Pride and Prejudice Questions and Answers
by Jane Austen

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What are some examples of thesis statements that can effectively carry through the theme, appearance versus reality? My main arguement is that contrast, conflict and irony will shape the theme, appearance versus reality.

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Remember that a thesis should argue something specific about the text. Contrast, conflict, irony, and theme are broad, non-specific terms that you might consider narrowing. Try and think of how Austen uses instances of appearance versus reality. Some examples of this in the text are as follows:

1. George Wickham's appearance of goodness. Elizabeth even remarks to Jane, after finding out the truth about Wickham's nature, that between Darcy and Wickham, one has only the appearance of goodness, while the other one actually possesses it. Wickham convinces many other characters in the novel of his true and earnest nature only to later betray them.

2. Fitzwilliam Darcy's appearance of selfish arrogance. This is a much more complex example because Darcy is nearly as arrogant as he seems in the beginning of the novel. He learns that while he has always had good morals and intentions, he has not always acted upon them as he should. However, even though he appears to disdain Elizabeth Bennet, he is secretly falling in love with her for the first half of the novel.

3. For a slant on class issues, Lady Catherine would make a fine example. She is titled nobility, which connotes a certain refinement and sophistication, but in truth she is silly, weak, and vain.

Try and think about what these examples mean in the text. What is being communicated through all these characters who appear one way but are truly made of something different? If you can offer an interpretation of why you think this opposition is here in the text you will have a much stronger thesis. Remember, a thesis should present a narrowed argument that addresses a specific point in the text, and it should not state the obvious. You'll be better off pinpointing what you think the theme means.

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