The Role of Minor Characters In Student’s Pride and Prejudice Perhaps the most striking part of Jane Student’s novel Pride and Prejudice Is her mastery of characters and the effects that each has on the plot, themes, and the other characters’ actions. Though her minor characters are much less visible than the major ones, she still uses them as an integral part of the novel by weaving them into situations to enhance the plot and themes. Caroline Bentley is first introduced with the crowd of her brother, Mr.. Bentley, his friend, Mr.. Dared, and her other sister, Mrs.. Hurst.
Her superior place in the class system compared to those in the Bennett family is evident both in the narration and dialogue of Student’s novel. Her opposition to Elizabeth stems primarily from her disdain for her unladylike manner, (such as in Chapter 17 when Elizabeth meets Jane after she falls Ill, appearing with petticoats six Inches deep In mud) as well as her jealousy In terms of Darers favoritism to her. However, her opposition to Jane Is only due to her desire to have Mr.. Bentley marry Georgia Dared, a girl possessing a much higher birth and wealth than the equally pleasant Jane Bennett.
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Like many other characters in this novel, her belief that love is less important in marriage than the opportunity to increase one’s place in society is an important theme felt by every character. Charlotte Lucas is another character that embodies the previously mentioned theme of practicality over love in marriage. When Charlotte marries Mr.. Collins after Elizabeth rejects him, her willingness to sacrifice the security of a comfortable arraign with Collins over the happiness of a marriage of love is shown. While the more class-conscious Mrs..
Bennett credits Charlotte for this decision, Elizabeth can only feel pity for her friend as she feels that Charlotte will be doomed to a Lifetime of Insipid company. A minor character with many ties to different plot lines is Lady Catherine De Burgh. Both as an aunt to Mr.. Dared and as Mr.. Collision’s employer, she interacts with many characters to forward both the plot and themes of the novel. She is perhaps the iratest example of Student’s belief that an obsession with class is silly. By her words and actions, she shows that she believes many are below her stature.
Later in the novel, when she and Elizabeth take a walk and converse on the subject of Mr.. Darers partiality to Elizabeth, she continues the well-established theme of practicality over love in marriage by stating that Mr.. Dared Is to marry her daughter Anne, not one of a lowly stature such as Elizabeth. Mr.. And Mrs.. Gardener, aunt and uncle of the Bennett daughters, are perhaps the cost admirable minor characters. These two characters serve not only to forward the parents to both Elizabeth and to Lydia in two very different situations, they exhibit much of the sense that Mrs..
Bennett lacks in both controlling Lydia and nurturing Elizabeth. This pair also acts as a vital stepping stone between Dared and Elizabeth in terms of class stature. By both giving Elizabeth an opportunity to break her former prejudices of Dared when they visit Pimpernel by finding out his better qualities via he maid, as well as even giving Elizabeth better company than her immediate family n terms of respectability, these two characters allow the gap between Dared and Elizabeth to be bridged somewhat.
Minor characters can help reveal what the major characters cannot tell about themselves, both by being confidantes and by offering a standard to compare and contrast the other characters with. Though minor characters seem to play little importance in the novel when inspected upon the larger scale, one cannot ignore their importance in terms of both plot and theme enhancement.