Nonconformity In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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J. Frank Dobie, an American folklorist, once stated, “Conform and be dull” (Sarkis). This simple quote highlights the fact that leading a life defined by conformity can be extremely dreary. There can be no adventure or true reward when one’s life is governed by the desire to fit in. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, compares the dull conformists and the dynamic nonconformists. In British society in the early nineteenth century, average people were searching for the easiest way to fall in line with the social norms. Nonetheless, others thought for themselves and strove to follow their passion, whether others approved of their attitude or not. In Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is a dynamic character because he defies social pressures and dramatically changes throughout the text, while Mr. Collins is a flat character because he focuses on conforming to his role in society. Overall, this shows Austen’s desire to show how people have multi-level personalities and to encourage nonconformity. First, Mr. Darcy is a dynamic character as he goes from being uncomfortable in any social situation to pouring out his love for Elizabeth despite what others think of their relationship. Darcy’s debut at the ball leaves the impression that he is rude and arrogant when he harshly states, “[Elizabeth] is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me” (Austen 9). He believes that he is far too spectacular to interact with anyone. The reader wonders why anyone would be friends with

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