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How can Pride and Prejudice be compared to Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "How it...

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freya199462 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:11 PM via web

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How can Pride and Prejudice be compared to Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "How it Happened"?

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

Posted February 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM (Answer #1)

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The short story "How it Happened" is all about pride and its terrible consequences. The writing medium introduced at the beginning is supposedly possessed by the spirit of a man who, as the reader only discovers at the end of the story, dies when he makes a decision to drive the new car himself even though he does not know how it works. Note what is said about this decision:

It was foolish, no doubt, to begin to learn a new system in the dark, but one often does foolish things, and one has not always to pay the full price for them.

The man in this story therefore acknowledges his pride, but he also sees himself as a man who likes to take risks and clearly has done so in the past. Of course, his pride has terrible consequences, as he himself dies and Perkins, his chauffeur, is badly hurt.

In the same way, Austen's novel is all about the consequences of pride. Darcy comes to realise at the end of this text that he has been incredibly proud and that he has risked losing the woman that he has come to love as a result. Note what he says to Elizabeth about his pride in the following quote:

As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit.

The connection between these two texts therefore is that both show the dangers of pride and what can happen if humans allow pride to dominate in their lives.

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