What is the central theme of Pride and Prejudice?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The central theme of the novel Pride and Prejudice is basically the consistent search of true love despite every obstacle that comes our way.

The main character of the story, Elizabeth Bennet, embodies the central theme by being a woman way ahead of her peers in terms of what she wants in life. In a time where women could only aspire to be wives and mothers just to be able to fit in society, Elizabeth insists in finding the love of her life. She is far from the ideals of a prosperous and rich marriage. She just wants to love someone who would love her for who she is.

Along the way, she meets Mr. Darcy: A man who is proud, elitist, and instilled in her every possible feeling of anger and hatred. However, this man falls in love with her. This, he considers a "hindrance" for his family's good name. A big surprise comes his way when he realizes that Elizabeth is more than capable to reject him- money and everything.

Once Darcy and Elizabeth come to a happy medium, and some truths become known, they are on their way to the path to love until social ruin looms over the Bennets as a result of Lydia's elopement with Mr. Wickham. Additionally, the resistance from Darcy's family to mingle with the Bennets create another obstacle to overcome.

However, love ruled in the end, all problems were resolved, and Darcy and Elizabeth were able to overcome every odd to become a couple. Therefore, the theme of "a love that conquers all" is the essence of the story, and serves as its central theme.

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