Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy with neutral expressions on their faces

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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I need a brief break-down of the themes in Pride and Prejudice, with examples.

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The first theme in the novel is that of pride. Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and the Bingley sisters are examples of a certain type of pride of very wealthy aristocratic families who tend to judge people to a degree on their lineage rather than on inherit qualities of intellect or moral nature.

Another major theme in the novel is that of prejudice, of forming quick, superficial judgements based on insufficient evidence, as is exemplified by Elizabeth's early misjudgment of Darcy. One also sees pride in Elizabeth's judgment of Mr. Collins. Although she would have been quite unhappy married to Collins, her prejudice against him makes her blind to the fact that he is not a bad husband for the pragmatic and sensible Charlotte Lucas. In a sense, though, prejudice is a form of intellectual pride. 

Other major themes are class conflict and the role of marriage in the lives of women. 

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