In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, help me compare and contrast the Bingley-Darcy and Jane-Elizabeth relationships.
In both of these pairs, there is a secondary individual and a primary one. Bingley and Jane are secondary while Darcy and Elizabeth are primary. The interesting paradox (seeming contradiction between truth and what is) is that the two secondary individuals teach the two primary ones lessons and are proven correct in situations where the primaries are proven incorrect. The foundation of each of these pairs is a deep mutual bond of love, esteem, admiration and friendship.
While Bingley and Jane are, for the most part, followers of Darcy and Elizabeth, respectively, they are also the voices of reason while Darcy and...
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While agreeing with the above answer, it is important to also explore the reasons why Darcy and Bingley, and Jane and Elizabeth all differ in comparison to each other. Each character is a foil of one another, meaning they compliment what the other character lacks. Elizabeth is quick to judge while Jane shows more compassion and trust, Bingely is happy to participate in society while Darcy seems to show disdain for it. We know all of this to be true, but when exploring their character and backstory, there is evidence that shows us not only what they are but rather, why they are.
Darcy, for example, holds much more responsibility than Bingely. As his parents are passed, he is in charge of managing Derbyshire, a large region and his grand estate, Pemberly. Darcy, earns a yearly income far greater than Bingely's and therefore is responsible for maintaining that income and for choosing a wife that suits his status in society. Lastly, he is the guardian of his younger sister, Georgiana, of whom he has a deep affection for. After the Wickham affair, he truly must have learned how important is role is in her life and how easily he can be taken advantage of, causing him to be cautious and judgemental.
Regarding Elizabeth and Jane's relationship, Jane is very aware that as the firstborn of a family with no sons, it is her duty to marry well. Love and affection will have to come second, which makes her a great deal more sensible and grounded. Elizabeth has a bit more freedom of choice which gives her the privilege of being a little picky. Another difference is Elizabeth's self-education, as her father's favorite, she takes after him in her love for reading. It is likely that this may have led to not only romantic ideas but also her cunning wit and lack of respect for the rules of society.