Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Citation (APA): Austen, J. (2013). The Jane Austen Collection: The Complete Works (Includes Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Lady Susan & more. Plus Audiobooks) [Kindle iOS version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com

Third person limited OMNISCIENT, from Elizabeth’s perspective.

Pride and Prejudice

The Title

The title of the book gives us two of the main themes in the book: pride and prejudice. Pride can be positive, in fact, it can motivate one to have decorum and integrity. It can also be negative, as excessive pride comes before a fall, and is seen as arrogant and judgmental, as it causes one to believe oneself better than others (to show prejudice).

Likewise, prejudice is sometimes appropriate and is not only “pre judging”. One might suffer prejudice in law as a result of an action that deserves a prejudicial outcome, one that does not benefit one. If someone were to elope during the time the novel was written, the prejudice one would suffer might be viewed as apt and deserving. The entire family would suffer prejudice. However, prejudice is often undeserved. As a result of excessive pride in one’s station, class or some other social advantage, one might look down at people whom one feels are below that station. This is known as class prejudice and is still evident today, but is perhaps not as marked. In the novel, even marrying below one’s station was difficult, and tradesmen, even wealthy ones, were considered of a lower set as their wealth was not inherited along with snooty titles. This seems ridiculous to us as we know that intermarriage of the wealthy within a small gene pool is far from ideal, so instead of keeping a bloodline pure, it actually weakens it.

The third theme is class, demonstrated through the recurring motifs of wealth and status. Houses often symbolize this, and tell us a great deal about the characters. Think about Lady Catherine’s tasteless house compared to Pemberley, or the Collins’s pokey house vs Longbourne’s more spacious modesty.


The story itself is set predominantly in the English countryside, much like Jane Austen’s own countryside home. She would have had great insight into the concerns of people like the Bennet family, and has been able to faithfully portray their concerns and day-to-day lives. Many of the places within boroughs are fictional.

Quotes and Notes

The concerns of wealth and station are immediately apparent in the opening lines. Even though the lines are tongue-in-cheek, they suggest that the main concern of young single people was to marry, and that if a man had money, he would need to find a wife. Why is this amusing? How does this attitude differ today? Is a wife a commodity that one needs to acquire, like a nice house or a carriage? Jane Austen never married, preferring the life of a writer, and this novel would seem to be a pointed commentary on the absurdity of an existence that focuses purely on marrying off one’s daughters, or finding an eligible woman to marry.

Page 235

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Indeed! By whom? Think on this. Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughters, all unmarried, and to have quite this many girls is problematic with limited means. Furthermore, Mr Bennet cannot seem to take anything seriously, and in a sense is prejudice against the silliness of his wife, and frivolity of his three young daughters. This shows how a lack of familial pride can actually be a problem.

Page 236

“They have none of them much to recommend them,” replied he; “they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters.”

Page 236

You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.” “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”

They are clearly not intellectual equals, and he teases her for remonstrating Kitty for coughing.

Page 237

“Kitty has no discretion in her coughs,” said her father; “she times them ill.”

So in seeming to agree about her coughs being bothersome, he actually makes a barbed remark aimed at his wife, which goes right over her head.

Mr Bennet teases her further when he refuses to visit an eligible bachelor, and then it transpires that he has in fact called on Mr Bingley. This proves that he does care about his girls and does the right thing by calling on the young man, but he does not miss the chance to tease his wife about it.

Page 238

am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me so before? If I had known as much this morning, I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now.”

Page 238

The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Bennet’s visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.

This would have been the norm. Once an acquaintance between polite company has been struck, a return visit is unavoidable.

The first time we meet Mr Darcy, his pride comes across as bad manners, and he makes no friends at the dance. He demonstrates prejudice by looking down on the simple company.

Page 239

he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.

Furthermore, what he says about Elizabeth is extremely rude. In his defense, he probably did not realize that she heard him, but does this make it less hurtful and rude? Is class a matter or money or manners? What do you think?

“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.

Page 240

Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous.

Instead of being hurt by his rudeness, she laughs about it. She is like her father, and does not seem to be proud in the same way. Instead, she demonstrates self-confidence, which is a positive pride in oneself that is not dependent on the unfair opinions of others.

Page 242

“Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person.”

Jane is a foil for the prideful characters in the novel, and Elizabeth is shown to be honest, kind and pragmatic. In comparison, the other ladies are described as “proud and conceited”:

Page 242

They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of being agreeable where they chose it; but proud and conceited.

