Pride and Prejudice

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There are a number of conflicts in Pride and Prejudice. One of the long drawn out ones is between Mr and Mrs.Bennet. Their personalities are so different, their entire marriage is a conflict. The other primary one is between Elizabeth and Darcy. With their pride and prejudice, they are never able to see the truth about each other till half way through the story. Wickham has a turbulent past and has clashed swords with Darcy more than once before. Lady Catherine de Bourgh has a tiff with Elizabeth. Caroline competes with Elizabeth for Darcy.

But through all these, there is one commonality - the conflict between the lower class, aspiring to rise, and the resisting, and eventually yielding upper class. Mrs.Benent has tried to rise, and succeeded. Coming from the trading class, she has married into the gentry. Now she tries to get her daughters' to move higher, clashing with her husband in the process. Elizabeth, from the lower end of the gentry, feels equal to the highest level of aristocracy that Darcy is in. Darcy cannot accept the idea at first, but later accepts what he had considered inferior and objectionable. Wickham is a rogue who picks up the outer manners of the rich aristocrats, and become their equal. Lady de Bourgh is stuck in her old aristocratic past and tries to have her way, but the changing times do not accomodate such obsolete high handedness and Elizabeth, who represents the emerging individual, brushes her aside. Caroline's dependence on her wealth and rank cannot secure her Darcy, just like Anne de Bourgh's blood and status could not.

Pride and Prejudice is a mirror of the silent, social evolution that took place in England as a response to the violent revolution across the channel in France. The dauphins wouldnt mix with the peasants there, and found their possessions and lives taken away. The English aristocrats mix with those lower than themselves, and save their heads.
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