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Charlotte is older 27 and is grateful to receive a proposal that will guarantee her a comfortable home. Elizabeth is aghast at such pragmatism in matters of love. There it becomes clear that Miss Bingley does not want to resume their friendship and Jane is upset, though very composed. She expects Mr Darcy to marry her daughter. Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth how Mr Darcy managed to save a friend from a bad match. Elizabeth realises the story must refer to Jane and is horrified that Mr Darcy has interfered.


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Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth declaring his love for her. She rejects him angrily, stating that she could not love a man who has caused her sister such unhappiness and further accuses him of treating Wickham unjustly. The latter accusation angers Mr Darcy and he accuses her family of lacking propriety and suggests he has been kinder to Bingley than to himself.

Later, Mr Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter, explaining that Wickham had refused the living and was given money for it instead. Wickham proceeded to waste the money and when impoverished, asked for the living again. After being refused, he tried to elope with Darcy's year-old sister, Georgiana, for her large dowry. Mr Darcy also writes that he believed Jane, because of her reserved behaviour, did not love Bingley.

Mr Darcy apologises for hurting Jane and Elizabeth. Some months later, Elizabeth and the Gardiners visit Darcy's estate in Derbyshire, Pemberley after Elizabeth ascertains that the owner will not be there. On a tour, the housekeeper describes him as being kind and generous. When Mr Darcy returns unexpectedly, he is exceedingly gracious and later invites Elizabeth and the Gardiners to meet his sister and Mr Gardiner to go fishing.

“Feelings Ought to Be Investigated”

Elizabeth is surprised and delighted by their treatment. She then receives news that her sister Lydia had eloped with Wickham. She tells Mr Darcy immediately and departs in haste, believing she will never see him again since Lydia has ruined the family's good name. After an agonising wait, Wickham has agreed to marry Lydia. With some veneer of decency restored, Lydia visits her family and tells Elizabeth that Mr Darcy was at her wedding.

Mrs Gardiner informs Elizabeth that it is Mr Darcy who made the match, at great expense and trouble to himself and hints that he may have "another motive" for doing so. Lady Catherine, having heard rumours that Elizabeth intends to marry Mr Darcy, visits Elizabeth and demands that she promise not to accept his proposal. Elizabeth refuses and the outraged Lady Catherine leaves. Darcy, heartened by Elizabeth's response, again proposes to her and is accepted. Elizabeth has difficulty in convincing her father that she is marrying for love, not position and wealth, but in the end Mr Bennet is convinced.

Many critics take the title as the start when analysing the themes of Pride and Prejudice but, Robert Fox cautions against reading too much into the title, because commercial factors may have played a role in its selection. It should be pointed out that the qualities of the title are not exclusively assigned to one or the other of the protagonists; both Elizabeth and Darcy display pride and prejudice.

Our Ambassadors

A theme in much of Austen's work is the importance of environment and upbringing in developing young people's character and morality. Darcy has been taught to be principled and scrupulously honourable but he is also proud and overbearing. Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing that all great novels consider, the search for self.

REVIEWING JANE AUSTEN NOVELS - Discussion

And it is the first great novel that teaches us this search is as surely undertaken in the drawing room making small talk as in the pursuit of a great white whale or the public punishment of adultery. The opening line of the novel famously announces: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Readers are poised to question whether or not these single men need a wife, or if the need is dictated by the "neighbourhood" families and their daughters who require a "good fortune". Marriage is a complex social activity that takes political economy and economy generally, into account. In the case of Charlotte Lucas, the seeming success of her marriage lies in the comfortable financial circumstances of their household, while the relationship between Mr and Mrs Bennet serves to illustrate bad marriages based on an initial attraction and surface over substance economic and psychological.

The Bennets' marriage is an example that the youngest Bennet, Lydia, re-enacts with Wickham and the results are far from felicitous. Although the central characters, Elizabeth and Darcy, begin the novel as hostile acquaintances and unlikely friends, they eventually work toward a better understanding of themselves and each other, which frees them to truly fall in love. This does not eliminate the challenges of the real differences in their technically-equivalent social status as gentlemen and their female relations.

It does however provide them with a better understanding of each other's point of view from the different ends of the rather wide scale of differences within that category. When Elizabeth rejects Darcy's first proposal, the argument of marrying for love is introduced.

Elizabeth only accepts Darcy's proposal when she is certain she loves him and her feelings are reciprocated. Money plays a fundamental role in the marriage market, for the young ladies seeking a well-off husband and for men who wish to marry a woman of means. Marrying a woman of a rich family also ensured a linkage to a high family, as is visible in the desires of Bingley's sisters to have their brother married to Georgiana Darcy.

Mrs Bennet is frequently seen encouraging her daughters to marry a wealthy man of high social class. In chapter 1, when Mr Bingley arrives, she declares "I am thinking of his marrying one of them". Inheritance was by descent but could be further restricted by entailment , which would restrict inheritance to male heirs only. In the case of the Bennet family, Mr Collins was to inherit the family estate upon Mr Bennet's death and his proposal to Elizabeth would have ensured her security but she refuses his offer. Inheritance laws benefited males because most women did not have independent legal rights until the second half of the 19th century and women's financial security depended on men.

