Essay on Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

Essay on Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

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“In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity” (Erikson 38). There are notable depictions of searching for one’s identity in literary works, specifically ones taking place in a patriarchal society, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In this novel about courtship, love, economic pressures, and independence, many of the central characters, specifically the more intelligent ones, undergo a process of reflection and learning, often times from an event that makes them have an epiphany, and transform themselves as a result. First and foremost, the most notorious example of this development is the novel’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, who is the “prejudice” in the title Pride and Prejudice, and she is the most vulnerable to the learning curve due to her possession of intelligence. Another major character that undergoes this process is Fitzwilliam Darcy, also known as the “pride” in the title, who corresponds with Elizabeth, and he ultimately changes for her. In addition to this, Mr. Bennet goes through a shift as he comes to the understanding that he is a bad father to his daughters, eventually realizing that he should be a better father.
Elizabeth Bennet is a female protagonist that is essentially rational, and she goes through a significant learning curve, transforming herself as a result. At the beginning of the novel, Elizabeth is introduced as the most intelligent daughter within the Bennet family, taking after her father, who favours her significantly more than Mrs. Bennet. Austen is very critical of Elizabeth’s prejudice, incorporating her in one of Austen’s level of satire directed at characters that are very flawed. Unlike her sister Jane, she recognizes the flaws ...


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...for the majority of the narrative.
It is clear in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that the central characters at some point undergo a process of reflection of learning, often from a particular event that provokes a revelation, and transform themselves as a result. A learning curve is most prominently seen in the very intelligent protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, who learns to look past her prejudice. A transformation is also seen in Fitzwilliam Darcy, a prideful man who ultimately learns how to change for both him and the girl that he loves. Finally, there is a very underrated change seen in Mr. Bennet, who comes to realize that he is a bad father, and regrets that he is not as involved in his daughters lives as he should be. For Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Mr. Bennet, the philosophy of one’s identity belonging to Erik Erikson rings incredibly accurate.

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