What quotes could be used to argue Pride and Prejudice is an analysis and criticism of traditional class and social distinctions? What mode of organizing society does Austen offer in lieu of stultified and often unjust class markers?
Many quotes show Pride and Prejudice to be an analysis and criticism of traditional class distinctions. Two follow, and I strongly suggest looking at well as Elizabeth's impassioned response to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when that grand dame comes to tell Elizabeth that she is not good enough for Darcy.
In the first quote, Austen is being ironic: she does not, in fact, think of the Bingley sisters as "very fine ladies." She is using a superficial, outward, and searing description of what a "fine lady" is to outline that the sisters are in fact spiteful, shallow, conceited people who put on airs because they have money:
They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of making themselves agreeable when they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating...
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