justification of the title of pride and prejudice Essay

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The title of the novel may not provide an instant clue to the meaning of the text, but it does indicate at least one theme in fairly ambiguous terms, offering an indication to the text’s chief concerns as well as a useful steering-point for a study of them. The title should not be misread to mean that Jane Austen is dealing with two entities called ‘pride’ and ‘prejudice’, which are independent of each other and exist separately in the personalities and behaviour of different characters. It would for example be too simplistic to assume that Darcy embodies pride and Elizabeth, prejudice. It soon becomes clear from the text that prejudice is largely considered as a consequence of pride reflected in the attitudes and behaviour of both the persons who represent pride and of those who react to it. Pride shows itself in weaknesses – pomposity, stupidity, snobbery or eccentricities - which may make the characters behaviour, look funny or ridiculous. It may also produce a sense of frivolity which makes it difficult for a character like Lydia to understand the consequences of her own actions and makes her insensitive to the pain and suffering she caused others.
    The text identifies and analyses different forms of pride as they are revealed in the behaviour of various characters, and the difference among them emerges, more often than not, as largely one of degrees. In some cases, however, a qualitative difference in the nature of pride is brought out. These different forms of pride are discussed in greater detail later, but it is important to remember here that two such forms are explicitly distinguished from each other in the rather pedantic definitions of ‘pride’ and ‘vanity’ provided by Mary, according to whom “Pride relates more to our opinion of ourself, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” For once she might have been held to be correct, as far as events and relations of character in the course of the narrative appear to bear out her opinion that...

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