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How closely do the characters in 'Pride and prejudice' reflect the culture of the...

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ramanuj12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM via web

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How closely do the characters in 'Pride and prejudice' reflect the culture of the community? Answer with suitable illustrations

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2010 at 12:26 AM (Answer #1)

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The most important characters in Pride and Prejudice are representatives of their time in their mannerisms, expectations, ways of life, and their vision of themselves and others.

Mrs Bennet- She is the typical pre-Victorian woman whose obsession to marry off their daughters to a suitable character with money is a symptom of her times. With five daughters and no male to succeed the estate, it was merely impossible to think of their future without a husband, who would bring a woman prestige, money, status and shelter. Her preoccupation and her fixation in particularly aristocratic men was quite emphatic on this.

Lizzie- Elizabeth is atypical of her time, in comparison to all the other characters. She is ahead of her time in that she is free thinking, free-willing, opinionated, and cares very little about her mother's desires. In this, Lizzie will not be a representative of her time, but certainly understands her rank and position as a woman.

Jane- is the typical submissive and circumstantial character whose existence is dependant on another character. In this case, her relationship with Bingley denotes a woman quite kind, loving, and caring, but definitely with the same mentality as her mother although not as obsessive nor openly obvious.

Mr. Bennet- He is quite the designated wall of the family. He is an aloof male character who treats his wife with not enough attention (and who would?) and prefers his rights as a male of the family such as "enjoying his book in his library alone", and other forms of benefit which he considers needful for his survival in a house of 5 girls and one very annoying wife.

Darcy- He is the snobbish, aristocratic, full of himself dial tone which eventually opens up to Lizzie, but it does not happen easy, as in this time and place of society aristocrats are considered superior in rank and status by virtue of being blue bloods (or related to), and by this, they establish themselves as rulers supreme of society.

Mr. Collins is by far the most representative sad case of his time, considering the job he elected for himself-clergy, and his patronage from Lady Catherin de Bourgh, whom he idolizes in a godlike way precisely because of her rank and position. Unknowingly, he allows her to control his life, and do with him as she wishes, all in the name of the patronage.

Charlotte is as sad as Collins. She even admits that she wants to marry Collins just because of he provides her with security, amidst his intolerable self-centered behavior, and despite of him having also the personality of a dial tone as well. She actually is quite the representative of the pre and post Victorian woman who is bound entirely by the social impositions of her time.

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