The romance novel Pride and Prejudice () first published in 1813, it’s a romance novel by Jane Austen. The story voyages through the emotional development of Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist. Let’s jump straight to the Pride and Prejudice Critical Analysis.
Hertfordshire county. Don’t let the exciting name fool you. Hertfordshire county is a small town at the heart of old England, as depicted by Jane Austen in the book, Pride and Prejudice. The town is a dull place, so much so, the arrival of an eligible wealthy bachelor named Mr. Bingley causes untamed excitement. The excitement and gossip brought by this turn of events is Austen’s way of depicting the typical nature of society.
The Ways of Marriage
Typical of the olden days social lives, balls and dances were held in Hertfordshire county. These social gatherings were used by eligible bachelors as a way to find beautiful ladies or should I say prospective wives. Austen begins the book giving paramount acknowledgment to this practice by saying “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Austen, however, bases the book on an ironical aspect. The theme of marriage is present in plenty but Austen uses the Bennett family to show a different truth about marriage. The Bennett family consists of father and mother, Mr and Mrs Bennett and their five daughters. Mr and Mrs Bennett really want to marry their daughters off because of the hefty bride price associated with beautiful girls. Jane Austen uses them as an example of society’s wealth minded ways.
It Must Be Love
The two central characters of the Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy reflect a positive aspect of society. They start off on the wrong foot after Elizabeth overhears Darcy telling Mr. Bingley about his unwillingness to dance with her (Elizabeth). Eventually, the two mingle and Darcy is taken aback by Elizabeth’s charm and wit. Elizabeth, however, still despises him. Weeks go by and one day, Darcy, out of nowhere proposes to Elizabeth! Darcy, judging by his wealth, most girls back in the day would have said yes ten times over. Elizabeth surprises us by declining Darcy’s proposal. Austen brings out the concept of marrying out of love when later in the book, the persistent Darcy proposes to Elizabeth once more and this time, Elizabeth being sure she loved him and he loved her back, says yes.
Social status and class was a governing aspect back in the day. The rich would have special places in banquets, they would be treated with the utmost respect. The rich had a sense of pride about them. Difference in class meant the rich should only marry from similar ranks. Darcy’s marriage to Elizabeth is a clear radical example to this silly practice. In Darcy’s proposal, we see how he’s hurt and in a dilemma. Elizabeth was of lower social status and thus the marriage would look bad on Darcy’s part. Had it not been for Darcy’s unending love for Elizabeth, the two would not have become one.
Pride and Prejudice is a classic English novel. Apart from its abundance in irony, humour and sarcastic wit, the book is a reflection of society’s prideful and prejudicial ways. Jane Austen clearly outdid herself.
The book is fun and worth a read ().