How is Pemberley's description representative of its owner's personality in Pride and Prejudice?  

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

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It is highly revealing that in Chapter 43 we meet Pemberley as the home of Darcy before we actually meet a very different and changed Darcy from the man we have come to know from the earlier chapters in the book. Often Austen uses buildings to reveal characters, and this is a prime example. Note how Pemberley is described as Lizzie sets eyes on it for the first time and how it symbolises the character of its owner:

It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned.

The house, like its owner, is handsome and has a good position. Yet what is most important to a novel that is all about first impressions and the gap between reality and artifice, Pemberley is what it is without any unnatural improvements. Note how the banks of the stream are "neither formal nor falsely adorned," indicating that Darcy is very natural in who he is. He does not pretend to be something that he is not, as so many other characters to in this novel. It is important, and rather ironic, that at this stage in the novel Lizzie remarks that to be the mistress of Pemberley would be "something."

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