Gender Themes In Pride And Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Themes
Pride
As Mary says in Chapter 5, "human nature is particularly prone to [pride]." Throughout Pride and Prejudice, pride prevents the characters from seeing the truth of a situation. Most notably, it is one of the two primary barriers in the way of a union between Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy 's pride in his social position leads him to scorn anyone outside of his own social circle. Meanwhile, Elizabeth 's pride in her powers of discernment cloud her judgment. These two find happiness by helping each other overcome his/her pride. Outside of Elizabeth and Darcy, however, Austen seems pessimistic about the human ability to conquer this character flaw. A slew of secondary characters, like Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine,
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In Pride and Prejudice, many women (such as Charlotte) must marry solely for the sake of financial security. However, in her portrayal of Elizabeth, Austen shows that women are just as intelligent and capable as their male counterparts. Jane Austen herself went against convention by remaining single and earning a living through her novels. In her personal letters, Austen advised friends only to marry for love. In the novel, Elizabeth 's happy ending reveals Austen 's beliefs that woman has the right to remain independent until she meets the right man (if…show more content…
Austen clearly finds rigid class boundaries to be occasionally absurd. Mr. Collins 's comic formality and obsequious relationship with Lady Catherine form a satire of class consciousness and social formalities. In the end, the novel 's verdict on class differences is moderate. Austen seems to accept the existence of class hierarchy, but she also criticizes the way it can poison society. Critic Samuel Kliger notes, "If the conclusion of the novel makes it clear that Elizabeth accepts class relationships as valid, it becomes equally clear that Darcy, through Elizabeth 's genius for treating all people with respect for their natural dignity, is reminded that institutions are not an end in themselves but are intended to serve the
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