Contrast Between Pride And Prejudice

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The blatant contrast between pride and prejudice is evident in both the plot and characterization within the novel. Conflicts arise as the characters clash due to disparities in social rank, thus driving the plot forward and providing depth to the characters as they contrast with one another. Those who are characterized as “prideful” are of high social status and feel the persistent need to preserve that status. To these characters, pride is a sense of authority and superiority. Conversely, those who are characterized as “prejudiced” are either of high or low social status, but jump to conclusions due to their being blinded by contempt for the out-group.
The characters that most notably align with pride include Mr. Darcy, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine. Right from the beginning, it is clear that Mr. Darcy aligns with pride when he refuses to dance with Elizabeth at the first ball. To justify his refusal, he claims that she is “…tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me” (Austen 11). In addition to this, he refuses to dance with anyone who is not rich or from a reputable family. When his demeanor is directly compared with that of Mr. Bingley, who is gentlemanly and optimistic about the women at the ball, the harsh contrast between the two is highlighted. For the majority of the novel, Mr. Darcy remains
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Darcy and Elizabeth’s tumultuous relationship in particular demonstrates that class-awareness is an issue that pervades every aspect of society and life during this time. Marriage, most significantly, poses the greatest possibilities for social mobility—whether that movement is upward or downward. This precisely seems to be the primary concern of the characters: who will marry into a more prestigious social class and who will settle into a “bad match” and tumble to the

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