Comparative Commentary Pride & Prejudice and the Color Purple

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The definition of respect according to the Oxford dictionary is: ‘a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements’. In literary works, often respect is a feeling that the author wants the reader to have at the end of a novel because that makes the reader remember the work. This can only be achieved if the main character develops in a positive way, when he or she achieves something after having fought for it. So a positive development of a character gives the reader respect.

To begin with, Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, develops in a positive way. In the beginning of the novel, she is extremely prejudiced. For example during the ball, Elizabeth immediately dislikes Mr. Darcy because he does not want to dance with anybody not rich or from the higher class. Later on, Elizabeth finds out that this habit of him, is caused by his sister and Mr. Darcy himself is not like that at all. This can be seen by the fact that he proposes to Elizabeth, who is from a lower class. Besides that, she prejudices the marriage of Charlotte and Mr. Collins by stating that Charlotte does not marry him because of love but because she believes he is a good person for her. Elizabeth had her opinion ready about quite much everything she witnesses. However, because of the letter Mr. Darcy gave her, she finally realizes how prejudiced she had always been and feels extremely ashamed: ‘She grew … prejudiced, absurd’ (p.201). The reader feels sympathy for her because she admits that she was wrong. Furthermore, she sets things right after admitting this, what gives the reader the feeling of respect for her.

Secondly, Celie, the main character from the novel ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker, turns from an abused woman without a voice, to a strong and independent woman who everyone listens to. She had to go through several horrible experiences like being raped a...
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