Pride And Prejudice Essay Research Paper Pride

Pride And Prejudice Essay, Research Paper Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen The title of the novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, can be interpreted as a theme running through the novel. Pride, observed

Pride And Prejudice Essay, Research Paper

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The title of the novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, can

be interpreted as a theme running through the novel. Pride, observed

Mary, . . . is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have

ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human

nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us

who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some

quality or another, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different

things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be

proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of

ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. Pride

and/or vanity is exhibited in different forms by each character.

Ms. Austen was trying to send the message that an excess of pride or

vanity is indeed a failing. Those characters who can recognize their

flaw emerge as the true heroes of the story.

In many minor characters of the novel, pride is a common

characteristic. Mrs. Bennet, for instance, is extremely proud when it

comes to her daughters marriages of mercenary advantage. She is so

concerned that her neighbors have a high opinion of her that her own

vanity will not even allow her to think of her daughters love and

happiness. This is best shown with the case of Elizabeth Bennet s

proposed marriage to the esteemed Mr. Collins, a man she did not love.

Mrs. Bennet was so upset when her daughter refused Mr. Collins offer

that she would not speak to her for passing up such an opportunity.

We can see an example of pride for imaginary qualities in Mary

Bennet who was herself the speaker of this passage. To the

embarrassment of her family, Mary would take every chance she could to

put on a show whenever in a public situation. Although she was not

talented in any of the activities she decided to undertake, her high

opinion of herself and her desire to esteem herself in the eyes of

others enabled her to display her supposed talents.

Mr. Collins possesses a definite sense of vanity. He is in no

way concerned about his own opinion of his character, for as we

see his character leaves much to be desired. All he cares about is

what others think of him. He always needs the approval of his present

company. When he gives Elizabeth the grand tour of his

nothing-spectacular home, he is looking for her approval of his

position and possessions. It is not important to Mr. Collins for

people to like him as a person, they just had better be impressed

his status in life and his connections.

Mr. Darcy, as one of the main characters, is for the better part

of the novel a focus of the theme of pride. His pride is very obvious.

It is a part of his nature and is seen in his mannerisms and in his

speech. Darcy has such a high opinion of himself that he does not care

what others think of him or his prideful actions. He believes that he

is the best in every way possible and finds that his standing in

society gives him the right to be critical of those not as perfect as


Elizabeth Bennet, the other main character of the novel, is just

as guilty of being proud as any of the other characters in the novel.

She prides herself on being unprejudiced and rational in the judgement

of others. Yet, this is an imaginary quality as she learns that her

preconceived notions of both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham turn out to be

false. She is also very proud when Darcy confronts her about her

family and connections. Although Darcy s accusations of the

unsophistication of certain of her family members are true, Elizabeth

is too proud to listen and accept the truth. Instead, she becomes so

angered with Darcy that it effects her entire relationship with him.

Both Darcy and Elizabeth come to recognize their pride as a flaw

in their respective characters. Darcy realizes that he must check his

pride in order to be seen in a good light by others. Elizabeth, the

object of his affections, is so turned off by his prideful ways that a

touch of vanity enables him to change himself for her. Elizabeth,

while observing the transformations of Darcy, realizes that she, too,

has been guilty of too much pride. She sees that she was indeed

prejudiced and that she must come to terms with the failings of her

family. Darcy and Elizabeth are able to overcome their pride which

enables them to live happily ever after.