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"The Jane Austen novel 'Pride and Prejudice' is basically concerned with the education of a young heroine"

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Introduction

World Literature 4 Christina Muthurajah "The Jane Austen novel 'Pride and Prejudice' is basically concerned with the education of a young heroine" Word Count (excluding quotes) 998 The statement "The Jane Austen novel 'Pride and Prejudice' is basically concerned with the education of a young heroine" raises many questions. The term education in this context means a journey of ones self rather than a formal schooling education. From the beginning pages of the book the idea of Elizabeth being the heroine is established. Since there are other themes of the novel, themes of love, reputation and class, it can be questioned as to whether the novel is centred on the education of Elizabeth. Darcy is also a major character to the plot of the novel and contains the same faults as Elizabeth so the book could be centred on his journey as well as hers. However, Elizabeth's education in overcoming her obstacles is a very long one compared to that of Darcy's In the first three pages of the novel the character of Elizabeth is depicted as a very intellectual character by her father. ' "..they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of a quickness than her sisters." ...read more.

Middle

For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him.'5 What these themes have in common is that they are major parts of the growing relationship of Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy is a major character that has issues with pride and prejudice so it can be questioned whether the novel is basically concerned with the education of Elizabeth. There are many reasons as to why the journey of Darcy is not as important. Initially Darcy's pride and prejudice was the first to be mentioned but by chapter 6 he notices his liking towards Elizabeth whereas it takes until chapter 36 for Elizabeth to reach the same stage. Secondly there is no great need for Darcy to overcome his pride and prejudice. Darcy is a man with no short fall of women and has wealth power and status to compensate. '"His pride," said Miss Lucas "does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. Of I may so express it; he has a right to be proud."' ...read more.

Conclusion

"She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved, and from his judgement, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance" 10 This is what Elizabeth, the heroine's, education was. The witty, intelligent character of the heroine and the way her pride and prejudice stood in the way she made judgement of character was portrayed in the novel. The pride and prejudice that was held by Darcy was due to influence, fortune and status whereas Elizabeth's came purely from within. While Darcy quickly grew to love Elizabeth, it took the latter longer and was only attained through numerous gracious acts of Darcy. Her educational journey in unveiling her pride and prejudice lasts the majority of the novel. Interesting themes such as reputation and class are brought out in the education of the young heroine. Although the novel is not solely concerned with the journey of Elizabeth, it is true that the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' is basically concerned with the education of a young heroine. ...read more.

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