Pride and Prejudice

Which characters would you classify as proud? Which would you classify as prejudiced? Do any of these characters change? If so, what makes them change?

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Darcy and Elizabeth illustrate both pride and prejudice in their characters. Ultimately, it is love that transforms them both. The best analysis of the theme of pride and prejudice in the novel can be found on Gradesaver's theme page. I have included that information below for your use.


As Mary says in Chapter 5, "human nature is particularly prone to [pride]." Throughout Pride and Prejudice, pride prevents the characters from seeing the truth of a situation. Most notably, it is one of the two primary barriers in the way of a union between Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy's pride in his social position leads him to scorn anyone outside of his own social circle. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's pride in her powers of discernment cloud her judgment. These two find happiness by helping each other overcome his/her pride. Outside of Elizabeth and Darcy, however, Austen seems pessimistic about the human ability to conquer this character flaw. A slew of secondary characters, like Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, and Caroline Bingley, remain deluded by personal pride throughout the novel.


Critic A. Walton Litz comments, "in Pride and Prejudice one cannot equate Darcy with Pride, or Elizabeth with Prejudice; Darcy's pride of place is founded on social prejudice, while Elizabeth's initial prejudice against him is rooted in pride of her own quick perceptions." Ultimately, both characters' egos drive them towards personal prejudice. Darcy has been taught to scorn anyone outside his own social circle and must overcome his prejudice in order to endear himself to Elizabeth. Similarly, Elizabeth's excessive pride in her discernment leads her write Darcy off too quickly. Ultimately, they find happiness by recognizing the barriers that prejudice creates.