Pride And Prejudice Relationship

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It has been argued that the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is the core of the novel. This is not a hard case to persuade someone of. Austen spends most of the story detailing their progression. Moreover, theirs is one of the more exciting plot lines (aside from Lydia’s imprudent marriage to Wickham). We follow Darcy and Elizabeth from their first disastrous meeting until their engagement. Before their union, though, there is an apparent change in the both characters. The change is incited by each other, but there is a greater force also acting upon them. Nature alleviates the tensions and confusions the pair feels of one another and of society. This opposition between Darcy…show more content…
During the time they are living, men and, especially, women had many rules on how to act forced upon them. In Jane Austen and the Province of Womanhood, Alison Sulloway discusses the complicated relationship between the “woman question” and female writers, specifically focusing on Jane Austen’s works and how she represents this tension. Sulloway describes the “woman question” as voiced desires of the male population to confine and limit women (page 4-5). In citing many male critiques and thinkers of the time, Sulloway shows that women were thought to have a natural inferiority and a weaker mind. The job fell on fathers and husbands to mold their minds into something reasonable (11). Reverend James Fordyce, the writer Mr. Collins reads the Bennet girls in the novel, is cited condemning female intelligence. Fordyce theorized that “‘knowing’ disfigures women’s faces, bodies, and spirits […] no wit, no scrutinizing intelligence was allowed her, and benevolent silence became her more than any other discourse of which she is capable” (23-24). According to this view, having intelligence, personality, and a voice are undesirable because they hinder women from getting married. A woman’s place is to be neutral until she finds a husband; then, she is to be submissive. Sulloway points out that Austen was a critic of Fordyce’s – we can see this in Pride and Prejudice when the girls,…show more content…
Society is represented as the greater unseen pressures and by the people around her. The first instance of defiance is Elizabeth’s trek to Netherfield. Elizabeth’s arrival incites quite a lot of commentary from the Bingley women. Miss Bingley snarkily remarks to the rest of her party, “She has nothing, in short, to recommend her, but being an excellent walker. I shall never forget her appearance this morning. She looked almost wild” (Austen 36). It was frowned upon for a woman to walk so far alone. It was especially taboo because walking, or the swinging of one’s skirt, incited images of masturbation. As discussed in Fordyce, women were not allowed to be sexual beings. Elizabeth becomes a wild woman to the Bingley sisters because she does not care if she appears sexual and inappropriate – her mind was only on her sister. She acts outside what they know as the order and rules of the world, and appears foreign and unmanageable to them. Another important commentary gained by this exchange is Darcy’s. Darcy tells the teasing Miss Bingley that Elizabeth’s actions make her more desirable in his eyes. His early affections for her are strong enough to be admitted out loud and unchanged by others interjections. This develops into stronger and more pure feelings as the story
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