Discuss the claim that Elizabeth's prejudice stems from pride and Darcy's pride from prejudice.
What makes Pride and Predjudice such a rich book is that all of what is said in the above posts is true -- it is not as simple as one quality as shown in each character. The issues of pride and prejudice are completely intermingled, especially in this novel. While the plot line of the novel may seem a bit "soap opera-ish" (my students' word) the thematic point that Austen is making is much more complex and interesting than just a who marries whom kind of story. It is that cleverness and complexity...
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Elizabeth takes a disliking to Darcy from the start because he considers himself "above" the rural folk he has to associate with. She believes him incapable of noble feeling and is ready to accept Wickham's story of how Darcy ill-treated him. Therefore, because Darcy stung her pride, she pre-judges everything he does, sees his actions through a desire to see the worst in him. Darcy is prejudges the country bumpkins he finds at the party. He assumes that no good thing can come from such unsophisticated bumpkins. He has to hold himself above them, hold on to his pride because that's the only way to maintain his prejudgement.