Saturday, March 7, 2020

British Novel Pride and Prejudice Summary Characters Themes

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's first novel, published in 1813. Some scholars also consider it one among her most mature novels.
Austen began writing Pride and Prejudice under the title First Impressions in 1796, at the age of twenty-one. She probably wrote the primary draft as an epistolary novel, meaning the plot unfolded through an exchange of letters. In 1797, Austen's father offered his daughter's manuscript to a publisher, but they refused to even consider it.

Shortly after completing First Impressions, Austen began writing Sense and Sensibility, which wasn't published until 1811. She also wrote some shorter stories during this point, which she later expanded into full novels. Between 1810 and 1812, Austen rewrote Pride and Prejudice for publication. While the first ideas within the novel came from a 21-year-old girl, the ultimate version reflects the literary and thematic maturity of a thirty-five  year woman who had spent years painstakingly drafting and revising, as Austen did with all of her novels. Pride and Prejudice is that the hottest of Austen's novels.

Pride and Prejudice Summary

Pride and Prejudice is about primarily within the county of Hertfordshire, about 50 miles outside of London. The story centers on the the Bennet family, particularly Elizabeth. The novel opens at Longbourn, the Bennet family's estate. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five children: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. The family engages during a conversation about Mr. Bingley, "a single man of huge fortune" who are going to be renting the nearby estate of Netherfield Park. Mrs. Bennet sees Mr. Bingley as a possible suitor for one among her daughters.

The Bennets first meet Mr. Bingley and his companions at the Meryton Ball. The townspeople conclude that Mr. Bingley is perfectly amiable and agreeable. Meanwhile, Mr. Bingley takes an instantaneous liking to Jane Bennet. Mr. Bingley's friend Mr. Darcy, however, snubs Elizabeth. The community decides that Darcy is proud and disagreeable due to his reserve and his refusal to bop. Jane finds Bingley's sisters - Caroline and Mrs. Hurst - to be amiable, but Elizabeth sees them as arrogant.
After further interactions, it becomes evident that Jane and Bingley have an interest in each othe. However, while Bingley makes his partiality quite obvious, Jane is universally cheerful and somewhat shy. Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth's ally, features a very pragmatic view of marriage. She recommends that Jane make her regard for Bingley more obvious. At an equivalent time, Mr. Darcy begins to admire Elizabeth, captivated by her fine eyes and lively wit. She, however, remains contemptuous towards him.
When Jane is invited for dinner at Netherfield, Mrs. Bennet refuses to supply her with a carriage, hoping that the approaching rainstorm will force her to spend the night there. After getting caught within the rain, Jane actually falls ill and has got to remain at Netherfield for several days. Upon hearing that Jane is ill, Elizabeth walks to Bingley's estate through the muddy fields. Caroline Bingley and Mrs. Hurst are scandalized by Elizabeth's rumpled appearance, but join Bingley in welcoming her nonetheless.

Elizabeth continues to impress Darcy during her time nursing Jane at Netherfield. However, she remains blind to his affections and continues to ascertain him as a proud and haughty man. Caroline, who hopes to draw in Mr. Darcy herself, grows extremely jealous of Elizabeth and mocks her lowly status.

Mrs. Bennet and her younger daughters come to Netherfield to see on Jane, and Elizabeth is mortified by their foolish behavior and complete lack of manners. Bingley's admiration for Jane continues unabated, though, and his affection is clear in his genuine solicitude for her recovery. After Jane recovers, she returns home with Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, a militia regiment is stationed at the nearby town of Meryton, where Mrs. Bennet's sister Mrs. Phillips lives. Mrs. Phillips is simply as foolish as Mrs. Bennet. Lydia and Kitty like to stick with their aunt in Meryton in order that they can socialize (and flirt) with the military officers.

