Analyze the theme of class in ''Pride and Prejudice''?Class is the target of much of the novel's criticism of society.

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Class is one of the major themes in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The novel criticizes the clear and rigid social class divisions in the British society much prevalent at that time. In fact, the pride and prejudice of many characters stem from their higher social class. We see that the Bennets belong to middle class, and are considered inferior to families of Darcy and Bingley, who clearly belong to a higher class.

Austen comically depicts and satirizes social class demarcations by a character like Mr. Collins, who is full of disgust and extremely vain because of his belonging to a certain social status. Similar to Mr. Collins is Lady Catherine, who makes her social status so obvious.

Social class comes in between love and marriages also, and we see it causing delay and obstacles in the relationships of Elizabeth-Darcy and Jane-Bingley (though in the end true love does defeat social class). We also see the Charlotte Lucas marrying Mr. Collins for class elevation, which is terrible.

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Pride and Prejudice

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