Pride & Prejudice
The progress between Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s relationship, in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice (1813) illustrates and explores several the key themes in the novel. Their relationship highlights class expectations, pride and prejudice, and marriage, and how they play a major role in determining the course of their association. These are outlined through their first prejudiced dislike of each other when they first meet, the stronger feelings for Elizabeth that develop on Darcy’s side, her rejection in Darcy’s first proposal, then her change of opinion and lastly the mutual love they form for one another. Pride and Prejudice is set up as a satire, commenting on human idiocy, and Jane Austen uses an omniscient third person point of view to convey what is happening during the novel, through indirect and direct reporting of the awareness of the characters, authorial intrusion and comment, dialogue and letters.
In their initial encounters, Elizabeth and Darcy both display substantial levels of pride and prejudice that prevents them from forming a lasting relationship. When they meet each other at the first ball, Darcy says “She [Elizabeth] is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You [Bingley] had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me”, which demonstrates that Darcy has already made a judgement about her, and that his pride in his position leads him to disdain from anyone outside his ‘social circle’, suggesting a strong view on class expectation, pride and prejudice. Elizabeth overhears this and later says to Miss Lucas, “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” Elizabeth also forms a prejudice against Darcy in pride of her hasty perceptions of him, and how presents himself very highly. This informs us of very strong opinions...
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