Manners in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice not only established her historical importance among scholars and critics, but continues to remain popular. Pride and Prejudice, a comedy of manners, was published in 1813, and is a staple of the English literature. It recreates the social world of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England and embodies the theme that preconceptions and egotism can overcome true love. Pride and Prejudice is somewhat autobiographical; emphasizes the key elements of setting, characterization and theme; and has received extensive and thorough criticism. Pride and Prejudice focuses on Mrs. Bennet and her five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty, and Mary. Mrs. Bennet, determined that each of her daughters will marry rich, is delighted to hear that a young man with a large fortune, Mr. Bingley, is to move to Netherfield Park and become the Bennets’ neighbor. Jane, the eldest and most beautiful Bennet daughter, falls in love with charming Mr. Bingley, while Mr. Darcy, his equally wealthy friend, offended nearly everyone with his condescending nature. In order to live happily, Mrs. Bennet believes that one must marry into a higher social class; however, Elizabeth believes one must marry for love. As the plot advances, two major courtships unfold. Jane and Mr. Bingley develop a reserved relationship, while stubborn Elizabeth refuses the advances of haughty, handsome, and wealthy Mr. Darcy. To the surprise and heartbreak of Jane, Mr. Bingley moves back to London, since Darcy believes that shy Jane had no feelings for Bingley. As a result, the prospect of properly marrying off any of the Bennet girls looks bleak. The story comes full circle, however, when Mr. Darcy, who has realized and corre... ... middle of paper ... .... Adapted into countless forms of media, Pride and Prejudice delved into the argument of marriage for love versus marriage for money, a prevalent issue both then and now. Critics argued that the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was too modernized and failed to show the deep emotional change that Darcy underwent, from rude to gentleman-like. Because Darcy was not as insulting as he was in the novel, Elizabeth’s outbursts were unwarranted, and thus, their relationship was changed (Dashwood). Unlike the movie, the novel focused solely on society’s impact on true love and a character’s ability to overcome barriers, both in society, and within themselves. The women in Austen’s novels embodied the female spirit, although some feminists criticized the passivity of their roles. Nonetheless, Pride and Prejudice continues to remain a pillar in the English literature.
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