Who is "Pride" and who is "Prejudice?" Explain.
In Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice, one could argue that Fitzwilliam Darcy symbolically represents pride while Elizabeth Bennet represents prejudice. Darcy is depicted as an extremely wealthy aristocrat who hails from an affluent family and is very self-possessed. Unlike his close friend Mr. Bingley, Darcy is a reserved man who comes across as arrogant and cold.
Initially, Darcy is not attracted to Elizabeth and feels that her family is significantly below his social status, which is why he acts dismissive and callous towards her during their first meeting. Even though Darcy's feelings for Elizabeth begin to grow, his pride prevents him from appropriately expressing his emotions and overlooking Elizabeth's humble social status.
Elizabeth Bennet embodies prejudice when she initially perceives Darcy as an arrogant, rude man and immediately labels him as an unscrupulous, selfish person. Elizabeth resents Darcy for his proud attitude, and her prejudice against him influences her to...
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The answer to the question, Who is "Pride" and who is "Prejudice" is: Darcy is Pride, and Elizabeth is Prejudice. But these outright impressions of the two protagonists of each other is judgmental. This overly critical review needs scrutiny.
Darcy is neither proud nor is Elizabeth prejudiced. How then can the question be answered and the title justified?
We dig deep into the English societal hierarchy of the Romantic Era to better comprehend the traits.
British Imperialism rules the world with seven classes constituting the British society.
The royal family is the first class in the seven-class echelon. The second class is the peers – the dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, barons. The peerage subclasses are given by the mnemonic, “Do Men Ever Visit Boston?” (( Do Duke > Men Marquis > Ever Earl / Count > Visit Viscount > Boston Baron )) summarizes the nobility.
Daughter of an Earl, Lady Catherine unleashes unshackled arrogance, an insulting authority over anyone crossing her path. She enjoys this impunity.
She is styled “Lady Catherine” a noblewoman. Entailment cannot strip her of her property rights. This security consolidates her arrogance. She epitomizes class snobbery and has the audacity to hurt others.
Darcy’s income is £10,000 a year is the second class. Bingley with £5,000 is third class. The Bennets are landed gentry with £2,000 a year – fourth class.
Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners, a masterpiece. Austen recreates the Romantic Era echoing arrogance, and social mores the victims of which are mostly women. She mirrors the obnoxiousness of the domestic affairs of the social elite.
In chapter 56, Lady Catherine visits Longbourn. She pejoratively commands Elizabeth not to accept Darcy’s proposal. She insults Lizzy saying she comes of inferior birth.
The entail to disinherit the Bennet sisters perturbs Elizabeth, but cannot swerve her from her resolve. Austen’s protagonist, Lizzy fights her antagonists with courage and determination.
The author, uses a symbolic literary device, an allegory by renaming the rejected manuscripts, First Impressions to Pride and Prejudice, gluing the two words by the conjunction ‘and’.
Finally, capitalization of the two abstract nouns bound by ‘and’ symbolizes that Pride is bound by prejudice. AFFLUENCE is PRIDE, and POWER is PREJUDICE – they are ingrained in Aristocracy.
Darcy and Lizzy realize their follies, make amends, and purify themselves to be true to each other. Lizzy now has PRIDE for Darcy. Austen shows true love is a positive force. It prevails.