Mr. Collins, Mr. Bennet's distant cousin, writes a letter stating his intention to go to. Collins is in line to inherit Longbourn because the estate has been entailed faraway from any female children. Mr. Collins may be a clergyman, and his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (who is additionally Darcy's aunt), has suggested that he find a wife. Therefore, Collins hopes to form amends for the entailment by marrying one among Mr. Bennet's daughters. Mr. Collins proves himself to be a silly man, speaking in long, pompous speeches with an air of solemn formality. The Miss Bennets and Mr. Collins choose a walk to Meryton. On the way, they meet a politician within the regiment named Mr. Wickham. They also run into Mr. Darcy. When Darcy and Wickham see each other, both men become visibly uncomfortable.

Wickham shows an instantaneous partiality for Elizabeth, and that they speak at length over the subsequent days. In one among these conversations, Wickham explains his past with Darcy. Darcy's father had promised that Wickham, his godson, would inherit an honest living after the elder man's death. However, Darcy did not fulfill his father's dying wishes and left Wickham to support himself. Elizabeth, already predisposed to think badly of Darcy, doesn't question Wickham's account. When Elizabeth tells Wickham's story to Jane, however, Jane refuses think badly of either Wickham or Darcy, insisting that there must be some misunderstanding.

ingley hosts a ball at Netherfield. He and Jane spend the entire evening together and their mutual attachment becomes increasingly obvious. However, Mrs. Bennet speaks loudly about their imminent engagement, and Elizabeth notes that Darcy overhears her. Later that evening, Darcy asks Elizabeth to bop and she or he reluctantly accepts. She doesn't enjoy it and can't understand why he asked her. Mr. Collins pays particularly close attention to Elizabeth at the ball, and even reserves the primary two dances together with her.

The next day, Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth. She refuses, but it takes him a short time to simply accept her rejection; he assumes she is just playing coy (as he believes females do). Mrs. Bennet is extremely angry at Elizabeth for refusing Collins, but Mr. Bennet is glad. Mr. Collins quickly shifts his attentions to Charlotte Lucas. He proposes to Charlotte, and she or he accepts. Elizabeth is disappointed in her friend for agreeing to marry such a silly man simply for the sake of monetary security.

Bingley travels to London for business but plans to return to Netherfield. His sisters and Darcy soon follow him. Soon thereafter, Caroline writes to Jane to mention that Bingley has changed his plans and cannot return to Netherfield for a minimum of six months. Caroline also informs Jane that she hopes Bingley will marry Darcy's younger sister so as to unite the 2 families' fortunes. Jane is heartbroken. Elizabeth thinks that Darcy and Bingley's sisters have somehow managed to dissuade Bingley from proposing to Jane.

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Elizabeth's aunt and uncle, come to Longbourn to go to. Noting Jane's sadness, they invite her to remain with them in London for a short time. Elizabeth hopes that Jane will run into Bingley while in London. Mrs. Gardiner warns Elizabeth against marrying Wickham due to his poor financial situation. While Jane is in London, Caroline Bingley is extremely rude to her. Jane assumes that Mr. Bingley knows she is in London, and since he doesn't call, she decides he not cares for her. In Meryton, Wickham suddenly transfers his attentions from Elizabeth to Miss King, a lady who has recently acquired 10,000 pounds from an inheritance.

Elizabeth travels to go to Charlotte (now Mrs. Collins) at her new range in Kent, alongside Sir William Lucas and Maria Lucas. On their way, the travelers stop to go to Jane and therefore the Gardiners. Mrs. Gardiner criticizes Wickham's change of affections, but Elizabeth defends him. During her stay in Hunsford, Elizabeth and therefore the others are often invited to dine at Rosings, Lady Catherine's large estate. Lady Catherine is totally arrogant and domineering. After Elizabeth has been at the parsonage for 2 weeks, Mr. Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam visit Rosings. Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam get along alright. Darcy also pays tons of attention to Elizabeth and sometimes visits the parsonage. He also purposely meets her during her daily walks through the nearby gardens. One day, Colonel Fitzwilliam mentions to Elizabeth that Darcy recently saved an in depth friend from an imprudent marriage. Elizabeth realizes that Fitzwilliam is pertaining to Bingley and Jane. She is so angry at Darcy that she gives herself a headache, which keeps her from visiting Rosings that night.