For the upper-middle and aristocratic classes, marriage to a man with a reliable income was almost the only route to security for the woman and the children she was to have. Austen might be known now for her "romances" but the marriages in her novels engage with economics and class distinction. Pride and Prejudice is hardly the exception. When Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, he cites their economic and social differences as an obstacle his excessive love has had to overcome, though he still anxiously harps on the problems it poses for him within his social circle. His aunt, Lady Catherine, later characterises these differences in particularly harsh terms when she conveys what Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy will become, "Will the shades of Pemberley be thus polluted?

The Bingleys present a particular problem for navigating class. Though Caroline Bingley and Mrs Hurst behave and speak of others as if they have always belonged in the upper echelons of society, Austen makes a point to explain that the Bingleys are trade rather than inheritors and rentiers.

Bingley, unlike Darcy, does not own his property, but has portable and growing wealth that makes him a good catch on the marriage market for poorer daughters of the gentry, like Jane Bennet, ambitious cits merchant class , etc. Class plays a central role in the evolution of the characters and Jane Austen's radical approach to class is seen as the plot unfolds. There is an undercurrent of the old Anglo-Norman upper class hinted at in the story, as suggested by the names of Fitzwilliam Darcy and his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh; Fitzwilliam , D'Arcy , de Bourgh Burke , and even Bennet , are traditional Norman surnames.

Through their interactions and their critiques of each other, Darcy and Elizabeth come to recognise their faults and work to correct them. Elizabeth meditates on her own mistakes thoroughly in chapter I, who have valued myself on my abilities! How humiliating is this discovery! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind.

But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself. Other characters rarely exhibit this depth of understanding or at least are not given the space within the novel for this sort of development. Tanner writes that Mrs Bennet in particular, "has a very limited view of the requirements of that performance; lacking any introspective tendencies she is incapable of appreciating the feelings of others and is only aware of material objects".

Pride and Prejudice , like most of Austen's works, employs the narrative technique of free indirect speech , which has been defined as "the free representation of a character's speech, by which one means, not words actually spoken by a character, but the words that typify the character's thoughts, or the way the character would think or speak, if she thought or spoke".

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Though Darcy and Elizabeth are very alike, they are also considerably different. Darcy's first letter to Elizabeth is an example of this as through his letter, the reader and Elizabeth are both given knowledge of Wickham's true character. Austen is known to use irony throughout the novel especially from viewpoint of the character of Elizabeth Bennet.

She conveys the "oppressive rules of femininity that actually dominate her life and work, and are covered by her beautifully carved trojan horse of ironic distance. Seen in this way, Free Indirect Discourse is a distinctly literary response to an environmental concern, providing a scientific justification that does not reduce literature to a mechanical extension of biology, but takes its value to be its own original form.

Austen began writing the novel after staying at Goodnestone Park in Kent with her brother Edward and his wife in Austen made significant revisions to the manuscript for First Impressions between and From the large number of letters in the final novel, it is assumed that First Impressions was an epistolary novel.

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In renaming the novel, Austen probably had in mind the "sufferings and oppositions" summarised in the final chapter of Fanny Burney 's Cecilia , called "Pride and Prejudice", where the phrase appears three times in block capitals. In the years between the completion of First Impressions and its revision into Pride and Prejudice , two other works had been published under that name: a novel by Margaret Holford and a comedy by Horace Smith. Austen had published Sense and Sensibility on a commission basis, whereby she indemnified the publisher against any losses and received any profits, less costs and the publisher's commission.

Egerton published the first edition of Pride and Prejudice in three hardcover volumes on 27 January A third edition was published in Foreign language translations first appeared in in French; subsequent translations were published in German, Danish, and Swedish. Chapman's scholarly edition of Pride and Prejudice , first published in , has become the standard edition on which many modern published versions of the novel are based.

The novel was originally published anonymously, as were all of Austen's novels. However, whereas her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility was presented as being written "by a Lady," Pride and Prejudice was attributed to "the Author of Sense and Sensibility ". This began to consolidate a conception of Austen as an author, albeit anonymously. Elizabeth is surprised and delighted by their treatment. She then receives news that her sister Lydia had eloped with Wickham. She tells Mr Darcy immediately and departs in haste, believing she will never see him again since Lydia has ruined the family's good name.

After an agonising wait, Wickham has agreed to marry Lydia. With some veneer of decency restored, Lydia visits her family and tells Elizabeth that Mr Darcy was at her wedding. Mrs Gardiner informs Elizabeth that it is Mr Darcy who made the match, at great expense and trouble to himself and hints that he may have "another motive" for doing so. Lady Catherine, having heard rumours that Elizabeth intends to marry Mr Darcy, visits Elizabeth and demands that she promise not to accept his proposal.


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Elizabeth refuses and the outraged Lady Catherine leaves. Darcy, heartened by Elizabeth's response, again proposes to her and is accepted. Elizabeth has difficulty in convincing her father that she is marrying for love, not position and wealth, but in the end Mr Bennet is convinced.

Many critics take the title as the start when analysing the themes of Pride and Prejudice but, Robert Fox cautions against reading too much into the title, because commercial factors may have played a role in its selection. It should be pointed out that the qualities of the title are not exclusively assigned to one or the other of the protagonists; both Elizabeth and Darcy display pride and prejudice. A theme in much of Austen's work is the importance of environment and upbringing in developing young people's character and morality.