Literary Analysis of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Literary Analysis of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The novel Pride and Prejudice, is a romantic comedy, by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is a story about an unlikely pair who go through many obstacles before finally coming together. Pride is the opinion of oneself and prejudice is how one person feels others perceive them. The novel, Pride and Prejudice, uses plot, the characters of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and the status of women and social standing, to portray the theme of the novel - pride and prejudice.

The plot of the novel follows traditional plot guidelines; although there are many small conflicts, there is one central conflict that sets the scene for the novel. The novel is about an embarrassing; mismatched couple and their five daughters. The novel begins with Mrs. Bennet, telling her daughters of the importance of marrying well. During this time a wealthy man, Charles Bingley, moves close to Netherfield, where the Bennets’ reside. The Bennet girls struggle to capture his attention, and Jane, who judges no one, is the daughter who manages to win his heart, until Mr. Bingley abruptly leaves town. Mr. Bingley is often accompanied by Fitzwilliam Darcy, who is a very proud man. Elizabeth Bennet, who is proud of herself, and Mr. Darcy are not fond of one another from the start, these two characters pose the central conflict in the novel. As the novel progresses, Elizabeth receives a marriage proposal from her cousin, Mr. Collins, and turns him down. Mr. Collins then proposes to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s bestfriend, who accepts. Elizabeth then leaves home to stay with, the Collins’ who live near Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy’s aunt. While this is going on, Mr. Darcy realizes he has feelings for Elizabeth and proposes to her, this is the climax of the novel. She is astonished by his actions, and turns him flat down. She explains that she feels he is arrogant, and feels he stood in the way of Jane and Mr. Bingley marrying, and also feels he is a cruel man, especially in his treating of Mr. Wickham, she is expressing her prejudice towards him. He leaves and they part very angry with each other. Mr. Darcy then writes Elizabeth a letter, explaining his feelings, defending his actions, and reveling the true nature of Mr. Wickham. During this time Elizabeth returns home still baffled about the letter Mr....

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...udice in the social ladder. The Bennet family, although wealthy, was looked down upon, is relation to their social status. They were seen as low on the social ladder, because they had "new money." Lady Catherine, is another example of pride and prejudice displayed through social status, "Now and then they were honoured with a call from her ladyship, and nothing escaped her observation…" Lady Catherine noticed flaws in everyone and used her position and title of "Lady" to rise above everyone and make herself seem superior to them. Her position gives her pride and she flaunts it in a negative way.

There are many examples throughout the novel, to support the running theme, and title of the novel, Pride and Prejudice. Pride in not always a good thing, it can lead to arrogance and contempt very quickly. Prejudice is not necessarily a bad thing either, and is never unavoidable, sometimes disliking a person and not being friends with them works out to an advantage. Jane Austen dramatized the theme of pride and prejudice, through plot, her main characters, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, and demonstrated how the status of women and social status can lead to pride and prejudice.

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