Pride and PrejudiceThe passage which best relates the theme of Pride and Prejudice,
by Jane Austin, is on page 125, in the middle of the page. This is
where Mr. Darcy is proposing to Elizabeth, and is informing her of the
inferiority of her family and connections.
This passage is significant
because it is one of the few times where the characters openly
acknowledge that the sole purpose of a person’s life is to achieve a
high salary and a high social position.
It is evident from every point of the story that all people care
about is marrying into a higher social rank. And even for those who
are comfortable with their current status, it is imperative that they
only marry someone of at least equivalent rank. This idea possesses
every character in the story and seems to motivate every action that
The superficiality of this idea goes so far as to break the
bonds of love. Darcy is willing to insult a girl as he is proposing to
her, just to inform her of the what he has to go through in order to
stoop to someone of her level. Regardless of what Darcy thought
his chances were at acceptance, he was still addressing a girl that
barely knows him, and actually dislikes him. That is not a situation
where insults are likely to bring results.
This point is compounded because Elizabeth only gets slightly
insulted by this comment. Her initial refusal of Darcy was based
almost totally on his actions towards Jane and Bingley’s relationship,
and his treatment of Mr. Wickham. However, she is barely perturbed by
this comment of Darcy regarding her family.
This is so strange because
one would expect Elizabeth to at least be equally mad for personal
insults as well as for what was done to others.
Pride and Prejudice ends with Elizabeth and Darcy each
overcoming their anger against each other, and falling in love.
However, this touching scene is ruined because of the appearance of
Lady Catherine. She demands Elizabeth to marry Darcy, and tells Darcy
that it would look very negatively on his family if he were to marry
someone as “low class” as Elizabeth.
So even one’s family is willing
to break up “true love” in order to maintain rank.
This theme runs throughout the entire story and really destroys
the entire thing. Other stories, such as Romeo and Juliet, have the
same sort of “forbidden” marriages, and since those arrive out of real
situations, they add more interest to the story. Here, it is simply
prejudice by rich people against poorer people, which only detracts
from the writing.
So while this theme may have existed in reality
during Jane Austen’s lifetime, it should not have been included in the