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Pride and Prejudice Analysis on the Theme of Love.

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Analysis Themes Love * Ultimately, Pride and Prejudice is a love story in that the way Darcy/Elizabeth and Bingley/Jane finally come together forms the basis of the plot. * True love, as it is represented in the novel, can overcome the odds such as the interference of well-meaning friends as well as pride and prejudice. It lasts over time and is not based on a few weeks' acquaintance. Austen seems to believe in love based on mutual gratitude, esteem and respect. Being intellectually and characteristically equal also seems to be important. This is demonstrated in the characters and relationships mentioned above. The power of love to change people is also explored with Elizabeth and Darcy becoming better people as a result of their relationship. * Some other marriages such as Wickham/Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins/Charlotte are looked upon disapprovingly because they are not marriages of true love, but marriages based on desire or financial convenience. Marriage * Marriage is seen as necessary for social respectability and material comfort. The sole aim of Mrs. Bennet's life is get her daughters married, hence showing its importance. * There are different aims and kinds of marriages. Marriages for convenience, financial security, desire and of course, love are the most common ones. * There is the question of where to draw the line between the prudent and mercenary motive in marriage. ...read more.

Middle

* To some extent, Elizabeth is ignorant too because of her prejudice towards Wickham and Darcy. "Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away." (P.202) Therefore, prejudice is linked with ignorance. Similarly, people dislike Darcy because of ignorance; they don't who he really is. Courtship * The novel explores different methods of courtship. Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy both have interesting methods. Mr. Darcy apologises for being in love and insults Elizabeth. Mr. Collins lists all the practical benefits of marriage for himself and is totally unconvincing in his expressions of love. They sound like the complements he likes to create and prepare. * Jane conceals her affection too much. "If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark." (P.22) Characters Elizabeth Bennet * Lively, attractive, spirited, articulate, well-mannered, affectionate, genteel * intelligent, perceptive, well-read, independent, rational * Easily prejudiced positively and negatively; determined to dislike Darcy and like Wickham * High moral standards; high ideals about marriage and love * Cheerful disposition; able to laugh at her misfortunes * Realises her mistakes and follies when she sees Darcy's nature * Ashamed of the oddities of her family, yet devoted to their wellbeing * Displays ...read more.

Conclusion

Setting * Small country town - gossip, ignorance, small-mindedness. "Mr. Darcy...drew...attention...by his fine, tall person...and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year." (P.12) In a small town, all they do visit each other and gossip, especially people like Mrs. Bennet. Also reflected in Mrs. Bennet is the small-mindedness and ignorance. * 18th century England - reflected in social conventions, social rank, class system, marriage. > Social conventions - The Bennet girls couldn't visit Bingley until Mr. Bennet went first. Husbands and wives rarely referred to each other by first names in front of servants. > Social rank and class system - Darcy, Bingley and Lady Catherine are higher in rank than the Bennets, the Lucases and the Collins'. Therefore the Bennet girls were advancing in their status by marrying Darcy and Bingley. There is hardly any mention of the lower classes > Marriage - the general opinion was that marriage equalled happiness, social security and financial convenience especially for women. Context * Much social upheaval in other parts of Europe; however, this is not evident in this novel. England was still very much a class-ridden society. Austen only focuses on the comfortable lives of the middle and upper classes. It was fashionable for young ladies of the middle class to do as little domestic work as possible. This is why the Bennet girls seem to have nothing to do except visit officers, shop, go to balls, socialise, play music and read. ...read more.

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