To what extent is nature itself a character in Pride & Prejudice?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Nature's role in Jane Austen's novel Pride & Prejudice is one which some readers may overlook. Given that nature, in the novel, is not personified as it is in other movements (such as Naturalism), it can be very easy to overlook its importance in the text.

One will most likely notice how Elizabeth takes in the natural views when first arriving at Mr. Darcy's home, Pemberley. Upon her arrival, she is immediately taken aback by its intense beauty. Her consideration of how the home and landscape speaks to the true insight of Darcy causes her to reevaluate him and his character.

Therefore, nature can be seen to be a character in the novel given its impact. It is not the kind of impact one may expect when reveling in nature itself. Instead, the natural images surrounding Pemberley have impact through its ability to change Elizabeth's mind about Darcy himself.


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