The theme of Pride Is mostly shown wrought the characters of Lady Catherine, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr.. Dared while Prejudice is shown best through Caroline Bentley, and more importantly Elizabeth Bennett. With some of these characters changing their ways, Pride and Prejudice ends fantastically with everybody getting what they deserve and two wonderfully happy main characters, creating the ultimate story. Pride Is described as a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity importance, merit, or superiority. The theme of Pride shown by Lady Catherine, although late in the story, is excessive.
Lady Catherine is extremely venerable. During the Regency time period in which this book was written, women did not have the right to own property. The idea of Entailment, an arrangement where the closest male relative would inherit the property if the landowner dies was very popular in the Regency time period. The only loophole in Entailment was a long family chain with only a woman left which Is Lady Catherine. As a woman that owns property she is Inclined to act proper and has the right to be proud of her “accomplishment”, but not to the extent in which she explores it.
An instance of her pride is when she claims, “Miss Bennett I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman, But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away, till you have given me the assurance I require. “(Austin 240). Lady Catherine is bewildered that Elizabeth will not listen to her because she thinks that her wealth will make everybody listen to her. She has a high opinion of her own Importance due to her wealth which Is literally the definition of Pride! Although a minor part in the overall plot, Lady Catherine is used to satire pride.
Too much pride is a bad thing to possess because it prevents you from understanding a selfless person’s point of view. Elizabeth Bennett is another extremely prideful person in the novel. She is not prideful because she Is rich but because she has definitive character, something lacking In a majority of the characters In the story. Throughout the story Lezzy retains her pride despite some shots fired at her and her family. During a conversation with Lady Catherine about marrying Dared Elizabeth stands up for herself through her statement of, “In marrying your nephew (Mr.. Dared), I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere.
He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal. “(Austin 239). Elizabeth Is fighting with Lady Catherine over whether she Is DOD enough to marry Mr.. Dared and she uses that line to show that Just because the and respect for each other. Elizabeth has more self-esteem than to marry Mr.. Collins and if Mr.. Dared is interested in marrying her she will take it because she loves him. Lezzy will not let anybody stand in the way of the two being together even if she has to be prideful to do it. As a member of the aristocracy, Mr.. Dared was raised as a very prideful, but generous person.
Unfortunately, Dairy’s character flaw makes it hard for him to converse with people he never previously met. This causes the majority of people to dislike the man, at least in the beginning of the novel. Basically everybody in the book dislikes him except the Bentley group. Originally, Mr.. Dared is described in a very negative tone, “He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again. “(Austin 6). Mr.. Dared is a ‘ere shy person so he was stereotyped as a prideful man because his comments often demoted the other people in the conversation.
The theme of pride in Mr.. Dared is intensified because he is a dynamic character, changing throughout the book for the women he loves. In Pride and Prejudice pride is seen as a negative to possess through Mr.. Dared because he changes throughout the story to minimize the Importance of his class in his attempts to woo Elizabeth after he originally wouldn’t even ask Lezzy to a dance at the ball. Prejudice is another major theme in this classic, defined as an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed without full knowledge, though, or reason, is shown very Nell in Caroline Bentley. Caroline is Mr..
Bentleys sister and is attempting to woo Mr.. Dared, hopefully getting him to marry her. Caroline is very apprehensive in her brother’s interest in Jane Bennett because Jane does not show much emotion causing Caroline to think that the Bennett family are a bunch of gold diggers. Caroline is prejudice against the Bennett because the Bennett family is not in the landed gentry. She is actually Jealous of Elizabeth also because Mr.. Dared is infatuated with her more than Miss Bentley. As shown her, “When dinner was over, she [Elizabeth] turned directly to Jane, and Miss Bentley began abusing her as soon as she was out of the room.
Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence; she had no conversation, no stile, no taste, no beauty. ” (Austin 23) Caroline thinks she is so much better then Elizabeth that she starts insulting her! The insults she tries to give shows prejudice because the main insults she gives are Jabs at Lilly’s social class and the problems with the middle class. Prejudice is a bad thing and is portrayed thoroughly in that light by Caroline Bentley. Ms. Elizabeth Bennett is the supreme example of prejudice’s ignorance.
Elizabethan prejudice against Mr.. Dared is the main plot of the whole story, explaining how prejudice was a major theme in the novel. After Lilly’s first meeting with Mr.. Dared she absolutely hates the man because of his ungentle manlike actions. After receiving a letter from Mr.. Dared however she realizes how prejudice she has been about Mr.. Dairy’s character, generosity, and affection for Lezzy. After reading his letter multiple times Elizabeth says, “How despicably I have acted! L, who have prided myself on my discernment! , who have valued myself on my abilities!
How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how Just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love has been my folly… I have concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself. ” (Austin 141). As previously stated this statement showed Elizabethan realization that she is a hypocrite being prejudiced against Mr.. Dared when she is so against the characters that act out of prejudice. Prejudice in Elizabeth seals the deal of it being a major theme because without her prejudice the story would be completely different.
The themes of Pride and Prejudice are so audacious that the title of “First Impressions” would not be fitting to Pride and Prejudice. The positives and negatives of pride are shown through Lady Catherine, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr.. Dared, while the wretchedness of prejudice is put under the magnifying glass by Caroline Bentley and Elizabeth. These two themes created one of the best high school curriculum books known to date and without the themes, Pride and Prejudice would not have even a title let alone a good story. The two themes best of all allowed a happy ending in which Elizabeth and Jane married happily ever after.