Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Gains Awareness
Throughout the novel Elizabeth gains awareness of both herself and the other members of her family. Elizabeth is consistently reminded of her family’s low social status by significant figures such as Lady Catherine, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy. After reading Darcy’s letter, Elizabeth realises how ignorant she has been about Darcy, her family and herself, this causes her to examine her life. Elizabeth obtains further awareness when she discovers that Darcy paid for Lydia to marry. Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley helps her acknowledge how pride and prejudice she actually is.
Throughout the novel Elizabeth is constantly being reminded of her family’s low social status by Lady Catherine, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy through his proposal. When Darcy proposes to Elizabeth he makes it clear that he is in fact superior to Elizabeth but that he loves her so much it doesn’t matter that her family are of such a low social status. After being repeatedly reminded of her inferior social status Elizabeth says, ‘Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?’ When Colonel Fitzwilliam speaks to Elizabeth about Jane’s family unknowing that Elizabeth is indeed Jane’s sister he makes her aware that it is not just her that is of low social standard, but her entire family, ‘these strong objections probably were her having one uncle who was a country attorney, and another who was in business in London.’ Lady Catherine does not let the opportunity pass to remind Elizabeth of her low social class when she comes to see Elizabeth and forbids her to marry Darcy, ‘The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family, connections or fortune.’ Elizabeth becomes acutely aware that having no connections or fortune is in fact a handicap. People throughout the novel are continuously telling Elizabeth that her...
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