Darcy visits Elizabeth while she is alone at the parsonage and confesses that he wants to marry her despite her low family connections. Elizabeth is shocked at his arrogant address and rudely refuses him. She also rebukes him for acting in such an ungentlemanly manner and accuses him of ruining Jane's future happiness and betraying Wickham. Darcy is shocked that Elizabeth has declined his proposal and leaves.

The next day, Darcy finds Elizabeth and hands her a letter. She reads it after he's gone. First, Darcy defends himself for dissuading Bingley from proposing to Jane. Not only were Jane's family connections low, but she didn't seem to point out any particular preference for Bingley. Darcy then details his side of the Wickham story. Before his death, Darcy's father asked Darcy to supply Wickham with a living, provided Wickham enter the clergy. Wickham, however, didn't want to enter the clergy, and asked Darcy for 3,000 pounds to review law. Wickham soon squandered all his money on a dissolute lifestyle then asked Darcy for an additional stipend, promising to enter the clergy this point. When Darcy refused, Wickham seduced Darcy's teenage sister, Georgiana. Before they might elope, Darcy intervened and saved Georgiana's honor.

Elizabeth initially refuses to believe Darcy's claims, but involves consider the likelihood as she reflects on Wickham's behavior. She realizes she was inclined to believe Wickham because she was prejudiced against Darcy and since she was flattered by his attention. Soon afterwards, Elizabeth returns home, stopping to gather Jane on the way. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, and Kitty are upset because the regiment is leaving Meryton and moving on to Brighton. Lydia is then invited to hitch Colonel Forster and Mrs. Forster in Brighton. Elizabeth advises her father to refuse Lydia's request, believing that her sister's frivolous nature will get her in trouble there. However, Mr. Bennet doesn't heed Elizabeth's advice.
Soon afterwards, Elizabeth goes on vacation with the Gardiners. Their first stop is on the brink of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy's estate. The Gardiners want to require a tour, and Elizabeth only agrees once she learns that Darcy is currently away. During their tour of the estate, Mrs. Reynolds, the Pemberley housekeeper, praises Darcy unequivocally. Elizabeth also expresses some regret that she is going to never be mistress of this estate. The travelers suddenly run into Darcy, who has arrived early. Surprisingly, Darcy is extremely cordial to both Elizabeth and therefore the Gardiners. He tells Elizabeth that he wants her to satisfy Georgiana as soon as she arrives subsequent day. subsequent morning, Darcy and Georgiana visit Elizabeth and therefore the Gardiners at their inn. Bingley soon joins them, and Elizabeth can see that he still thinks fondly of Jane. Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner return the courtesy by visiting Pemberley, where Bingley's sisters treat them quite rudely.
One morning, Elizabeth receives a letter from Jane, announcing that Lydia has eloped with Wickham. Worse yet, the family fears that Wickham doesn't actually shall marry her. Jane asks Elizabeth to return home immediately. As soon as Elizabeth reads the letter, Darcy arrives at the inn. In her frantic state, Elizabeth tells him what went on. Darcy feels partially responsible, since he never publicly exposed Wickham's wickedness.

Elizabeth and therefore the Gardiners depart for Longbourn soon. There, a hysterical Mrs. Bennet has locked herself in her room. They learn from Colonel Forster that Wickham has amassed over 1,000 pounds of gambling debts. subsequent day, Mr. Gardiner leaves for London to hitch Mr. Bennet, who is already there trying to find Lydia. After many days of fruitless searching, Mr. Bennet returns home, leaving the search in Mr. Gardiner's hands.

