Jane Austen

Jane Austen expresses her opinion on all this clearly enough by the fact that only her silliest characters have such sentiments (while Mr. Bennet says "He is rich, to be sure, and you may have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. But will they make you happy?"). However, Jane Austen does not intend to simply condemn Charlotte Lucas (who finds consolation in "her home and her housekeeping, her parish and her poultry, and all their dependent concerns") for marrying Mr. Collins -- Charlotte\'s dilemma is a real one.

Elizabeth has to learn to control her prejudices. She forms her opinions

very quickly and does not change them easily. Darcy has to learn to

evaluate people on characteristics other than social rank. He is too

proud of himself, as well as his high social class, and it affects his

ability to relate to other people. Both Elizabeth and Darcy have to

change a little and come to understand each other before they can be

together. In the novel, the theme of pride and prejudice is first

introduced in chapter three at the dance. Darcy, acting on his own pride,

insults Elizabeth. He claims that she is not handsome enough to tempt

him. Elizabeth, overhearing his insult, considers his remark as a direct

stab at her own pride. This succeeds in invoking a prejudice in her,

against him that remains for the greater part of the novel. She feels

that he is far too arrogant and proud.

This is Austen\'s way of emphasizing to the reader Elizabeth\'s

fault of extreme prejudice. Whenever Elizabeth complains of Darcy\'s

faults, she also touches upon one of her own. For example, Darcy\'s

disapproval of Wickham is very similar to Elizabeth\'s disapproval of

Darcy. Elizabeth is quick to see the faults of others, however she is

reluctant to see her own faults. Her first clue that she has allowed her

prejudices to stand in the way of judgement is that she was wrong about

Mr. Wickham, which consequently makes her wrong about Mr. Darcy.

Elizabeth knows that she must learn to be less prejudiced. By getting

together, they benefit each other. Elizabeth makes Darcy realize his

faults and vice-versa. Other ways of looking at the novel come to

the same basic conclusion of compromise. " Pride and Prejudice uses the

familiar anti-thesis between art and nature as the ground of the book\'s

action. Elizabeth is portrayed on the side of nature, feeling, impulse,

originality, spontaneity....it wasn\'t possible for Jane Austen to

deprecate art all together.. the movement of the book is compromise, as

Elizabeth learns to take class into account, Darcy comes to share

Elizabeth\'s genius for treating all people with respect for their natural

dignities"(Klinger, Jane Austen and the war of ideas, 199) The

difference between Pride and Prejudice and other eighteenth century

novels, is that the heroines differ. "Instead of the innocent,

impulsive fallible girl, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice dislikes,

teases, and ends in part by debunking the hero... Where other heroines

were sycophants of social and masculine prerogative, Elizabeth Bennet is

fearless and independent." (Butler, 199) The difference in the

novel, is in Austen\'s approach to Elizabeth. By making her as

independent, and lively as she does, perhaps she is trying to show society

that this is acceptable. If society would learn to compromise and lose a

bit of it\'s rigidness, as Darcy did, then people would be able to fully

appreciate characters like Elizabeth Bennet. Marriage is the only

logical conclusion to this novel. Had the novel ended any other way, it

would have had no point. As said before, the movement of the novel is

towards compromise. Through marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy are making the

ultimate compromise. They are both changing a little about themselves, so

that their marriage can be successful. Had the novel ended without

marriage, then the realizations on both Elizabeth, and Darcy\'s behalf

would have been for nothing. Also, through the novel we see that Jane

Austen is using marriage as a way of representing society. An ideal

marriage is representative of an ideal society. If people used the same

methods as a couple would use to obtain an ideal marriage, then perhaps

we would be able to obtain an ideal society. By researching Jane Austen

we know that most of the heros and heroines end up at the end of the story

in an ideal marriage; "to do all her heroines justice, we must conclude

that they all marry for love, and not for other considerations. As to the

social and monetary aspects of their marriages, Jane Austen makes