Prudence vs. Inclinations in Pride and Prejudice Essay

Prudence vs. Inclinations in Pride and Prejudice Essay

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Prudence vs. Inclinations in Pride and Prejudice

    In the novel, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Jane both achieve lasting happiness with their respective partners -- Darcy and Bingley, after a series of misjudgments, misunderstandings and obstacles. Indeed the heroine's (Elizabeth's) tumultuous relationship with Darcy forms the bulk of the novel, and the focal point of interest for the reader while Jane's relationship with Bingley adds variety and interest to the novel.


Elizabeth's and Darcy's relationship is filled with trials and tribulations, misjudgments and prejudice, eventually culminating in a blissful union of two complementary souls. Their relationship begins at an inauspicious starting point when they first meet at the Meryton assembly, with both receiving unfavorable first impressions. Elizabeth thinks Darcy a proud, cold man as a result of his reserve and his slighting her ("tolerable, not handsome enough to tempt me"), and this "remained with no very cordial feelings towards him." Her assessment of his character, given her limited exposure to him, in those unfortunate circumstances is most natural and understandable.


Darcy, on the other hand, is to be blamed for his lack of prudence and his pride, which leads him to criticize Elizabeth most unfairly in that first encounter. This indeed, jeopardizes his prospects of a "lasting happiness" with Elizabeth, as he leaves an indelible first impression which colors Elizabeth's later judgments of his character.


However, as the novel progresses, Darcy shows enough flexibility and good sense to change his opinion of Elizabeth. Thus, his first inclination of scorning her is erased as he becomes enamored of Elizabeth as a result of her w...

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Abbey, Chrie, D., (ed.), Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1986. Vo. 13, pp. 53-111.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Airmont Books, 1962.

"Jane Austen, " Discovering Authors' Modules,,+Jane&1=50&pg1=DT&pg2=NM&p=1&

Moler, Kenneth. Pride and Prejudice: A Study in Artistic Economy. Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 1989.

"Novels: 'Pride and Prejudice.'" in The British Critic. Vol. XLI, Feb., 1813: 189-90.

Southam, B.C., (ed.), Jane Austen: The Critical Heritage. Landon, NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul - Barres & Nobel Inc., 1968.

Weldon, Fay. From Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen. Taplinger Publishing Co. Inc, 1984 in Readings on Jane Austen. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego, CA: Green Haven Press, 1997: 34-41.

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