Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen explores the viciousness of social class and its breaking points. Set in 19th century in a rustic region of Longbourn, England the reader is confronted with the stark difference between the gentry and the common people. Austen uses a romantic novel to paint the biased views of the opposite ends of the social spectrum; the gentry riddled prejudicial hate and disgust and the commoners with their blinding pride. These two character flaws are both what separate the rich from the commoners and what also lumps them in the same category. To punctuate such character flaws, Austen uses the motifs of courtship and journey, satire, and the counterparts of characters in the separate classes.
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The third and fourth inflection points are where the story has reached its climax. In the attraction period Mr. Darcy has already proposed to Elizabeth and has been rejected. But in this crucial period of time Elizabeth has started to see the change within the character of Mr. Darcy. She in fact comes to fall in love with him, a sign that she is slowly coming over her pride of being an independent woman. Within the last inflection point there is a marriage, Jane and Bingley's, this ending scene marks the end of the barrier between the snobbish gentry and the common people.
The theme of Pride and Prejudice is that social class can both define a character as well as set one's principles. The defining of character and principles is caused by a society who has become subjected to the severity of the social class rules in which the social class system is a binding force that coerce people to "live" life in the invisible confines created by intangible wealth. However, in regards to love all such rules are cast away. The idea that one may not "rub elbows" let alone marry someone who is beneath he/she's status are blind sighted by couples who are enraptures in their heated but seraphic love. Austen trying to send a message that love can transcend the barrier of social classes, but before that there will always be a clashing of beliefs and attitudes due to a contrastive upbringing.
In Pride and Prejudice there are a total of seven marriages, but the two that constitute with the theme are the marriages of Jane and Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Jane and Mr. Bingley's affair is a very straight forward affair; Mr. Bingley is a wealthy man and is desperately in love with Jane Bennet, a woman well beneath his stature, who loves him just as much. This couple wants to be together but the only force that holds them apart in the approval of the gentry. In the end Mr., Bingley forgoes all formalities and marries Jane (though he did gain the approval of Mr. Darcy, the man who all along disapproved of their union) which proves that love cannot be kept confined within the social formalities created by an exuberant amount of wealth.
One other union that went against all of "high" society's standards was the marriage of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Though their first impression of each other had them at each other's throats they soon come to find that they have much in common even though there is a noticeable difference in their statuses, and they slowly come to love each other. The societal obstacles that was placed in their affair was first the distrust and the low opinion Elizabeth had of Mr. Darcy but when they overcame that Lady Catherine became another problem. Lady Catherine is a very wealthy, powerful, and respected lady within all of England and even has a place in the royal court. She objects to the union between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth she plans to marry off her daughter to him. But in the name of love Mr. Darcy outs that all aside and marries a girl who is "inferior" to him.
Jane Austen's graceful narrative style was uncommon in her time. The time in which she wrote such an entertaining yet inspiring novel was a period in literature that mainly consisted of emotional excess, flowery wordiness, and many biblical allusions. Pride and Prejudice is written in a prose without containing one superfluous word and it also frequently breaks into dialogue that are very lively and very revealing of characters. In some of the passages the Austen enters the mind of some of her characters; though usually it is in the mind of Elizabeth because she is the main character of the novel, and it is there she will reveal her character's capacity for humor and self-criticism.
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Much of the novel is filled with dialogue that is important because they explain the true nature of the characters for example "'If he had had any compassion for me," cried her husband impatiently, "he would not have danced half so much! For God's sake, say no more of his partners. O that he had sprained his ankle in the first place!'" (Chapter 3) Mr. Bennet does not really wish bad fortune on Mr. Bingley but is instead is trying to express that he has had enough with his wife's insufferable attitude. This way of revealing a character's character usually gives the
Jane Austen used many techniques when writing Pride and Prejudice but one she used most frequently is creating characterizations. In any passage Austen uses direct narration to describe the background to the reader, but we also learn about the characters from what they do, how they act, and what others say about them. She is probably best known for her ability to capture characterization through what characters say and HOW they say it. Pay attention to vocabulary and diction, syntax, sentence length, subject matter, and tone of voice. If you focus on scenes of conversation as you review the novel you can really see how a character is different from one scene to the next. For example, the way Elizabeth speaks with Jane is very different from the way she speaks with the Bingley sisters, but both scenes serve to illuminate her character. She is open and honest with Jane, but reserved and brisk with the sisters. This difference reveals a lot about her character. Each conversation she has reveals more facets of her character!
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