Soon, a letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner announcing that Lydia and Wickham are found. Wickham has agreed to marry Lydia if Mr. Bennet provides her together with her equal share of his wealth. Considering the dimensions of his debts, Mr. Bennet knows that Wickham would never have agreed to marry Lydia for therefore little money. He concludes that Mr. Gardiner must have paid off Wickham's debts to solidify the deal. After their marriage, Lydia and Wickham visit Longbourn. Lydia isn't the smallest amount bit remorseful for her conduct. Nevertheless, Mrs. Bennet is extremely happy to possess one among her daughters married. At dinner, Lydia lets it slip to Elizabeth that Darcy was present at her wedding. Curious, Elizabeth writes to Mrs. Gardiner for details. Her aunt explains that it had been Darcy who found Lydia and Wickham and paid off Wickham's debts. Mrs. Gardiner believes that Darcy did this out of affection for Elizabeth.

Bingley and Mr. Darcy soon return to Netherfield Park, and that they out in Longbourn frequently. After several days, Bingley proposes to Jane. She accepts, and therefore the family is extremely happy. within the meantime, Darcy leaves on a brief business trip to London. While he's gone, Lady Catherine involves Longbourn, furious after hearing a rumor that Elizabeth and Darcy are engaged. She forbids Elizabeth from ever accepting a proposal from Mr. Darcy, but Elizabeth is totally offended and refuses to vow anything. Lady Catherine leaves during a huff.

After coming back from his trip, Darcy tells Elizabeth that his affection has not changed. She then reveals that her feelings have changed which she would be happy to marry him. They discuss how and why their sentiments have changed since Darcy's first proposal. Darcy has since realized he was wrong to act so proudly and place such a lot emphasis on class differences. Elizabeth, meanwhile, accepts that she was wrong to guage Darcy prematurely and admits that she allowed her vanity to affect her judgment.

Both couples marry. Elizabeth and Darcy live at Pemberley. After living in Netherfield for a year, Jane and Bingley move to an estate near Pemberley. Lydia and Wickham tire of every other eventually, and Lydia keeps asking her sisters for money. Kitty spends most of her time together with her two elder sisters, and her education and character begin to enhance. Mary remains reception to stay her mother company. Mr. Bennet is extremely happy that his two oldest daughters have married so happily, and Mrs. Bennet is glad that her daughters have married so prosperously.

Pride and Prejudice Character

The novel's protagonist and therefore the second oldest of her five sisters, Elizabeth Bennet is lively, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, bold and intelligent. She is keen and perceptive, but Elizabeth's pride therein very ability engenders a prejudice that nearly hinders her happy future with Darcy. Elizabeth isn't impressed by mere wealth or titles, rather, she values propriety, good-manners, and virtue.

Mr. Darcy
An extremely wealthy aristocrat, Mr. Darcy is proud, haughty and very aware of class differences (at least at the start of the novel). He does, however, have a robust sense of honor and virtue and a degree of fairness that helps him to regulate his pride after Elizabeth rebukes him for his narrow-minded perspective.

Jane Bennet, the oldest Bennet daughter, is gorgeous, good-tempered, amiable, humble, and selfless. Her disposition does end in A level of naiveté, especially when it involves recognizing the wickedness of others. Her sweetness leaves her susceptible to injury from insincere friends like Caroline Bingley. A rather static character, Jane remains a model of virtue throughout the novel.

Mr. Bingley
Much like his beloved Jane, Charles Bingley is an amiable and good-tempered person, mostly unconcerned with class differences despite his extraordinary wealth. His virtue proves to be his vice sometimes, since his modesty leads him to be easily swayed by the opinions of others. A mostly static character, Bingley remains pleasant and crazy with Jane throughout the novel.

Mr. Wickham
An officer within the regiment stationed at Meryton, Officer Wickham possesses a charm that hides his dissolute, untrustworthy personality. He was godson to Darcy's father. However, Wickham betrayed Darcy by seducing Georgiana when she was only 15. He also spreads false rumors about Darcy throughout Hertfordshire and Meryton. Overall, Wickham is driven by self-interest, revealed by his many romantic engagements (or lack thereof, within the case of Elizabeth). he's also a static character and marries Lydia only because Darcy provides a financial incentive. within the epilogue, Austen implies that Wickham tires of Lydia after a particular point.

