When Pride is not Enough: How Love Conquers All in Pride and Prejudice
Pride is most often associated with egocentrism. It ultimately centers around oneself. It is the inordinate opinion of ourselves. When one feels pride, he or she takes merit in their accomplishments and abilities. However, there is a difference between one’s self-respect and self-esteem, and haughtiness. Possessing positive pride is to have an essence of self-respect, integrity, and honor to oneself. On the other hand, negative pride is having extreme arrogance and thus acting in a disrespectful and disdainful conduct. Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, is structured around these particular aspects of pride versus prejudice, with most of the characters showing depictions of each of these traits in their behaviors as well as their personalities. The terms "pride" and "prejudice" contrast particularly as essential characteristics of Darcy (the proud) and Elizabeth (the prejudiced) as they learn to overcome these traits in order to make amends and eventually come together. In the end it is not about these particular characteristics because the reigning aspect of love is able to ultimately dominate and dissolve any form of pride or prejudice previously existing in Austen’s characters.
Austen brings together her characters effectively - real people with their own opinions and attitudes, who are able to interact in any given situation seeming effortlessly. How they behave determines the course of the plot, which is not necessarily involved in terms of incident
or sudden twists and turns, but which evolves entirely from the characters and their interactions. The title of the novel indicates the underlying forces at work - the pride of characters such as
Lizzie, Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine, and Miss Bingley, and the inevitable prejudice that results when they meet and fail to see past the surface of their society. Austen uses a series of social encounters with these characters in order to...