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

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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To what extent does social class influence the relationship of Darcy and Elizabeth? make reference to chapters where the influence of social class is evident

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In Pride and Prejudice Mr darcy comes from the Upper classes, old landed classes with power that rested in the land. He is an aristocrat who far outstrips the others around him, including Mr Bingley. Others such as Mr Wickham were in a position of looking toward him for a 'living' such as the grant of the parsonage, he also has connections to Lady Catherine and a marriage into her family is expected by Lady Catherine. Elizabeth comes from a lesser family. Her father is a 'gentleman' but he has married beneath him, and there is a 'small country town' feel about the famaily and their connections that makes them less attractive on the marriage stakes in an era where rich families marries less for love and more for connections. For this reason there are many problems for the two of them in being together, but ultimately the power of Mr Darcy is such that people will have to come around to his being with Elizabeth.

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