Why is Pride and Prejudice considered, by some, as a realistic and practical novel eventhough its major themes are love and marriage?In a certain analysis of Pride and Prejudice it was said that it...

Why is Pride and Prejudice considered, by some, as a realistic and practical novel eventhough its major themes are love and marriage?

In a certain analysis of Pride and Prejudice it was said that it is more of a practical and realistic novel and not based on love and marriage, overlooking the fact that it revolves around Mr.Darcy courting Elizabeth Bennet. In addition, that there are marriages of several couples of characters in the course of story that effect the course of the story such as: Mr.Bingley and Jane, Mr and Mrs. Bennet. Furthermore, what certain characteristics distinguish it as realistic and practical and not more love and marriage based?

Asked on by dartubi

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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When we make a close reading of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice we realize that the plot gears more toward the self-realization of Elizabeth Bennet as a woman who is able to get what he wants rather than to the realization of Mrs. Bennett of marrying off all her daughters.

If we go with the latter, the story would certainly be reduced to a mere tale of love, courtship, and marriage. However, there is a whole lot more drama and conflict that occurs in between each of the love stories of Jane and Elizabeth, to focus on just the most important two. There is more deception, combined with prejudice, social conflict, stress, wonder, and rebellion in the novel as focal points. The topics of marriage, courtship, and love come at a very far second or third place.

From the very beginning of the novel we can appreciate that Elizabeth is an independent thinker that refuses the idea of marrying for convenience. However, right as we find out about Mr. Bingley moving into town and potentially seeking for a wife, Austen detours toward the depiction of the Bennets, and focuses on Mrs. Bennet's insolent obsession with marriage and her annoying behavior.

The treatment of Mrs. Bennet colors the atmosphere of the Bennet household and takes a lot away from your typical tale of love conquering all. Instead, we sense the pressure of Mrs. Bennet, the dangers of the Bennet entailment going to Mr. Collins, and we can almost hear Mrs. Bennet's voice all over the scenes.

Similarly, the battle of wills between Darcy and Elizabeth, Darcy's excessively snobbish behavior, Bingley's feeble nature and the lack of communication that there is between he and Jane (even Charlotte Lucas mentions it!), and the uber obnoxious characters of Lady Catherine DeBourgh and Mr. Collins make for more action and social commentary than for love and courtship as the sole focal points in Austen's style.

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