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Pride and Prejudice - Social class differences in the first half of Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice - Social class differences in the first half of Pride and Prejudice. In Pride and Prejudice it is clear that some people feel that they are more important than others, that they are a different class. In some ways maybe this is true. In this essay I am going to explore the issue of social class difference in Pride and Prejudice (up to Chapter 35). What class you are depends on a couple of things: - How much money you get every year, where your money comes from and where you live. Let's use Darcy as an example, he gets about �10,000 a year and his money is old money, (not new money) which makes him feel superior when he first arrives. Old money is simply inherited wealth, money that has been passed down through a family e.g. Darcy. New money is money that has been earned, e.g. Bingley; his money was acquired through his father's business activities. When Darcy is first introduced in the novel (Netherfield Ball) he looks down on everybody as if he too good to be where he is, as if everyone is a lower life and he is the superior being. ...read more.

Middle

The surnames of the people in the novel actually give an indication of their social and economical wellbeing. The English surnames in the novel are all of the people who want to marry into the more important, well-off families. These are: - Bennet, Bingley, Wickham, Lucas, Collins, Gardiner, and Phillips. These are also the people who posses new money, they also may have something to do with trade or professions. The other names in the novel like Darcy (d'Arcy) or de Bourgh have the most important social and economical roles in the book. These names have a French Origin so they sound different, more important and also posh. These names are also long established landed families who can be traced back about half a century or maybe more which means their money is old money. Because they have this old money these people feel more important than others, which is why they think are further up the class system than others in the novel. Other people who don't own old money also look up to people like Darcy because of the fact he has old money, it's as if because you own a lot of money you have more freedom to do what you want. ...read more.

Conclusion

Money has a lot to do with where you stand in the class system and that is why it has so much importance to so many people. Money nowadays is just as, if not more important than it was in those days. Sir William Lucas in his younger days was a tradesman; he had to work for the money he earned. As he feels now he would rather forget about his recent experiences because he doesn't want to be part of the trade class, he wants to be higher up along side people like Darcy. The only reason for this is because he looks at Darcy and people similar to him and admires him in a way that he wants to live their life as opposed to his own. In Pride and Prejudice it is clear that there are people of a different class, or people that think they are a different class. What makes the difference between the classes is how much money you own, if you have a lot of money, you are automatically important. If you have a lot of old money you are looked upon as a rich, posh person. Money is the key element in what class you are. ...read more.

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