Mrs. Bennet
Mrs. Bennet may be a foolish and frivolous woman. She lacks any sense of propriety and neglects to supply her daughters with a correct education. Instead, she remains concerned solely with securing them profitable marriages. Her lack of self-awareness constantly embarrasses Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet alike.

Mr. Bennet
An intelligent man with common sense, Mr. Bennet displays an unfortunate disinterest in most of his family (besides Elizabeth). He seems weary after spending many decades married to the interminable Mrs. Bennet. His complacency is shaken only Lydia's her poor decisions in Brighton threaten her future.

The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia Bennet is foolish and flirtatious. She gratifies her every whim without considering the results. She is Mrs. Bennet's favorite daughter because they share similar (though frivolous) interests. She is hooked in to the regiment officers, and lets her lack of virtue and propriety lead her into a near-disaster with Wickham.

Catherine "Kitty" Bennet, the second youngest Bennet daughter, exhibits little personality of her own. Instead, she imitates Lydia in almost everything until Lydia leaves for Brighton. The epilogue leads the reader to hope that Kitty's character improves as a results of spending time together with her elder sisters rather than Lydia.

The middle Bennet sister, Mary, is strangely solemn and pedantic. She dislikes going out into society and prefers to spend her time studying. In conversation, Mary constantly makes awkward and profound observations about attribute and life generally. Some critics believe Mary was a cipher for Austen herself.

Mr. Collins
Mr. Collins may be a distant cousin of the Bennet family to whom Longbourn has been entailed. he's mostly a comic book character due to his awkward mixture of obsequiousness and pride, also because the tiresome formalities of his speech. Even after he marries Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Collins remains largely unchanged.

Charlotte Lucas is Elizabeth's ally, the Bennets's neighbor, and Sir William's daughter. Her attitudes on marriage - as a practical transaction instead of as a romantic attachment - substitute stark contrast to Elizabeth's. She eventually marries Mr. Collins after Elizabeth rejects his proposal.

Sir William Lucas
Sir William Lucas may be a friend and neighbor of the Bennet family. he's pleasant but not overly deep or intellectual. he's hooked in to having been granted knighthood. he's father to Charlotte and Maria Lucas.

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Maria Lucas
Charlotte's younger sister, Maria, is as empty-headed as her father. She isn't featured within the novel outside of her presence on the trip to go to Charlotte with Sir William and Elizabeth.

Mrs. Gardiner
Mrs. Bennet's sister-in-law acts as a levelheaded maternal figure to Elizabeth and Jane, compensating for Mrs. Bennet's inadequacy during this regard. She is an intelligent, caring and sensible woman. Austen uses the Gardiners as a way to explore the worth of personality over class distinction.

Mr. Gardiner
Elizabeth's maternal uncle may be a merchant, and an upright and intelligent man. Though he's during a lower class than the Bennets are, Mr. Gardiner is respectful and distinguished, even impressing Darcy together with his mannered behavior.

Caroline Bingley
Caroline Bingley is Bingley's youngest sister. She may be a superficial and selfish girl, possessing all of Darcy's class prejudice but none of his honor and virtue. Throughout the novel, she panders to Darcy in an effort to win his affections, but to no avail. Her cruelty towards Jane and Elizabeth marks her as a generally unpleasant character.

Mrs. Hurst
Bingley's elder sister, Mrs. Hurst, is simply as arrogant as Caroline, though she is a smaller amount involved in attacking the Bennet sisters. She seems to possess no real affection or esteem for her husband.

Mr. Hurst
Mr. Bingley's brother-in-law is an indolent man. Mr. Hurst does almost nothing but eat and entertain himself by playing cards. He never says an intelligent word within the entire novel, and seems to be solely concerned with the standard of the food.

Georgiana Darcy
Darcy's sister Georgiana, ten years his junior, is quiet and shy but generally amiable and good-natured. She has great reverence and affection for her brother and gets along well with Elizabeth from their first meeting. Bingley's sisters had hoped that Mr. Bingley would marry Georgiana, thus uniting the fortunes of the 2 families.

