Pride And Prejudice 10 Essay, Research Paper
In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen the entire novel is designed around a running theme: pride and prejudice. The passage in the novel that best relates this theme is in chapter thirty-four when Darcy is proposing to Elizabeth. This chapter is significant because it is one of the few times where the characters acknowledge that the sole purpose of a person’s life is to get a large salary and a high social stature.
Throughout the entire novel it seems evident that all the people care about is marrying into a higher social class. And for those who are already wealthy and in a comfortable position in life, it is imperative that they only marry someone who is equal in class or social ranking. This is the case for Darcy and Elizabeth in chapter thirty-four. Darcy knows that by offering his hand in marriage to Elizabeth he is lowering his standards in a social ranking. He is so arrogant in his proposal that he even insults Elizabeth. He says, “It is natural that obligation should be felt, and I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot- I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?” (Austen, 142-145). Unfortunately for Darcy, Elizabeth only gets slightly insulted. Her refusal of Darcy was initially because of his treatment of Wickham and his actions toward Jane and Bingley’s relationship. Elizabeth’s prejudice shows in her actions towards Darcy too. She says, ” From the very beginning, from the first moment, I may almost say, of my acquaintance with you, your manners impressing me with the fullest brief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” (Austen, 145). Elizabeth never holds back her feelings toward anyone in the novel. Both Darcy and Elizabeth insult each other to the point where one would never expect them to ever fall in love. They both pre-judged each other early on in the novel and still hold resentment towards one another. The two have to realize that the first impressions can be deceiving.
The novel ends with Darcy and Elizabeth overcoming their prejudice toward each other, and falling in love. After reading chapter thirty-four one would never imagine these two together in love. Both Darcy and Elizabeth pre-judge everyone they come in contact with. The novel never gives one the feeling of a true love situation. Everyone in this society is out to increase their social ranking. It is prejudice by the rich people against the poor people. The good that comes out of this story is that both Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their prejudice and realize that they have strong feelings for one another. Pre-judging can lead one down a long and lonely path if not realized in time. Luckily Darcy and Elizabeth met at the end of the path.