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