Pride and Prejudice

A Remedy to Prejudice: Role Models at Home

Eighteenth-century American humorist and lecturer Henry Wheeler Shaw once said, "To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while." This wise, candid statement highlights the fact that parents play a significant role in a child's formation because of the examples they set with their actions. In Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, the witty protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, is greatly affected by her parents' words and actions, as is demonstrated by her improper judgment of - and prejudice towards - the wealthy aristocrat, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Jane Austen's portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet's character suggests that her prejudice originates from her parent's faults and their inability to communicate.

After two decades of being the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth is keenly aware of their failings. Mr. Bennet, the father and only male figure in the Bennet family, is at first portrayed sympathetically because of his imperturbable composure and sense of humor in the face of Mrs. Bennet's hysterical anxiety spells. As his character is revealed more fully, however, his particular failing - a propensity to withdraw from family problems rather than...

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