written by Jane Austen. Jane Austen published this book in 1813,anonymously, along with other novels. This novel contains not only important themes of love, but it also teaches the reader about social class, and how London’s society was ( Jane Austen- bio). Although Jane Austen was not a very known author of her time, her family supported her efforts in publishing her cleverly written novels. George Austen, Jane’s father, sent a draft of the Pride and Prejudice into a publishing company, but the novel was rejected ( Jane Austen’s Life). Thankfully later it was published, and since then Jane Austen’s work has been treasured. Many of her novels were published even after her death. Now the novels she has written have become classic novels that can be found on the shelves of many American homes.
On the surface, Jane Austen's 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of how three of the five daughters of a family living in 19th century England become engaged to be married. Underlying themes of the story, however, reveal a message about growing up and the judgments of people based on either outward appearances, behavior, or secondhand information from another person. The title of the novel proves to be extremely fitting, as Elizabeth, the main protagonist, learns that too much pride, along with many unjustified prejudices come to result in ignorance as to who a person really is inside and renders one incapable of finding true love.
Jane Austen’s novel is commanded by women; Pride and Prejudice explores the expectations of women in a society that is set at the turn of the 19th century. Throughout the plot, Austen’s female characters are all influenced by their peers, pressures from their family, and their own desires. The social struggle of men and women is seen throughout the novel. Characters, like Elizabeth, are examples of females not acting as proper as women were supposed to, while other women like Mrs. Bennett allow themselves to be controlled by men and society. Mr. Collins is a representation of the struggles males deal with in a novel dominated by women. The theme of marriage is prominent during Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Marriage can be examined in different ways due to Mrs. Bennet’s commitment to finding her daughters husbands, the male parallelism of marriage to their female spouses, and Elizabeth’s nontraditional approach to looking for love.
Even after its publication in 1813 Jane’s Austen’s romantic and wonderfully written masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice, remains an absolute joy to read for thousands and thousands of readers across the globe. The 19th century novel enchants the youngest of readers to the wisest of souls. Many individuals all over the world, very much like us as university students here at Villanova, are quite intrigued by the amazingly created characters, impressively dynamic portrayal of an oppressively class-bound culture, and the vitality of a strong woman at the center of the novel. Jane Austen presents the reader with the most tantalizing and illustrious opening sentence, which enamors the reader and never lets go. "It is a truth universally acknowledged,
In society today, some women may not even consider marrying. According to “The State of Our Unions,” there has been a decline in the marriage rate of over 50% from 1970-2010. However, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, marriage was often one of the few choices for a woman’s occupation. Reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen from the twenty-first century perspective might make some matters that are stressed in the book seem dated or trivial. As Pride and Prejudice was set sometime during the Napoleonic Wars, it is only fitting that finding a proper marriage is on the minds of many of the women in the book. Marriage and marrying off one’s daughters is a dominant theme throughout, with Mrs. Bennet going through the trials of getting her daughters married. Different views of marriage are presented throughout Pride and Prejudice, demonstrated by the characters, their behaviors and their situations. Charlotte Lucas marries for social reasons; Elizabeth Bennet searches for love and respect in her marriage; and the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet shows the dangers of marrying for attraction alone. The attitudes of these individuals towards marriage as well as others reactions to the different marriages show that the best marriages emerge from a mutual love and respect.
The romantic era in literature was characterized by many different authors, male and female. Jane Austen was only one of many authors in that era, and one of the longest lasting; through her many novels, she shows various views on love and marriage. In Jane Austen’s critically acclaimed novel, Pride and Prejudice, Austen spares no character, male or female, in her criticism of the understood custom that the only route to happiness was marriage.