Page 243

They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother’s fortune and their own had been acquired by trade.

It is more respectable to inherit wealth, so their conceit is a little out of place. The assumption that birth make a person respectable through heredity is know as breeding. Can this be inherited?

Page 245

“His pride,” said Miss Lucas, “does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, every thing in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud.”

Can we accept this? I think not.

Page 245

“That is very true,” replied Elizabeth, “and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

Another witty comment on pride, but not one I take too seriously. Do you agree?

Mary, who we don’t learn much about in the novel, has this to say about pride:

Page 245

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

Page 246

Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on.”

Charlotte says that Jane must not be too coy, or he won't be able to confirm his affection. What is the problem then, with an abundance of humility?

Page 247

“Your plan is a good one,” replied Elizabeth, “where nothing is in question but the desire of being well married; and if I were determined to get a rich husband, or any husband, I dare say I should adopt it. But these are not Jane’s feelings; she is not acting by design. As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree of her own regard, nor of its reasonableness.

Jane and Elizabeth are sensible girls and won't play games, which seems to be the order of the day for everyone else.

Page 247

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.”

Charlotte says this, and perhaps it explains the choice she makes. It is only after marriage that we find out what really irritates us about someone, but I think this is a very pessimistic view, even if it may seem practical.

Page 250 (foreshadowing):

Catherine and Lydia, were particularly frequent in these attentions; their minds were more vacant than their sisters’,

What good can come of vacant minds? And worse, all their father can say on the matter is:

Page 251

“From all that I can collect by your manner of talking, you must be two of the silliest girls in the country. I have suspected it some time, but I am now convinced.”

Instead of teasing them, does he have a responsibility to try to instruct them better? It might have averted the circumstance that follows. Mrs Bennet retorts that they are all clever, and he once again shows that he knows better, but does nothing to remedy it:

Page 251

“This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree.

He flatters himself, which indirectly means he believes himself to be the more shrewd of them. It is a kind of pride in himself. He knows himself to be more shrewd, and it also demonstrates the prejudice he feels towards his own daughters. He reaps what he sows later in the book by not correcting this.

Page 252

“Can I have the carriage?” said Jane. “No, my dear, you had better go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain; and then you must stay all night.” “That would be a good scheme,” said Elizabeth, “if you were sure that they would not offer to send her home.”

Their mother wants her to go get stuck there to spend the night, which is not even the norm nowadays. Would a mother send a daughter off to a boyfriend’s house and hope she will get stuck and have to stay the night?

Page 252

Find myself very unwell this morning, which, I suppose, is to be imputed to my getting wet through yesterday.

She can thank her mother for being under the weather, if you'll excuse the pun.

Page 254

When dinner was over, she returned directly to Jane, and Miss Bingley began abusing her as soon as she was out of the room. Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence; she had no conversation, no style, no beauty.

She does not pander to them, and this is seen as pride, which is ironic indeed.

Page 255

“To walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above her ankles in dirt, and alone, quite alone! what could she mean by it? It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country town indifference to decorum.” “It shows an affection for her sister that is very pleasing,” said Bingley.

Whilst Miss Bingley is shows prejudice towards Elizabeth for tramping through the country lanes to see Jane, her brother is much less conceited and sees the action for the kindness that it is.

Page 255

“If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside,” cried Bingley, “it would not make them one jot less agreeable.” “But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world,” replied Darcy.

What Darcy says here is a practical observation for the time, and is prejudicial, but not extraordinarily so. This is the norm.

Page 257

A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.”

Quite a ”shopping list” for a wife! It is Miss Bingley’s list, which Darcy seems to approve of as he adds:

“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

Elizabeth laughs this off and says that she doesn’t know how he knows any so accomplished.

Page 257

“Are you so severe upon your own sex, as to doubt the possibility of all this?” “I never saw such a woman. I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe, united.” Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley both cried out against the injustice of her implied doubt, and were both protesting that they knew many women who answered this description,

They mean themselves, no doubt. Elizabeth is far humbler, and will have none of it. She refuses to have worth measured in this manner.

Page 258

“Undoubtedly,” replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly addressed, “there is a meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.” Miss Bingley was not so entirely satisfied with this reply as to continue the subject.

He passed her jibe back to her, and Miss Bingley could tell, but not with certainty.

Page 265

Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger.

This is the first time in the novel that we are made away of his interest in Elizabeth.

