Elizabeth has some of the pride and most of the prejudice. Darcy has
most of the pride and some of the prejudice. But that is not all there is to the story. Every type of human character is
depicted in the pages of the novel.
Character is an expression of what
people value. Traditional ideas about status and class distinctions
are beginning to give way to money as a dominant value. Status is
still valued higher than achievement. Truthfulness is one of the
high values of upper classes in society.
valued only as a cultural endowment, not as a qualification for
practical accomplishment. Every character in the story is influenced
by these values.
Some of the
characters in the story are social characters,
whose lives are
determined and directed by the prevailing habits, fashions, beliefs,
attitudes, opinions and values of the society in which they live.
Their conduct is determined by the expectations of society. They act
and live within its norms.
Those whose beliefs, attitudes and values are determined internally
by the strength of their own convictions may be said to possess
individual character. These are individuals with developed minds
and formed characters of their own stamp. The capacity not to lie,
dissipate or follow silly fashions, just because society permits and
even honors them, are expressions of individual character.
Individual character expresses mind and values, not just manners and
Pride and Prejudice, who
are the social characters, who are the individual characters? How do
these characters interact with each other? How do the predominant
values in society influence these characters and their behavior? How
can one explain why after being knighted, Sir
Lucas gives up business for a life of socializing. Bingley's father
acquired his wealth in trade, so why does Bingley give it up and
pride himself on his lack of exertion. Why is Wickham allowed to be
the only one in the story who lies with abandon.
Why does Darcy feel culpable for concealing Jane's presence in
London from Bingley, after all, he did not tell a lie.
good natured, but why is money her primary drive? How are Darcy and
Elizabeth spearheading a social evolution?
Find details essays on each of the characters in Pride and