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Examine the ways in which the theme of Pride and Prejudice is revealed through the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy.

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which the theme of Pride and Prejudice is revealed through the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy. In Austen's time it was typical of people of a higher status to look down on people below them; to be totally blinded by pride and to be prejudiced against those who have less wealth, connections and social status than them. People of a lower status also were prejudice against those higher than themselves. This is brilliantly portrayed in the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy comes from a high social class. He has pride in his family. His Aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh has an overwhelming sense of her own importance, which Darcy has inherited. Prejudice is very much linked to first impressions and judging people by them. This links to the first title of the novel, 'First Impressions', and through the novel you can see why Austen's first choice of title was 'First Impressions'. As the whole book is based on the wrong first impressions and the consequences of judging by them. When Darcy is first introduced, the society of Meryton very quickly formed a general opinion of him. ...read more.

Middle

They were 'evidently impatient to have the house to themselves.' This is another case where the Bennet's behaviour reflects badly on Elizabeth, where Darcy is becoming more prejudiced against her. When someone is prejudiced against another and hears a bad rumour about them, they believe it as they want to believe bad of them. 'Made her too angry to have any wish of doing him justice.' People get too mad to listen to the good points of another and their anger make them more willing to believe their bad points. Austen portrays that in Elizabeth. When Wickham talks to Lizzie about what Darcy had done to him, Lizzie readily believes everything he says. At this point Lizzie is blinded by prejudice, not only because of what Wickham said but also because she likes him very much. While Elizabeth steadily likes Darcy less, Darcy is starting to see her good points and is slowly falling in love with her. Though his pride is stopping him from announcing to her his feelings. Against his pride, soon Darcy proposes to Lizzie but he does it in such a way that really offends her pride. ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy is also. He is more sociable towards Lizzie and her aunt and uncle. Earlier on in the novel Darcy wouldn't have talked to people below his social status if he could help it. But now he's trying to change because of Elizabeth's comments when he asked her to marry him. Where prejudice is found, you will also find wrong judgements, a misunderstanding of someone's character and first impressions. It is found in Darcy's character, he attributes his pride partly to being shy but unfortunately Lizzie does mistake him for having too much pride. Though Darcy did have a lot of pride, as he was brought up to think he was better than everyone as he is in a higher social class. Austen portrays in Elizabeth and Darcy what can happen when wrong judgements are made. Even though they are perfectly suited for each other, their pride and prejudice stands in their way. In Austen's time, social class was very important, that people never tried to belong to other classes. Within the higher social classes pride was commonplace and that all classes were prejudice against each other social classes. Through Darcy and Elizabeth's characters, we see what society was like and how they manage to overcome it to find true love. 1 Leonie Smith 5096 ...read more.

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