What is the main message of Pride and Prejudice?

The main messages of Pride and Prejudice are that first impressions aren't always correct, that love and respect are the key to a happy marriage, and that inflexible gender roles are unfairly limiting.

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The main message of Pride and Prejudice is that one should not make hasty judgments based on appearances, a message emphasized both in the current title and an earlier one Austen considered, First Impressions. This message is clear in the case of the two protagonists. Darcy judges Elizabeth based on her family background, while she (with some reason) thinks him proud and haughty and later believes that he has treated Wickham unfairly. However, there is some element of judgment by appearances in many of the relationships in the novel.

The author mentions, for instance, that Mr. Bennet chose his wife based on her physical attractions, not taking the trouble to find out whether she had any sense, and he has regretted his choice ever since. Lydia makes a similarly superficial judgment when she runs away with Wickham.

The tendency to judge based on appearances also extends to assumptions that other people must have the same values and requirements as one has oneself. Elizabeth is correct to reject Mr....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 970 words.)

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