Pride and Prejudice Key Concepts
Pride and Prejudice Key Concepts
Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Lady Catherine de Bourgh is Mr. Darcy's aunt. She shows the expectations put on men to marry a high-class woman, because she doesn't not like the idea of Mr. Darcy marrying Elizabeth and thinks he should marry her daughter instead.
Elizabeth is the main character of the story, and Austen uses her to project many of her own personal opinions and values for others to see and be influenced by.
Mrs. Bennet is the mother of the Bennet sisters. Austen uses her to display the different expectations of young women, by expecting her daughters to follow these expectations.
Mr. Collins is the cousin of the Bennets and the current heir to Mr. Bennet's possessions after Mr. Bennet passes. Austen uses Mr. Collins to show the often business-like aspects of marriage. Mr. Collins wished to marry Elizabeth so the Bennet women could continue living at Longbourn.
Charlotte is Elizabeth's friend, and is an example of the worth of a woman at the time. She is older, and not seen as desirable because of her age, which is why shoe isn't married. This is also why she accepts the first proposal she gets from Mr. Collins.
Mrs. Gardiner is Elizabeth's aunt. She is an example of the importance of family. Along with Mr. Gardiner, she shows up often, especially at the end. Elizabeth goes and spends a lot of time with them, and they are enlisted to help sort out Lydia's situation.
Mr. Bennet is the father of Elizabeth. He is an example of how Austen disagrees with society's values, in that Mr. Bennet is not like other fathers. He is more concerned for their emotional well-being than financial stability.
Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy's cousin, is another example of the importance of family. When Darcy's ranets pass away, his sister is left to the care of Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. The two grew up together and are trusted with the care of Georgiana.
Lydia is Elizabeth's sister, and an example of the stereotypical young woman of the time. She is desperate to find a husband and to meet society's expectation, so she is seen as accomplished.
Mr. Bingley is a young rich man new to the neighbourhood. He exemplifies the ideal man of the time: rich, attractive, and single.
Jane is the eldest Bennet daughter and Elizabeth's sister. Jane is used as an example of the outcome of the many expectations placed on women, specifically shown by her interactions with Mrs. Bennet. Jane is an example of how a woman's only purpose was to get married and have children, which was shown when Mrs. Bennet put pressure on her to marry Mr. Bingley.
Mr. Darcy is the friend of Mr. Bingley. He is another example of the ideal, being rich and attractive, but is also undesirable and unlikable because he is prideful.
Role of Women
Austen disagrees with the role of women at the time. The role of women was to get married, and have children so the family name and fortune would be carried on. Austen thinks that women have the potential to do more than that, by showing Elizabeth and Mary's interest in knowledge.
Austen disagreed with many of the social expectations. She believed that success was not based on status, whether marital or class. She believed that society should instead expect people to be generous, as seen in Mr. Darcy, and curious and interested in knowledge, like Elizabeth.
Rich men need wives.
A woman has to be married to be considered successful.
People of different classes should not interact with each other.
Austen disagrees with the motivation behind most marriages of the nineteenth century. Many marriages were formed for wealth, security, or just because it was the thing people were supposed to do. Austen believed that people should only be married if they were in love.
Austen uses Mrs. Bennet as as satire by exaggerating her expectations of her daughters to mock society's expectations of young girls
Darcy is an example of irony, because the reader is led to believe that he despises Elizabeth, then he confesses his love for her, which is situational irony.