Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice
In the novel of Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen, the title of the novel itself bears significance to the themes pride and prejudice. Pride is defined as a feeling of honour and self-respect, satisfaction or pleasure taken in one's own or another's success or achievements (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000), while, prejudice is defined as the act or state of holding unreasonable inflexible judgments or convictions especially towards other people (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000). In the novel of Pride and Prejudice, both themes are clearly signified through the character traits of the characters .For example, in the beginning of the novel, after a ball, Mr. Darcy said ‘she is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me’ to Mr. Bingley when they talking about Elizabeth Bennet. This situation gives the readers an imagery of Mr. Darcy feeling arrogance as he comes from a family of high status. The introduction of the story already indicates the idea of pride which is a theme in this novel.

The theme of pride which defined as feeling of honour and self-respect surely exemplified through the plot of the novel. As said in the words of Mary Bennet at the beginning of the novel, ‘human nature is particularly prone to pride’ (volume 1, chapter 5) (Austen, Jane, 1775–1817). In my opinion, the words of Mary Bennet can be the keywords of the theme pride in the novel. This is because the word pride was mentioned by her during her conversation with the miss Lucases. The theme of pride is related with the keywords as shown through the conversation because the conflicts between Darcy and Elizabeth contributes them to prevents them from seeing the reality of a condition and leads them to be apart from achieving joy in their relationship as their pride makes them to be prejudice to each other.

Moreover, the theme pride can be expressed through the relationship of the characters. In the novel, when Darcy started to fall in love with Elizabeth, he tries to win her heart. Unfortunately, because of Elizabeth’s pride, she becomes blind to all of Darcy’s kindness towards her. This scenario shows that the pride is one of the main barriers that creates obstacle to Darcy and Elizabeth relationship. In addition, due to Darcy’s pride at the first time he meet Elizabeth, as he occupied a high position among the society its leads him initially to disrespect anyone outside his own social range, and this causing Elizabeth to have a bad impression towards Darcy while she thought that Mr. Wickham is the good guy.

Besides that, the theme pride in the novel also portrayed through the settings of the novel. Through the storyline of the novel, we can conclude that the setting of time is on 19th century in England and the social classification becomes a major issue during the century. Based on the novel, Darcy is a person that has a large income. On 19th century in England, anyone who has a large income will be classified as the second class while anyone with miscellaneous work will be classified in the fifth class (Kristine Hughes, 1998). As referred to the novel, Darcy is a person that occupying the second class while Elizabeth are in the fifth class. The range of social class between them will ignite the pride among themselves. This is why Darcy prone to scorn the people with lowers social class and thinks that they have no right to be respect by him.

The other theme is prejudice. Prejudice is known as unreasonable opinion or feeling towards people (Macmillan English Dictionary, 2007). As the first theme discussed above, prejudice was actually catalysed through pride. The theme prejudice can be exemplified through the character traits of the characters. In the novel of Pride and Prejudice, prejudice starts to happen when Darcy being ego to the people around him especially Elizabeth whom he treat disrespectfully. This situation is Darcy’s fault as his attitude makes him become a bad person in Elizabeth first...
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