Literary Analysis for Pride and Prejudice
Title: The title “Pride and Prejudice is most appropriate for the novel because the story centers upon the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and the obstacles (especially their own personal faults) both must overcome before they can find romantic felicity with one another. Elizabeth must overcome her “prejudice” which causes her to make hasty and harsh judgments about others and quickly dismiss them; whereas Darcy exhibits excessive “pride” as a result of his high birth and societal status making too aware of his superiority over others and act with excessive pride.
Author: Jane Austen, like her character Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, grew up in the late 18th to 19th century rural England. She grew up in a middle class society with six other siblings and a sister whom she adored named Cassandra. Her father was a clergyman for the Church of England, they were well off compared to others but did suffer money problems. Jane and her sister were educated at home in “ladylike” fashion and taught music, drawing, needlework, and other skills along with being well-read. Jane, much like Elizabeth, was tall and graceful, with dark hair and beautiful hazel eyes, she enjoyed parties, liked to dance, and had numerous suitors. As it turned out, however, neither Jane nor her sister Cassandra ever married. After her father’s passing, Jane’s family was supported by the wealth acquired by one of her brother’s.
Setting: The story takes place in early19th century England, among middle class society. The plot is mostly set at Mr. Bennet’s modest estate in Longbourn, but occasionally moves from the estate to the nearby Netherfield estate belonging to Mr. Bingley, to the provincial town of Meryton within walking distance from the Bennet estate where the younger Bennet girls frequent to visit the stationed militia, and finally to the distant grand estate of Pemberely belonging to Mr. Darcy’s family.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere is formal and realistic. Formal, because the women and families the story centers around must live up to the 19th century standards of the middle class society. And realistic, because despite the story’s focal on love Austen handles the subject practically.
Mood: With the intensifying love between Elizabeth and Darcy, along with the added pressures from their families, friends, society, and even themselves upon their relationship, the reader is often anxious and excited to see what occurs next in their relationship and their lives
Protagonist: Elizabeth is the protagonist of Pride and Prejudice because the story ultimately focuses on her and her evolution that leads her to finally be with her true love Mr. Darcy. She exhibits all the qualities of a strong 19th century heroine she’s lovely, clever, skilled, well-versed, honest, virtuous, witty and able to rise above the idiocy and bad behavior that pervade society. However, despite all her good qualities, Elizabeth is quick to make harsh and hasty judgments concerning others often this attribute of her character leads her astray in life and away from her love Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth must not only cope with a half-witted mother, a detached father, mismanaged and ill-taught younger siblings, and a snobbish, judgmental society, she must also overcome her own mistaken impressions of Darcy, which initially lead her to reject him. Her charms are sufficient to keep him interested, fortunately, while she navigates familial and social turmoil. Fortunately, while Elizabeth deals with familial and societal troubles, she has the opportunity to see the nobility of Darcy's character and amend her initial erroneous judgments of Darcy.
Antagonist: The snobby society ladies, especially Ms. Bingley and Lady Catherine who try to prevent the union between Elizabeth and Darcy by convincing either of them they wouldn’t be a good match because of Elizabeth’s low connections...