What part do pride and prejudices play in the development of the story?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both pride and prejudice are the leading traits that cause the characters to drive forward the plot. Elizabeth is very proud, and this causes her to dislike Darcy because he wounds her pride at the first ball. He is also a proud man, and looks down on the women of a lower social class. This pride often causes them to be unjustly prejudiced against one another. When Elizabeth has false information about Darcy and accuses him of mistreating Wickham and breaking up the relationship between Jane and Bingley, Darcy's pride is wounded, and he is too proud to even defend himself and set her straight (which he does later, by way of a letter). Darcy is very prejudiced against Elizabeth due to her family and her social standing, and even when he proposes (the first time) he does in a very prideful and very prejudiced way -- he is certain that she will accept, which shows how proud he is, and he tells her that despite her family and her social class, he still wants to marry her. When she does not accept, partly because her pride is wounded, his own pride suffers from the rejection. Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship is driven by their pride and their prejudices. Other characters as well demonstrate these traits, sometimes very overtly, like Wickham, Mr. Collins, or Lady Catherine.

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Pride and Prejudice

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