Pride and Prejudice Themes

Pride and Prejudice key themes:

  • In Pride and Prejudice, pride is a central theme; misplaced pride generates both comedy and tragedy, while regulated pride is necessary to good decision-making.

  • Prejudice and swift judgment almost always lead to error and misunderstanding; Elizabeth misreads Darcy’s character, and Darcy is too hasty to condemn Elizabeth’s relations.

  • Austen showcases the human ability to change and grow in her protagonists, who both are brought to realize defects in their own characters through interaction with each other.

  • Class conflict comes to the forefront as the rise of the nouveau riche puts the aristocracy on the defensive regarding the value of parentage and pedigree.

  • Marriage is central to Pride and Prejudice as the qualities of good and bad marriages come under the microscope. Austen questions her society’s perceptions of class and money in marriage.


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The pursuit of a loving and prosperous marriage, and the ability of such unions to benefit all of society—despite contrary impulses and...

(The entire section is 982 words.)