As the story develops in Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, the reader is witness to a shift in attitude between the principle characters. The chapter in which Elizabeth Bennett's reactions to Mr. Darcy's letter are explored provides valuable insights into this metamorphosis.
The first description of Elizabeth's state upon perusing Fitzwilliam Darcy's revelatory missive is characteristic of Austen when relating heavy emotion: she doesn't. "Her feelings as she read were scarcely to be defined," she tells us (Austen 233). Of course, all this negation of representational skills is purely for dramatic effect, and Miss Austen goes on to provide a full account of every aspect of Elizabeth's emotional upheaval per her reading of the letter, but not, however, without using the device again in the second paragraph, in treating the subject of the truth about Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth's feelings are conveyed as having been "...yet more acutely painful and more difficult of definition." Said difficulty is indeed short lived, as the next sentence reads, "Astonishment, apprehension, and even horror, oppressed her" (Austen 233).
The Wickham segment of the chapter, spanning pages 234, 235, and the better part of 236, is significant not so much in its development of Wickham's character, as in what it does to Elizabeth. After the aforementioned astonishment et. al., Elizabeth momentarily engages in denial ("This must be false! This cannot be! This is the grossest falsehood!" (Austen 233)) but eventually her intellectual faculties regain their footing and she settles down to a second "mortifying perusal of all that related to Wickham, and command[s] herself ...
... middle of paper ...
... character about whom we can care, in the midst of a narrative which is not a chore to read.
Auerbach, Nina. "Waiting Together: Pride and Prejudice." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 336-348.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 1813. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993.
Harding, D. W. "Regulated Hatred: An Aspect in the Work of Jane Austen." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 291-295.
Johnson, Claudia L. "Pride and Prejudice and the Pursuit of Happiness." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 367-376.
Mudrick, Marvin."Irony as Discovery in Pride and Prejudice." Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: Norton and Co., 1993. pp. 295-303.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Metamorphosis of Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice Introduced to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a good-looking, self-absorbed aristocrat, Fitzwilliam Darcy experiences a change in his personality and character. Falling in love was what Darcy needed in order to dispose of his existent views on marriage and money. Although Mr. Darcy was well mannered, he did not know how to treat women with respect, especially those of a lower social status than he. However, the love of Elizabeth Bennet changed his behavior forever.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
1152 words (3.3 pages)
- “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too” (Paulo Coelho. Web.). In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the false façade of Mr. Darcy slowly peels away until his true personality is revealed. His upstanding values are misused and insensitive, but through the love he develops for Elizabeth he strives to become a better person worthy of her affections. Proud and arrogant, Mr. Darcy stands at the head of the room giving a cold, dark stare.... [tags: story and character analysis]
664 words (1.9 pages)
- Prejudice and Pride in Pride and Prejudice In any literary work the title and introduction make at least some allusion to the important events of the novel. With Pride and Prejudice, Austen takes this convention to the extreme, designing all of the first and some of the second half of the novel after the title and the first sentence. The concepts of pride, prejudice, and "universally acknowledged truth" (51), as well as the interpretation of those concepts, are the central focus of the novel.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
1545 words (4.4 pages)
- Influence of Other Characters on the Transformation of Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice In "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, readers witness the profound transformation of the protagonist. Although the drastic changes are largely due to the character's self-propelled growth, the influences of other characters play a key role in igniting the permanent metamorphoses. This essay analyzes the two most influential characters in "Pride and Prejudice" and Elizabeth's self-realization. We are working under the presumption that two other characters serve as catalysts to boost the final changes of the protagonist.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
627 words (1.8 pages)
- Flattery in Pride and Prejudice Since its composition in 1797, Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice has enjoyed two centuries of literary esteem not because of its witty dialogue or its tantalizing plot, but because of its universal themes that allow modern readers to identify with early Victorian life. Although the novel focuses on the etiquette of courtship, related social rituals are also prevalent throughout the story. William Collins, a rector in Pride and Prejudice, uses excessive flattery to persuade people to look upon him favorably.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
1380 words (3.9 pages)
- The Irony of Pride in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen uses the elements of both pride and prejudice to develop the satire in her novel. Austen presents pride as both a vice and a virtue. Austen first introduces pride as a vice of arrogance and prejudice, but as the characters in the novel develop so does the concept of pride. Towards the end of the novel pride becomes the vehicle for many of the noble actions taken by the main characters. Austen skillfully interweaves the two parts of pride, the plot, and the main characters so that they develop together in the book.... [tags: Pride Prejudice Essays]
1258 words (3.6 pages)
- The Faults of Pride and Prejudice If we investigate the themes, characters and setting of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in an effort to find faults of logic, we must first recognize that the entire work is a fault of logic because Austen's world is a microcosm of one level of society, a level wherein everything and everyone turns out kindly, whether they be heroes or villains, rich or poor, or proud or prejudice. This is because unlike conventional romantic novels, like Wuthering Heights, there is no deeply passionate love displayed in this novel, no horrific consequences of being left without an annual inheritance, and even the alleged villains of the piece, like Wickham, are... [tags: Pride Prejudice Essays]
1746 words (5 pages)
- Pride and Prejudice In fact, Pride and Prejudice was originally entitled First Impressions. However, the novel is not only about first impressions. Although we can find the first impressions about the characters through the first few chapters, this book shows us the effects of those impressions on the individual characters--prejudices of the characters. The story almost evenly describes the defects of Fitzwilliam Darcy who show "pride" at the beginning of the novel; he speaks carelessly and insultingly to Elizabeth Bennet, and George Wickham who deceives others on purpose and conceals his truthless character.... [tags: Pride Prejudice Essays]
456 words (1.3 pages)
- The Brutality of Prejudice in Pride and Prejudice The passage which best relates the theme of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin, is on page 125, in the middle of the page. This is where Mr. Darcy is proposing to Elizabeth, and is informing her of the inferiority of her family and connections. This passage is significant because it is one of the few times where the characters openly acknowledge that the sole purpose of a person's life is to achieve a high salary and a high social position. It is evident from every point of the story that all people care about is marrying into a higher social rank.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
449 words (1.3 pages)
- The Deleterious Effects of Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, illustrates that behavior is innate and, for good or bad, can be influenced by society. Austen further demonstrates that behavior is alterable by focusing on two aspects of behavior; prejudice and pride. The deleterious effects of prejudice and pride and the possibility of reformation are exemplified in a story that focuses on the ideals, ceremonies, and customs of marriage. Austen's attempts to demonstrate conclusively that the essence of behavior is intrinsic to one's disposition, character, and temperament.... [tags: Pride and Prejudice]
1035 words (3 pages)