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Lady Catherine de Bourgh is haughty, egotistical, and domineering. Because of her wealth and social standing she believes she can command anyone around her. People such as Mr. Collins contribute to this personality by acting as sycophants who bow to her every command. Her nephew Darcy initially does whatever his aunt requests out of respect for her, but by the end of the text, he makes the choice to go against her wishes and marry Elizabeth.
One of Austen's recurring themes was the role of money in society. She uses Lady Catherine de Bourgh as a symbol of the uppercrust of society who wield their money with social power. It would have been extremely unusual for Elizabeth to have been allowed to marry Darcy because of her low social and financial standing.
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