Later, Elizabeth asks him about vanity and pride, and he has been brought up to believe it is apt if warranted, which amuses Elizabeth who clearly disagrees:

Page 269

“Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride—where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

She gently mocks him by saying:

“I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”

Page 269

“No”—said Darcy, “I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for.—It is, I believe, too little yielding—certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful.—My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”

Page 269

“That is a failing indeed!” cried Elizabeth. “Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well.—I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me.” “There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.” “And your defect is a propensity to hate every body.” “And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”

This amusing exchange shows Elizabeth’s wit and intelligence, and is an interesting discussion on pride.

Mr Collins is introduced next and is a very pompous obsequious man.

Page 273

“He must be an oddity, I think,” said she. “I cannot make him out.—There is something very pompous in his style.—And what can he mean by apologising for being next in the entail?—We cannot suppose he would help it, if he could.—Can he be a sensible man, sir?”

Wikipedia note - Page 273

In a book review written by Dinah Birch, a professor at the University of Liverpool, she examines the role of Mr Collins as a clergyman in Jane Austen's writing. Birch says that "one of the strongest points of Pride and Prejudice is its understanding that Jane Austen's Christianity ... is also an imaginative force in her writing", because Austen is "deeply interested in the role of the church", in her society.[13] She writes about the lack of religious dedication she sees in some clergyman through her character Mr Collins who is "by no means an aspirant to sainthood".[14] Margaret Kirkham regards the "asinine" Mr Collins, who will inherit Longbourn, as a way that Austen "mocks sexist pride and prejudice" in legal customs.[15]

Page 274

Lady Catherine was reckoned proud by many people he knew, but he had never seen any thing but affability in her.

Page 275

I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine, that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her.—These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay.”

He is not sincere, and in fact, is a suck up.

Page 275

Mr. Bennet’s expectations were fully answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time the most resolute composure of countenance, and except in an occasional glance at Elizabeth, requiring no partner in his pleasure.

He is absurd, but only Mr B and Elizabeth perceive it.

Page 276

“I have often observed how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes me, I confess;—for certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction. But I will no longer importune my young cousin.”

Because supply is ostensibly more relevant than demand, I suppose? Ha ha! What a plonker.

Page 276

Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society;

Mr Collins can be summed up as follows:

Page 276

A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her high rank, and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility.

Even his attentions to the daughters demonstrate his insincerity and self-importance:

Page 277

Mr. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth—and it was soon done—done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire.

Mr Wickham is introduced to us next, and he gives us reason to believe that Darcy’s pride and prejudice is worse than we had imagined:

Page 282

“I cannot pretend to be sorry,” said Wickham, after a short interruption, “that he or that any man should not be estimated beyond their deserts; but with him I believe it does not often happen. The world is blinded by his fortune and consequence, or frightened by his high and imposing manners, and sees him only as he chooses to be seen.”

Page 283

“I will not trust myself on the subject,” replied Wickham, “I can hardly be just to him.”

Clever. By telling the truth he is implying the worst.

Page 284

“It is wonderful,”—replied Wickham,—“ for almost all his actions may be traced to pride;—and pride has often been his best friend. It has connected him nearer with virtue than any other feeling. But we are none of us consistent; and in his behaviour to me, there were stronger impulses even than pride.”

Page 284

“Can such abominable pride as his, have ever done him good?” “Yes. It has often led him to be liberal and generous,—to give his money freely, to display hospitality, to assist his tenants, and relieve the poor. Family pride, and filial pride, for he is very proud of what his father was, have done this. Not to appear to disgrace his family, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence of the Pemberley House, is a powerful motive. He has also brotherly pride, which with some brotherly affection, makes him a very kind and careful guardian of his sister; and you will hear him generally cried up as the most attentive and best of brothers.”

He makes his love for his sister and helping the poor, sound like pride.

Page 285

“Her daughter, Miss de Bourgh, will have a very large fortune, and it is believed that she and her cousin will unite the two estates.” This information made Elizabeth smile, as she thought of poor Miss Bingley. Vain indeed must be all her attentions, vain and useless her affection for his sister and her praise of himself, if he were already self-destined to another.

Vanity is a sort of pride.

Page 286

and nothing therefore remained to be done, but to think well of them both, to defend the conduct of each, and throw into the account of accident or mistake, whatever could not be otherwise explained.

Jane is really so sweet and can perceive no fault in anyone. This in itself is as flaw if you think about it. Why do you think?

Page 287

No man of common humanity, no man who had any value for his character, could be capable of it. Can his most intimate friends be so excessively deceived in him? oh! no.”

