Pride and Prejudice Analysis Essay
The author of Pride and prejudice bases the plot on manners, morality, education and upbringing as the author manipulates the above issues to create systematic conflicts in the characters. Set in British Regency, a society of the landed gentry, the characters exhibit both pride and prejudice in equal measure. Prejudice in this context refers to a pre-judgment that one has on another and therefore bases his or her interaction based on presumptions. Pride, on the other hand, refers to the feeling of pleasure that one draws from personal achievements or the achievements of those around him. As expected and portrayed by the title of the novel, pride and prejudice influences the nature of the relationship between the character in the book. Elizabeth epitomizes the ramifications of prejudice while Mr. Darcy portrays the extent of pride in the plot as the analysis below portrays.
The interaction between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is integral to the plot. However, before meeting Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth met Lieutenant Wickham, a charming and handsome militiaman who had just arrived. The lieutenant succeeds in winning Elizabeth’s sympathy by telling him a story of how Mr. Darcy had cheated him thereby taking his entire inheritance. The discussion between the lieutenant and Elizabeth influences her understanding of Mr. Darcy. She, for example, promises her friends to loathe Mr. Darcy for an eternity. Such is a portrayal of prejudice in the main character as the decisions she makes even before she interacts with Mr. Darcy influences all her future interactions with him. She believes that Darcy is a heartless, arrogant and a cheat who is always up to no good.
Such a harsh judgment even before she meets Darcy later influences their interactions thus the plot of the novel. When Darcy approaches her and requests her for a dance, she accepts the request with the view to humiliating him. He attacks him albeit wittingly. Later when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, she refuses owing to the prejudice she had created about him. Mr. Darcy, on the other hand, typifies pride in the novel. She approaches Elizabeth with pride and counters all her attacks while on the dance with equal zeal and charisma. He does this in his attempt to show the quality of his education, social status and perfect mannerism.
After several months when Elizabeth goes to at Rosings, Lady Catherine’s manor estate, to visit Mr. and Mrs. Collins and meets Mr. Darcy once again, the proud Darcy gets closer to Elizabeth only after he analyses the nature of her conversation with Lady Catharine. Darcy’s pride arose from his class. Elizabeth’s responses showed the level of her maturity and exposure. Darcy therefore felt that he would woo her since she met the standards of his social class. When he later proposes to her, Darcy acknowledges Elizabeth’s lower rank and even tells her that he loves her despite her lower rank. Such are some of the features that influenced Elizabeth’s refusal (Austen 198).
In retrospect, pride and prejudice are the major themes in the novel. The numerous characters interact with each other based on their pride and the prejudice they create about each other. The pride and prejudice come naturally given the fact that the plot flaunts the class, mannerism, education, morality and upbringing prevalent in the British Regency.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Whitefish (Mont.: Kessinger Publishing, 2004. Print.