Lady Catherine
Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Darcy's aristocratic aunt and Mr. Collins's patroness, may be a sharp-tongued woman hooked in to flaunting her wealth and social superiority. She advises people without solicitation on every aspect of their lives and suffers only flattery.

Miss de Bourgh
Lady Catherine's daughter, Miss de Bourgh, may be a frail, weak and sickly woman who is overly pampered by her mother. She speaks little within the novel, but seems to be generally good-natured. Lady Catherine had wanted Darcy to marry Miss de Bourgh, which is that the main reason she disapproves of Darcy's union with Elizabeth.

Colonel Fitzwilliam
Colonel Fitzwilliam is Mr. Darcy's cousin who accompanies him on his visit to Lady Catherine's home. he's a pleasing and amiable gentleman who shows an interest in Elizabeth, on the other hand confesses he can only marry someone with an outsized fortune due to his status as a youngest son.

Mrs. Phillips
Mrs. Phillips is Mrs. Bennet's sister who shares her foolishness and frivolity. She lives in Meryton and facilitates Lydia and Kitty's obsession with the officers stationed there.

Mrs. Forster
Mrs. Forster is that the wife of Colonel Forster and invites Lydia to accompany them to Brighton. The trip enables the near-disaster with Wickham. Mrs. Forster's frivolous nature is implied by her fellowship with Lydia.

Mrs. Lucas
Mrs. Lucas is married to Sir William and is Charlotte and Maria's mother. Mrs. Bennet often taunts Mrs. Lucas with gossip about the potential marital success of the Bennet girls.

Mr. Denny
Mr. Denny may be a soldier within the regiment who introduces the Bennet girls to Mr. Wickham.

Miss King
Wickham pursues Miss King, a lady in Meryton, after she inherits a sum of cash. Her inheritance distracts Wickham from his flirtation with Elizabeth.

Mrs. Jenkinson
Mrs. Jenkinson Miss de Bough's companion. She pampers the lass.

Mrs. Reynolds
Mrs. Reynolds is that the estate's longtime housekeeper. She gives Elizabeth and therefore the Gardiners a tour of Pemberley and impresses Elizabeth together with her praise of Darcy.

Mrs. Annesley
Mrs. Annesley is Georgiana's companion at Pemberley. She shows great civility towards Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner once they visit, albeit Bingley's sisters are rude to them.

Pride and Prejudice Themes


As Mary says in Chapter 5, "human nature is especially susceptible to [pride]." Throughout Pride and Prejudice, pride prevents the characters from seeing the reality of a situation. Most notably, it's one among the 2 primary barriers within the way of a union between Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy's pride in his social position leads him to scorn anyone outside of his own social circle. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's pride in her powers of discernment cloud her judgment. These two find happines by helping one another overcome his/her pride. Outside of Elizabeth and Darcy, however, Austen seems pessimistic about the human ability to overcome this character flaw. A slew of secondary characters, like Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, and Caroline Bingley, remain deluded by personal pride throughout the novel.


Critic A. Walton Litz comments, "in Pride and Prejudice one cannot equate Darcy proudly, or Elizabeth with Prejudice; Darcy's pride of place is founded on social prejudice, while Elizabeth's initial prejudice against him is rooted in pride of her own quick perceptions." Ultimately, both characters' egos drive them towards personal prejudice. Darcy has been taught to scorn anyone outside his own social circle and must overcome his prejudice so as to endear himself to Elizabeth. Similarly, Elizabeth's excessive pride in her discernment leads her write Darcy off too quickly. Ultimately, they find happiness by recognizing the barriers that prejudice creates.


Austen portrays the relatives as primarily liable for the intellectual and moral education of youngsters. Throughout the novel, the younger characters either enjoy or suffer from their family values. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's failure to supply their daughters with a correct education results in Lydia's utter foolishness and immorality. Elizabeth and Jane manage to develop virtue and discernment in spite of their parents' negligence, though it's notable that they need other role models (like the Gardiners). Darcy shares his father's aristocratic nature and tendency towards generosity, while Lady Catherine's formidable parenting style has rendered her daughter too frightened to talk.