Elizabeth is confounded by the differing accounts she has of Mr Darcy.

Page 292

“I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I suppose, as to its being created.” “I am,” said he, with a firm voice. “And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?” “I hope not.” “It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.” “May I ask to what these questions tend?” “Merely to the illustration of your character,” said she, endeavouring to shake off her gravity. “I am trying to make it out.” “And what is your success?” She shook her head. “I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly.”

Once again, Mr Collins demonstrates what a pompous fellow he is:

Page 294

“My dear Miss Elizabeth, I have the highest opinion in the world of yourexcellent judgment in all matters within the scope of your understanding, but permit me to say that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity, and those which regulate the clergy; for give me leave to observe that I consider the clerical office as equal in point of dignity with the highest rank in the kingdom—provided that a proper humility of behaviour is at the same time maintained.

Page 304

But I tell you what, Miss Lizzy—if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband at all—and I am sure I do not know who is to maintain you when your father is dead.—I shall not be able to keep you—and so I warn you.—I have done with you from this very day.—I told you in the library, you know, that I should never speak to you again, and you will find me as good as my word. I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children.—

This is the problem alluded to in the opening lines of the book.

Page 310

Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it.

As soon as Elizabeth turns him down, and is remonstrated by him for doing so, he turns his attentions to Charlotte. Here Elizabeth shows prejudice as she is not kind to Charlotte about it.

Page 312

I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.”

Page 314

Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister, of whose rectitude and delicacy she was sure her opinion could never be shaken, and for whose happiness she grew daily more anxious, as Bingley had now been gone a week, and nothing was heard of his return.

Also pride, although we don't like to chastise Elizabeth when we feel what she does.

On the other hand, Jane is so modest she refuses to even see any fault in Bingley who unintentionally jilts her:

Page 318

We must not be so ready to fancy ourselves intentionally injured.

Page 318

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy admiration means more than it does.”

Elizabeth tries hard to show her that not everyone is as kind as she is, and that Bingley’s sister may not actually care for either of them as much as it may appear, and may instead want him to marry as a matter of pride:

Page 318

“Your first position is false. They may wish many things besides his happiness; they may wish his increase of wealth and consequence; they may wish him to marry a girl who has all the importance of money, great connections, and pride.”

Mr Bennet is being facetious here, but the irony is that he does kilt her, and later almost jilts Lydia, but is forced into marriage.

Page 319

Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably.”

When Wikham seems to be interested in Miss King, Elizabeth is quite pragmatic about it. She recognizes how ridiculous it is that a man cannot fancy a woman with limited means without being criticized, and then again when his eye falls upon a woman with some means. Again, the opening lines of the book echo the problem women have here.

Page 328

“Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end, and avarice begin? Last Christmas you were afraid of his marrying me, because it would be imprudent; and now, because he is trying to get a girl with only ten thousand pounds, you want to find out that he is mercenary.”

Page 329

“But there seems indelicacy in directing his attentions towards her, so soon after this event.” “A man in distressed circumstances has not time for all those elegant decorums which other people may observe. If she does not object to it, why should we?”

Page 329

“Her not objecting, does not justify him. It only shows her being deficient in something herself—sense or feeling.” “Well,” cried Elizabeth, “have it as you choose. He shall be mercenary, and she shall be foolish.”

We see pride and prejudice embodied in Lady Catherine:

Page 334

Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them, such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank.

Page 335

Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great Lady’s attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others.

Page 341

Money and pride do not show a person to have substance:

I have often told her, to come to Rosings every day, and play on the piano forte in Mrs. Jenkinson’s room. She would be in nobody’s way, you know, in that part of the house.” Mr. Darcy looked a little ashamed of his aunt’s ill breeding, and made no answer.

We are later given to believe that some of Darcy’s pride is not intentional:

Page 342

“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,” said Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.”

Elizabeth correctly calls Darcy out for his prejudicial treatment of her sister:

Page 348

“You are rather disposed to call his interference officious?” “I do not see what right Mr. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend’s inclination, or why, upon his own judgment alone, he was to determine and direct in what manner that friend was to be happy. But,” she continued, recollecting herself, “as we know none of the particulars, it is not fair to condemn him. It is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case.”

Page 348

“That is not an unnatural surmise,” said Fitzwilliam, “but it is lessening the honour of my cousin’s triumph very sadly.”

