Tuesday,May 28, 2018
I think it is safe to say that pride and prejudice is a very popular novel and is known by most people as one of the greatest novels ever written. I believe that you can attribute this to different things (style,story line,etc…) but the main reasons are the themes in which it addressed social issues in an entertaining fashion. There are four major themes in the novel (Pride and Prejudice) by Jane Austen. These themes are Pride, prejudice, gender and Social class status. These themes are presented throughout the entire novel and to me it’s clear that these themes were the reason why Jane Austen wrote the book. She wanted to show the discrimination based on class and gender in the 1813s. She also wanted to criticize how and why people married in those times and how the upper classes related to everyone else and how the values of a materialism shaped their view of society.
Pride and Prejudice also contains one of the most cherished love stories in the history English novels. The courtship between Darcy and Elizabeth. As in any good love story, the lovers must overcome numerous obstacles, beginning with the tensions caused by the lovers own personal qualities. Elizabeth’s pride makes her misjudged Darcy on the basis of a poor first impression, while Darcy’s prejudice against Elizabeth’s poor social standing blinds him, for a time, to her many virtues. Just like Austen’s other novel Pride and Prejudice had a happy ending with Darcy and Elizabeth apologising to each other. .”My manners must have been in fault, but not intentionally, I assure you. I never meant to deceive you, but my spirits might often lead me wrong.” 8 (27). In this quote Elizabeth realizes that she was wrong and communicate that to Darcy. Darcy also apologizes saying.”where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”(c.43) The evolution of character is part of the theme in Pride and Prejudice
Class issues are everywhere in Pride and Prejudice. The nove criticizes an exaggeration on class, especially in terms of judging a person’s character based on gender class. In the novel one of the main character was Darcy, a rich, proud, landowner who doesn’t see why he should bother with people who aren’t as rich or educated as he is. Despite all of this the women in the book love him due to his wealth and lavish lifestyle. This to me is a form of wongfull female portrayal. The time and setting was so bad that even women felt that they were beheth men and the only way they can make a good living is my marrying a wealthy man. To many women, (in the words of charlotte) “Happiness in is entirely a matter of chance”. Which means marry the first guy that can provide for you because (as a woman) you can’t control your own faith or happiness.
The theme of pride and class is related, one directly influences the other. For example Darcy’s pride is based on his extreme class-consciousness. He was prideful because he was up on the class scale. He felt like he was better than the average and lower-class people. However he eventually comes to accept Elizabeth’s perspective and joins Elizabeth in rejecting the upper-class characters who are “idle, mean-spirited and closed-minded” such as Bingley’s sisters and Lady Catherine. We also witnessed Darcy’s growth at a party at Lucas Lodge, when Mr Darcy asks Elizabeth to dance. Befe that Darcy was antisocial and look down on everyone, Thus he would not even consider dancing with people before this. Darcy asking Elizabeth to dance is a symbol of growth.
Jane Austen (the author) clearly finds rigid class boundaries to be absurd and seems to accept the existence of class ranking, but she also criticizes the way it can poison society. “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 their natural dignity, is reminded that institutions are not an end in themselves but are intended to serve the end of human happiness”(coursehero.com). If you examine the books closely you would see similarities to social justice ideology in terms of the subtel fight for equality that elizabeth represents.
Jane Austen also mentions gender injustices (mainly as perpetrated by marriage) in 19th century in her book. In the book Pride and Prejudice, many women must marry only for the sake of financial security. However, Elizabeth (character in the book that represents Elizabeth) shows that women are just as intelligent and capable as men. Jane Austen herself went against convention by remaining single and earning a living through her novels. Elizabeth’s happy ending reveals Austen’s beliefs that women can be independent until she meets the right man. Meanwhile in my opinion Charlotte and other unhappily married characters represent more of an era then an actual person.characters like Charlotte and others unhappily married were come in the book because they too followed Charlotte’s logic of “Happiness in is entirely a matter of chance.”
In my interpretation, she meant that meeting the right person and connecting with them in a long term relationship happens by chance. I think this is true to a some degree,mainly because there are billions on people on living among us.We never know who we are compatible with until we start sharing space with them. However the other message behind the quote is that you should marry the first person that is capable of changing your life and hope for the best, this i don’t agree with.
Another major theme in the book is the issue of prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is about Darcy’s Pride and Elizabeth’s Prejudice. Darcy’s pride of place is founded on social prejudice. He looks down on the poor and uneducated. While Elizabeth’s prejudice against him is rooted in pride of her ownass amption. She says “i will not marry him if he was the last man..” she made this statement without getting to know him or what he stands for. Over time both characters egos drive them towards personal prejudice. Darcy has been taught to look down on anyone outside his own social circle and must overcome his prejudice in order to proof himself to Elizabeth.
The themes i listed are only a few of the major themes in prejudice and pride. These themes show up throughout the story. Characters besides Darcy are also accused of having too much pride. There are also discussions about pride between Elizabeth and Darcy, and Mary discusses pride vs. vanity. Characters are also described as being proud on certain instances. For example, Mrs. Bennet is described as visiting her married daughters with pride, and Elizabeth is said to be proud of Darcy because of what he had done for Lydia. First impressions can be discussed of many of the characters and prejudice is illustrated not only in Elizabeth’s behavior, but in Darcy’s and Lady Catherine’s reactions to Elizabeth’s family as well.
After reading the novel one social issue that was noticeably missing is the issue of racism and this was due to the fact that everyone in Pride and Prejudice is white and British, so racism is not a factor in the plot at all. We can however look at similar situation that are very similar to race. I believe this ongoing issues we face as a society make the book relatable to readers even today and keeps it relevant. The depth of the novel is truly remarkable and the amounts of story with the story makes this novel one of a kind.
In the book we witness prejudice from multiple characters in the book and this is very similar to today’s problem in racism because Prejudice is a negative thought you have about an individual or rarely a group of people. Ontheotherhand Racism is a kind of prejudice where you think one race is superior over another. The was no racism in the book because there was only one race but we see similar behavior of bigotry directed toward the working class.
Another similarity between racism and prejudice in the book is stereotyping. In today’s world people and especially people of color are stereotyped based on what the “other” think of them. People are quick to slap a label and say “Mexicans are rapist” or “Blacks are criminals” and in the book it was the same thing towards women. The only way a woman can be financially secure is by marrying a rich man.
What makes Pride and Prejudice relevant today is that it contains timeless insights about human nature.The social circumstances of the various characters are not very relatable to the majority of modern Americans, but the ways they think about each other, and relate to each other are very similar to the way some people think today. “Technology might change, but human nature remains the same”(usa today) . To summarize, pride and prejudice is a novel with multiple themes and the depth of the book is among the main reason why it is is so good. Pride and Prejudice contains “snobbery and arrogance, moral goodness vs. poor character, social hierarchy, class struggles, women’s rights and marriage”. It takes place in Eighteenth Century England where class consciousness is very strong and women can only acquire wealthy through marriage. Despite all of this “ground rules we are introduced to Elizabeth a woman that refuses to apply by this rules and follows the hart.
“Pride and Prejudice”. Wikipedia. MAY,21,2018.
“Pride and Prejudice”. USA TODAY. MAY,21,2018.
“Pride and Prejudice”. coursehero.MAY,21,2018.