Austen is certainly critical of the gender injustices present in 19th century English society, particularly as perpetrated by the institution of marriage. In Pride and Prejudice, many ladies (such as Charlotte) must marry solely for the sake of monetary security. However, in her portrayal of Elizabeth, Austen shows that ladies are even as intelligent and capable as their male counterparts. Austen herself went against convention by remaining single and earning a living through her novels. In her personal letters, Austen advised friends only to marry for love. within the novel, Elizabeth's happy ending reveals Austen's beliefs that woman has the proper to stay independent until she meets the proper man (if she meets him).
On the opposite hand, most contemporary readers will find the Longbourn entailment to be unjust. And yet the heroines - Jane and Elizabeth - refrain from speaking out against it. Instead, the sole two characters who openly criticize the entailment - Mrs. Bennet and woman Catherine - are ridiculous caricatures. Furthermore, the very fact that Elizabeth seems to share her father's distrust frivolous women suggests Austen's uneasy relationship together with her own gender.


Class issues are everywhere in Pride and Prejudice. While the novel never posits an egalitarian ideology nor supports the leveling of all social classes, it does criticize an over-emphasis on class, especially in terms of judging an individual's character. Ultimately, the novel accepts Elizabeth's view that the trimmings of wealth aren't a virtue in and of themselves. Darcy's initial pride is predicated on his extreme class-consciousness, but he eventually involves accept Elizabeth's perspective, most notably evidenced through his admiration of the Gardiners. Likewise, he joins Elizabeth in rejecting the upper-class characters who are idle, mean-spirited, closed-minded, like Lady Catherine and Bingley's sisters.

Austen clearly finds rigid class boundaries to be occasionally absurd. Mr. Collins's comic formality and obsequious relationship with Lady Catherine form a satire of sophistication consciousness and social formalities. within the end, the novel's verdict on class differences is moderate. Austen seems to simply accept the existence of sophistication hierarchy, but she also criticizes the way it can poison society. Critic Samuel Kliger notes, "If the conclusion of the novel makes it clear that Elizabeth accepts class relationships as valid, it becomes equally clear that Darcy, through Elizabeth's genius for treating all people with respect for his or her natural dignity, is reminded that institutions aren't an end in themselves but are intended to serve the top of human happiness."

Individual vs. Society

In Pride and Prejudice, Austen portrays a world during which society is actively involved within the private lives of people. Characters often face questions on their responsibility to the planet around them. a major example is Darcy's guilt for not having publicly shamed Wickham before he was ready to elope with Lydia. After all, Lydia's sin threatens to besmirch not only her family, but the community at large. And yet Austen seems quite cognizant of how easily popular opinion can change, as evidenced by the town's easily shifting opinions on Wickham.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, is proudly independent and individualistic. She possesses the power to transcend her limitations - the negligence of her parents, the frivolity of Meryton, the pragmatic nature of Charlotte - because she is confident enough to travel after what she wants. However, her individualistic nature misleads her as she works through her feelings for Darcy - but thankfully, Mrs. Gardiner is there to guide her towards him. Ultimately, Austen is critical of the facility popular opinion has on individual action, but she also believes that society features a crucial role in promoting virtue and thus, engendering individual happiness. consistent with critic Richard Simpson, Austen portrays a "thorough consciousness that man may be a social being, which aside from society there's not even the individual."


Austen's novels unite Aristotelian and Christian conceptions of virtue. She sees human life as purposeful and believes that citizenry must guide their appetites and desires through their use of reason. as an example, Elizabeth almost loses her chance at happiness because her vanity overcomes her pragmatism. Lydia's lack of virtue is linked together with her inability to regulate her passion and desire.

Most of those examples emphasize the importance of self-awareness. Without knowing oneself, it's difficult to develop virtue. Darcy and Elizabeth, two of the sole characters who actually change within the novel, can only see past their pride and prejudice with each other's help. within the end, Austen links happiness to virtue and virtue to self-awareness.