Page 349

If his own vanity, however, did not mislead him, he was the cause, his pride and caprice were the cause of all that Jane had suffered, and still continued to suffer. He had ruined for a while every hope of happiness for the most affectionate, generous heart in the world; and no one could say how lasting an evil he might have inflicted.

Page 349

he had been partly governed by this worst kind of pride, and partly by the wish of retaining Mr. Bingley for his sister.

And then we are completely disarmed by his confession of love!

Page 350

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

But he ruins it by saying he tried to “conquer” these feelings, indicating that she was an unwise choice. How prideful and rude! Would you enjoy a proposal like this?

Page 350

He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security.

When she turns him down, he battles to compose himself, having considered himself quite above any proposal she might expect:

Page 351

His complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not open his lips, till he believed himself to have attained it.

We must admire Elizabeth when she says:

Page 351

“I might as well inquire,” replied she, “why with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character?

Page 352

Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself.”

Does he have a point? We must try to understand the climate and so cannot be too harsh in our censureship of him. What do you think? Is this a positive kind of pride?

Page 352

But perhaps,” added he, stopping in his walk, and turning towards her, “these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design.

Page 352

Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?”

Page 353

But his pride, his abominable pride, his shameless avowal of what he had done with respect to Jane, his unpardonable assurance in acknowledging, though he could not justify it, and the unfeeling manner in which he had mentioned Mr. Wickham, his cruelty towards whom he had not attempted to deny, soon overcame the pity which the consideration of his attachment had for a moment excited.

Page 359

He expressed no regret for what he had done which satisfied her; his style was not penitent, but haughty. It was all pride and insolence.

We are as surprised as Elizabeth to learn of her own pride and prejudice!

Page 361

She grew absolutely ashamed of herself.—Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.
“How despicably have I acted!” she cried.—“ I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity, in useless or blameable mistrust.—How humiliating is this discovery!—Yet, how just a humiliation!—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.”

Mrs Bennet really has no sense. How can a mother say this?

Page 373

Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart, and then he will be sorry for what he has done.”

Mr Bennet thinks that sending Lydia to Brighton will humble her, despite Elizabeth advising that she should not go.

Page 376

The officers will find women better worth their notice. Let us hope, therefore, that her being there may teach her her own insignificance.

Page 378

To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.

How depressing the Bennet marriage is. His prejudice against his wife is evident here once again.

Elizabeth visits Pemberley and learns that her prejudice against Darcy may have been misjudged from a servant:

Page 384

“If your master would marry, you might see more of him.” “Yes, Sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know who is good enough for him.”

Page 384

“I have never had a cross word from him in my life, and I have known him ever since he was four years old.”

Page 384

Some people call him proud; but I am sure I never saw any thing of it. To my fancy, it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men.”

Page 385

The commendation bestowed on him by Mrs. Reynolds was of no trifling nature. What praise is more valuable than the praise of an intelligent servant?

She is wise. How you treat people who serve you says a lot about your character.

When she encounters Darcy at his home, she is embarrassed, but then amused as he is forced into an acquaintance with her family which he had previously balked at:

Page 388

This was a stroke of civility for which she was quite unprepared; and she could hardly suppress a smile at his being now seeking the acquaintance of some of those very people, against whom his pride had revolted, in his offer to herself. “What will be his surprise,” thought she, “when he knows who they are! He takes them now for people of fashion.”

Page 388

She listened most attentively to all that passed between them, and gloried in every expression, every sentence of her uncle, which marked his intelligence, his taste, or his good manners.

She is proud too, in a sense. Is it excusable?

Page 391

Her uncle and aunt were all amazement; and the embarrassment of her manner as she spoke, joined to the circumstance itself, and many of the circumstances of the preceding day, opened to them a new idea on the business.

Here is her first impression of Miss Darcy:

Page 392

Since her being at Lambton, she had heard that Miss Darcy was exceedingly proud; but the observation of a very few minutes convinced her, that she was only exceedingly shy.

Can pride and shyness be confused?

Elizabeth is confounded by her own pride when she admits her feelings have changed, which is ironic after accusing him of pride:

Page 402

It was, on the contrary, exactly calculated to make her understand her own wishes; and never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him, as now, when all love must be vain.

All seems lost for the Bennet girls as the whole family is disgraced by Lydia:

Page 402

But self, though it would intrude, could not engross her. Lydia—the humiliation, the misery, she was bringing on them all, soon swallowed up every private care; and covering her face with her handkerchief, Elizabeth was soon lost to every thing else;

Page 412

“She had better have stayed at home,” cried Elizabeth; “perhaps she meant well, but, under such a misfortune as this, one cannot see too little of one’s neighbours. Assistance is impossible; condolence, insufferable. Let them triumph over us at a distance, and be satisfied.”

