It is a truth universally acknowledged that all humans have their flaws, however not all seek fix them. Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austin revolves around a cast of characters that either gain self knowledge or none at all. The search for self Is a main concern In this novel as It determines the level of happiness the characters will struggle possess self knowledge allowing them to understand their down falls. Elizabeth and Dared reach a point of self knowledge and are able to decipher their weaker points, allowing them to act upon them and re-evaluate themselves; leading them to greater happiness.
However other characters such as Lydia Bennett , George Hickman and Lady Catherine De Bourn do not learn about themselves with the journey of self knowledge, leaving them with a more shallow sense of happiness. Austin shows the reader the contrast between the characters that gain self knowledge and those who do not; highlighting the importance of possessing self knowledge and how It can lead an individual to veritable happiness. Before gaining self knowledge Elizabeth Bennett prided herself on her ability to Judge others. Her alignments of others have so far been correct.
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As an example she recognizes Lady Catherine as a pompous tyrant and promptly Identifies Mr.. Collins as a fool. However her over confidence In this ability results In her forming prejudiced opinions about others that are not subject to change, in her mind confirming her impression as correct. This causes her to severely misunderstand people and this combination of pride and prejudice is what causes her worst errors. She proceeds from fair first impressions of the characters of Dared and Hickman to prejudiced conclusions about their characters.
At first Elizabeth forms an early dislike towards Dared saying “l could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine”. Then from this point onwards she purposely ignores any positive aspects of Darers personality. In order to solidify her negative Impression of Dared she seeks Information that will confirm her dislike of his character. Dared notices this at Netherworld park , when he is conversing with her about ‘defects’. Elizabeth says to him “your defect Is a propensity to hate everybody” and he replies “And yours, Is to willfully misunderstand them. It Is not until Elizabeth receives Dairy’s letter that in an epiphany she realizes that Dared ay not have been who she assumed he was. She regrets rejecting Dairy’s proposal after she realizes that her initial view of him was prejudiced and worries that it is far too late now. When visiting Pimpernel she learns from the housekeeper that Dared is “the sweetest tempered, most generous hearted boy in the world. “. Elizabeth is taken aback and realizes that her first impression of him was not correct. She learns that her powers of observation are not always correct.
What she interpreted as arrogance and pride in Dared was instead a lack of social skills, a shy character that goes not have the gift of articulation . Elizabeth understands that her predisposed opinion of Dared was a misunderstanding. Jane Austin uses Elizabeth as an example of the repercussions of prejudice as well as showing readers how re-evaluating yourself and galling self knowledge can create a positive Impact. Even though the core of Elizabethan character does not change due to the occurrences of the novel, Judgment and that her ability to Judge others is not always going to paint an accurate picture.
Her ability to realism her prejudice is admirable and this point of elf evaluation and realization is what leads to her eventual happiness with Dared. Austin shows the readers that reaching a point of self discovery and evaluation is greatly important as it can allow you to reach genuine happiness in the future. Jane Austin displays this idea of prejudice being a downfall by cleverly manipulating readers into doing the same. The impressions of Mr.. Dared that are included in the first half of the novel are those that are Elizabethan, thus making the reader’s opinion of Dared a result of heavy influence.
After completing the novel readers realism that hey also had prejudiced opinions in regard of Mr.. Dared. This is a more effective form of communicating this idea as it involves the reader on a Journey with concludes in a realization- driving home the idea of prejudice being a flaw. Arrogant and full of pride are the two labels that would be pinned upon Mr.. Dared at the beginning of the novel. Jane Austin describes him as “He was discovered to be proud, to be above his company , and above being pleased. ” He does not hold people that are in a lower class with much regard, placing himself upon a pedestal due to is wealth and status.
When Dared first proposes to Elizabeth his tone is haughty, he is certain the she will accept him due to his wealth and that it is more of an obligation for the woman, “he had no doubt of a favorable answer. “. He is complacent and takes Elizabeth for granted. Dared also states that he has fallen in love with her against his wish by saying “in vain have I struggled. ” He spends more time emphasizing how her lower social standing and unsuitable family background rather than professing his lover for her. The narrator states “He was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than pride. Despite the fact that Elizabeth rejects his proposal, this event is the catalyst for the turning point in Dairy’s character, where he soon realizes his flaws with self knowledge. He realizes that he must prioritize his love for Elizabeth instead of his sense of superiority in order to be North of Elizabethan hand in marriage. After re-evaluating this pitfall the metamorphosis of Mr.. Dared is a noticeable one. He overcomes the breeding that comes with his position in life. He is the son of a wealthy man and higher on the social pecking order than Elizabeth but he takes this out of his consideration.
His love for Elizabeth helps him to face the ridicule of his acquaintances such as Miss Bentley and Lady Catherine De Burgh and not allow that to hinder his second proposal to her. Another instance where it is evident that Dared has put his pride behind him is Nee he finds Hickman and pays his commission, even though he is undeserving of t and despite his history with his sister Georgian. Dared has changed his entire mind-set concerning society and people, he is willing to give up certain friends and Emily in order to be with Elizabeth.
This is supported by the language that Dared uses in his second proposal to Elizabeth. He is gentle and affectionate: “the expression of heart-felt delight diffused over his face. ” This is because the first time Elizabeth was “astonished” at his rashness in proposing to her whereas the second time, she is “embarrassed” at his excessive love and affection for her. Dared realizes that social standing should not matter if he loves Elizabeth and this highlights Jane Student’s opinion of marriage for love regardless of wealth or social background.
The truly loves, this will allow him to achieve a greater state of happiness . It is important to note that Elizabeth and Dared stumble upon the road to self searching due to each other. They are forced into it due to their feelings for each other. However there are other characters that do not embark on the search for self. Lydia Bennett, Mr. Nickname and Lady Catherine De Bourn have no self awareness and are only superficially happy throughout the course of the novel. The marriage of Lydia and Mr.. Hickman is unhappy, due to the circumstances associated with the elopement. Eye are both very similar due to their unawareness of their flaws. Lady Catherine De urge is only superficially happy and she channels this through the lavish furnishings of Risings. Just like her home, Lady Catherine likes to display her wealth and superior status for all to see. She believes that she is happy but the only source for this are her material possessions that hide a bitter personality. She enjoys meddling in other people’s business and also expects them to obey her suggestions, Inch is why she is taken aback when Elizabeth controverts her comments.
These harassers have happiness only at a superficial level, as they have not learned anything about themselves allowing them to be led to a greater happiness such as Elizabeth and Dared. I agree with the statement that one of the main concerns in Pride and Prejudice is the ‘search for self’. The novel is suffused with contrasts between characters that gain self knowledge and those who lack it. Displaying the difference in happiness that is attainable. Jane Austin uses this contrast to emphasis to readers the importance of self knowledge and how it can impact an Individual and their life.
It is interesting how Jane Austin subtly incorporates the theme of self knowledge in her novel due to the circumstances of the era she wrote it in. Usually in the Regency Era women were not concerned about their personal claims and instead gave precedence to social claims. Self discovery or knowledge Mould not have been a recognized concept in Regency England, contrary to the value it is given in the modern day. The central focus of this very 21st century idea of self searching makes the novel a timeless classic due to its reliability -allowing it to Annuitants the test of time.