In Pride and Prejudice, is the condescending attitude that Miss Bingley has towards the Bennets justified?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a very apt question to ask, because one of the major themes of this novel seems to be whether pride is a good or bad characteristic. The title of course draws attention to pride, but if we relate this discussion to the relationship between Darcy and Lizzie, we see that again and again pride is something that is discussed in its various forms. Consider what Darcy says to Lizzie in Chapter 11:

But pride--where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.

Part of the journey that Lizzie must undergo is to realise how true Darcy's words are, and when Darcy says to Lizzie, "Did you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?", she is forced to realise that pride, although it can be negative, is actually a very positive characteristic if used wisely and judiciously.

So, to return to your question, Miss Bingley is definitely not right in the way that she treats the Bennets. However, the novel seems to suggest that the pride she has in her station is not necessarily something that is completely negative.

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