Mr Collins distinguishes himself as the voice of a Christian charity once again (I am joking or course!):

Page 414

The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this.

Page 414

And it is the more to be lamented, because there is reason to suppose, as my dear Charlotte informs me, that this licentiousness of behaviour in your daughter, has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence, though, at the same time, for the consolation of yourself and Mrs. Bennet, I am inclined to think that her own disposition must be naturally bad, or she could not be guilty of such an enormity, at so early an age.

Page 414

you are grievously to be pitied,

Page 414

They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter, will be injurious to the fortunes of all the others, for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will connect themselves with such a family.

Page 414

throw off your unworthy child from your affection for ever, and leave her to reap the fruits of her own heinous offense.

Mr Bennet admits his wrongdoing and swallows his own pride in not censoring Lydia:

Page 415

“Say nothing of that. Who should suffer but myself? It has been my own doing, and I ought to feel it.”

Elizabeth also swallows her pride by admitting her own pride to herself:

Page 423

What a triumph for him, as she often thought, could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been gladly and gratefully received!

Page 423

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her.

Lydia’s incredible pride is hard to bear:

Page 426

She then joined them soon enough to see Lydia, with anxious parade, walk up to her mother’s right hand, and hear her say to her eldest sister, “Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman.”

And as usual, Elizabeth will have none of Lydia’s nonsense:

Page 427

“I thank you for my share of the favour,” said Elizabeth; “but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands.”

What do you think of this phrase “getting husbands”?

Elizabeth is humbled by Darcy’s kindness to her family, and justifiable proud:

Page 433

For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour, he had been able to get the better of himself.

Elizabeth does not expect to receive another offer of marriage. She feels that pride in oneself would make it impossible:

Page 442

“A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex, who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity so abhorrent to their feelings!”

Lady Catherine is abominably prideful.

Page 449

“I hope you are well, Miss Bennet. That lady, I suppose is your mother.”

Elizabeth shows pride in herself and a good command of her temper. It is these words which give Darcy hope.

Page 451

“But you are not entitled to know mine; nor will such behaviour as this, ever induce me to be explicit.”

Page 454

With his notions of dignity, he would probably feel that the arguments, which to Elizabeth had appeared weak and ridiculous, contained much good sense and solid reasoning.

Mr Collins once again demonstrates pride and no Christian sensibilities:

Page 456

You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.’

Is this Christian?

Page 458

For, though your accusations were ill-founded, formed on mistaken premises, my behaviour to you at the time, had merited the severest reproof. It was unpardonable. I cannot think of it without abhorrence.” “We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that evening,” said Elizabeth. “The conduct of neither, if strictly examined, will be irreproachable; but since then, we have both, I hope, improved in civility.”

Page 459

She explained what its effect on her had been, and how gradually all her former prejudices had been removed.

Elizabeth finally admits her mistake in thinking Darcy full of pride:

Page 465

“I do, I do like him,” she replied, with tears in her eyes, “I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable. You do not know what he really is; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms.”

Mr Bennet admires his daughter. His talk of her having to believe her husband her superior is a little out of place in our day and age.

Page 465

I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband; unless you looked up to him as a superior.

Her mother, on the other hand, is interested only in wealth and status:

Page 466

And is it really true? Oh! my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have! Jane’s is nothing to it—nothing at all. I am so pleased—so happy. Such a charming man!—so handsome! so tall!—Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it. Dear, dear Lizzy. A house in town! Every thing that is charming! Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh, Lord! What will become of me. I shall go distracted.”

And finally, the lovers can be together:

Page 467

Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?” “For the liveliness of your mind, I did.”

A little sexist to a modern reader.

And Mr Bennet cannot help but have the last laugh at Mr Collins’s expense.

Page 469

“DEAR SIR, “I must trouble you once more for congratulations. Elizabeth will soon be the wife of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would stand by the nephew. He has more to give.

Page 469

Elizabeth did all she could, to shield him from the frequent notice of either, and was ever anxious to keep him to herself, and to those of her family with whom he might converse without mortification; and though the uncomfortable feelings arising from all this took from the season of courtship much of its pleasure, it added to the hope of the future; and she looked forward with delight to the time when they should be removed from society so little pleasing to either, to all the comfort and elegance of their family party at Pemberley.
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Bernice Borain


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