The Summary of Pride and Prejudice
This essay examines the various ways that Jane Austen depicts the related topics of love and marriage in the novel. It explores both the pressures upon different characters to behave in certain traditional ways, and the choices which are open to them, and explains how the author cleverly steers the reader towards an understanding of love and marriage which challenges some of the prejudices of her time.
She believes all that he tells her unquestionably and is certainly very niaive. She is ignorant with regard to her family’s feelings and her actions outrage her father and cause her mother to be ‘taken ill immediately’. It places their home in ‘such confusion’ and forces Mr Darcy to pay out a substantial sum of money to the penniless Wickham. Lydia’s behaviour was not the norm and Elizabeth tells how her ‘conduct has been such as neither you, nor I, nor anybody can ever forget’ which implies that the elopement has tarnished the Bennett name lastingly. At the time the novel was written, women were expected to become ‘accomplished’ in things such as art, music and reading. Elizabeth is suitably talented at playing the piano and ‘has a good notion of fingering’ and Darcy tells how ‘no one admitted to the privilege of hearing’ her ‘can think of anything wanting.’ She is also ‘a great reader’ and so all in all is quite an accomplished girl. Lydia though does not, as far as I can tell, show much talent or interest in the areas of music and arts. She seems rather preoccupied with the soldiers in neighbouring Meryton, clothes, balls and gossip. Although Elizabeth is generally well liked and highly thought of, she does not completely live up to expectations in her society. As I have discussed previously she doesn’t, like most girls of the time, consider money an important enough reason to marry and hence refuses two marriage proposals. In this period, women were considered second class citizens in society, as equality had not yet been established between the sexes. This makes Elizabeth an even more remarkable character as she is by no means intimidated by Mr Darcy and is intelligent and assured enough to tease and mock him, questioning his actions and picking him up on his past wrongs. Her disposition is so confident that she has enough conviction to stand up for herself and express her views cleverly regardless of the company she is keeping. This is demonstrated when she stands her ground when confronted by Lady Catherine De Bourgh, telling her in no uncertain terms that her prospective marriage to Mr Darcy is none of her business. In the period that the novel was written, this would not have been considered acceptable conduct as Lady Catherine is of much higher social status than Elizabeth. Lady De Bourgh explains how she has ‘not been accustomed to language as this’ and goes on to ask Elizabeth – ‘do you know who I am?’
For instance, even though society encourages women to marry wealthy men, the character of Elizabeth shows that one can still act in accordance with his or her opinion.
However, the movie is persuasive, witty, powerful, and entertaining that makes it to be far superior to the novel.
Austen, Jane. 2017. Pride and Prejudiced. Seattle: Amazon Classics.
Awan, Abdul, and Ambreen Ali Nasir. 2018. “Matrimonial Issues and Marxist Approach in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.” Global Journal of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities 673 (4): 651-676.
Wan, Yongkun. 2019. “Study on Jane Austin’s Original Views toward Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.” Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Education and Social Science, Yunnan Province, China, Francis Academic Press, 349-351.
Wilhelm, Julia. 2014. The Austen Formula: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. Hamburg: Anchor Academic Publishing.