Feminism in Pride and Prejudice

Feminism in Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Society is divided into classes, which leads some people to believe that they are more "classy" when they merely are just arrogant. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a novel about the social classes, their manners, and what becomes of the social classes when they are mixed.

Elizabeth Bennet is the second daughter of five. She is intelligent, witty, lovely, clever, and honest. She is the protagonist of the novel. Not belonging to the "upper" class, Elizabeth is judgmental of people in the higher classes. Her male counterpart is Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is the wealthy "high class" friend of Bingley, who feels the lower class people of Meryton are his inferiors. Darcy is rude to those not of his social standing. In the beginning the two characters show opposing personalities. She is kind and lovely and he is conceited and proud.
Despite their class different and personalities, Elizabeth and Darcy's similarities begins with their introduction. Both are judgmental of each other due to their social classes.

Elizabeth views Darcy as an "uppity" snobbish man who feels he has social superiority, and he looks down on her because they are not of equal social standings. Elizabeth's dislike of Darcy begins when he refuses to dance with her and anyone else who is not rich and well bred. She is lead to believe that he is too proud to be liked. He comments about her looks, "she is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me," (7) reinforcing his arrogance and ego. His effort to maintain his social standing and image leads to a mutual dislike. Her contempt is only strengthened when she is informed that he is the one who persuaded Bingley to move away from Jane. The irony in the story is that Darcy becomes attracted to Elizabeth because of her sharp tongue and intelligence. He "had never been as bewitched by any women as he was by her." (38)

Their arguments, such as over the ideal women, provided Darcy access to a deeper aspect of her...

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