Essay on Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Essay on Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

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Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

In the fictional world of Jane Austen, the lives of the characters are based on societal

values and mores that only exist in her novels. The characters and situations that she puts forth

are not concerned with the outside world at all; they are a world in their own. Austen populated

this unique world with morals and characters according to the way of life she knew herself. The

title of the novel is itself a clue to Austen’s view of the life that surrounded her: the prejudice of

one’s social class that determined your destiny in life and the pride of those people which it

concerned. The two main characters of Pride and Prejudice are key examples of Austen’s views

of the conflicts between the classes. Mr. Darcy is the extremely wealthy and high-bred man who

falls in love with the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, a lower class girl whom he is not supposed to

love because of to whom she was born. The two things that keep the couple apart, almost until

the very end are their prejudices against each other and the pride that results from them. There

are three key stages in Jane Austen’s novel between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy: the instant dislike

where the two first form their various prejudices; when Darcy falls for Elizabeth and she turns

him down, resulting in turning points for both of their characters; and the final stage when they

abandon their pride and become engaged.

From the very first moment the two interact, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth do not like each

other. To Elizabeth, Darcy is a pompous man who is not worth her time. To Darcy, Elizabeth is

low born and unattractive. This first meeting se...

... middle of paper ...

...piness they have been looking for so long. In

her case, that happiness was marriage to Mr. Darcy.

Even though both characters exhibit the traits of pride and prejudice, the irony lies in the

fact that neither one of them realize it. Darcy is so prejudiced to his own situation that he cannot

see his own follies and Elizabeth is so hurt and full of pride at the actions of Darcy that she

cannot see her own false prejudices against him. Through these characters and their actions,

Austen is able to illustrate the follies and prejudices of courtship and love in her own world as

well as the one she writes in, and the horrors of the pride that even the most wealthy or humble

person may suffer from.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. George Stade, ed. New York, New York: Barnes and Noble

Classics, 2003.

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