AP English Literature and Composition—4
28 January 2016
Pride and Prejudice Essay
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, satirizes the societal norms of European society and its effect on marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennett live in Longbourn with their five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine, and Lydia. Upon hearing news that a young, handsome, and rich bachelor, Mr. Bingley, is coming to town, the women in town go crazy. Mrs. Bennett in particular becomes infatuated with Mr. Bingley, and is determined to get one of her daughters, Jane, married to him. Soon after, there is a ball, to which Mr. Bingley brings his sisters, brother-in-law, and Mr. Darcy. At the ball, Bingley takes a profound interest in Jane, and Darcy’s remarks and mannerisms deem him as arrogant and rude. When Elizabeth asks him to dance, he declines.
Gradually, Jane and Bingley grow closer, as do Elizabeth and Darcy. Mrs. Bennett continues to interfere in Jane’s life by forcing her to stay as long as possible at the Bingley Residence. A self-obsessed bachelor, Mr. Collins, comes to town and tries to …show more content…
In terms of marriage, she uses her intellect and heart to make decisions and find a life partner. When Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth, she declines because she does not love him and feels he is too haughty. It can be assumed given the background of the novel that most women in that position would have immediately accepted his proposal because of his enormous wealth. She stands out in the novel as a character who uses her heart.
Pride and Prejudice’s emphasis on society and its norms makes the novel so powerful. In addition, the protagonist, Elizabeth sets a good example of what individuals should be like in terms of marriage. She emphasizes on using intellect when making decisions about marriage, something the others lacked.