Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice first published in 1813 follows the story of 20 year old Elizabeth Bennet as she struggles with the pressures of education, upbringing and marriage put upon her by society at the turn of the 19th century. The story starts when a wealthy young bachelor Mr Bingley arrives in the fictional town of Netherfield , He is soon accepted by the Bennet family and catches the eye of Elizabeth’s older sister Jane, His friend Mr Darcy, on the other hand, Is not well received. Making a bad first impression on both Elizabeth and her family, coming across as arrogant and overconfident.
From this first encounter Elizabeth has already judged Mr Darcy and has a distaste for him from this moment on but as the story develops so does the relationship between miss Bennet and Mr Darcy. The course of their relationship is unknown for a while but eventually resolved when they are forced to spend time together, seeing one another in a different light. Near the end of the story both overcome their differences and judgements, leading them to both give in to the love they have found for each other. As stated in the title, pride and prejudice have a lot of relevance to the novel.
It is unfair to say that the theme of pride relates to Darcy and that of prejudice is relevant to Eliza but the two themes relate to the text as a whole. The first major theme of pride relates to the text in the way that Darcy has been brought up to ridicule those outside of his social circle and because he is from a higher class than the Bennet family, the impression made on Elizabeth is that he is prideful and rude so she refuses to see the good in him. As stated by Elizabeth’s sister Mary after these events “… uman nature is particularly prone to it, (Pride)”.
In the novel pride prevents Eliza and Mr Bennet from seeing the light in the situation they have found themselves in and from achieving happiness with one another. Pride is also the main obstacle as to why Darcy and Elizabeth do not marry. In the end, Elizabeth’s dislike of Darcy make him recognise his faults and encourage his to change accordingly. We see the change in him when Elizabeth, her Aunt and Uncle (the Gardiners) visit the Darcy family estate of Pemberly, Not expecting Mr Darcy to be home.
When he returns unexpectedly he is surprised but acts genuinely kind and welcoming towards the Gardiners – whom her would have previously disrespected for their low social class. This leads Elizabeth to realize that her previous judgements of Mr Darcy were wrong and based on her own vanity, Not on reason. In society today we are still seeing the effects of pride separating classes. Not only in the smugness of those in higher classes looking down on those in a lower or poorer society to them but also between Races and cultures.
There is racism in affect that see’s whites as a superior to those with darker skin and judges people just because of their looks. Pride between classes is not the only problem still facing our society today. Austen relates this to the text in the way that Mr Darcy looks down on the Bennet family because they are in a lower social circle than himself. Prejudice is another major theme that Austen has incorporated into the novel. Elizabeth’s Prejudice is shown when she is so quick to judge Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy after the first time they meet.
Elizabeth has a strong prejudice against Darcy because of the lies she has been told about him, Darcy sees this fault of prejudice in her stating that her flaw is “wilfully to misunderstand everybody”. She is narrow-minded toward him and does not overcome this to see that Darcy is in fact loyal and sincere to those close to him. which she discovers this in the letter he writes her revealing his true colours, after this Elizabeth realises that it is she that has been proud and prejudice.
Darcy, After being brought up to look down on those in a lower social circle than himself also has to get the better of his prejudice to realise that Elizabeth would be a good wife to him. We are showed this in the way he treats the Gardiners at the end of the book and in doing this he wins Elizabeth’s heart. The theme of prejudice can be related back to society in the way that people have become too judgemental in this day and age. We are judged so quickly on how we look, speak or act.
The novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen outlines the fact that first impressions should not be how you label someone because they may be an entirely different person than you think they are, which we see in the relationship between Miss Bennet and Mr Darcy. The themes of pride and prejudice are closely related in the novel. It is unfair to say that the theme of pride relates to Fitzwilliam Darcy and that of prejudice to Elizabeth Bennet as pride and prejudice relate to both protagonists. Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their pride and prejudice to see the good in ne another and after doing so the pair fall in love.
Austen has linked the themes well in the way that she has picked out the flaws in both characters and exaggerated them enough to bring conflict between the two, which they have had to overcome on their own in order to find happiness with each other. Both key themes had an impact on my when I was reading the book and made me realise how pride and prejudice still affect the world and our society today in the way we think and act towards other people. Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice is a Classic and still popular nearly 200 years after it was first published.
Elizabeth Bennet is an admirable and charming heroin, no wonder she considered one of English literatures most beloved characters. Since the duo first appeared on our shelves in 1813 they have been influencing thousands of love stories all over the world. Kept apart by Fitzwilliam’s (Mr Darcy) Pride and Elizabeth’s Prejudice, Jane Austen created the original and perhaps the greatest first-share-a-hate-which-then-turns-to-a-deep-affection-for-oneanother love story which we romantics just can’t get enough of.