The most famous novel by Jane Austen is "Pride and Prejudice." The basis of the plot of the work is English provincial society and the role of women in it. Pride and Prejudice "is one of the first works that relate to the genre of the female novel. But thanks to the author's talent, it entered the collection of world literary masterpieces.
About the Author
Jane Austen is an English writer whose creative years fell on the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. A feature of this period is the transition from the Enlightenment to realism and romanticism. The works of the writer still arouse the interest of both researchers and readers. Universal human values, which were the theme of her work, are relevant at all times. In the world literature, one of the most tragic female images is a non-dowry. Jane Austen has more optimistically considered this topic in the novel "Pride and Prejudice."
The life of girls from poor families in the late nineteenth century was quite complicated. In the small town of Meriton, located in the county of Hertfordshire, in its own barely habitable estate, the noble family of Bennetts dwells, all the wealth of which is concluded in a successful marriage for each of the five daughters. The head of the family, Mr. Bennet, is a straightforward, phlegmatic person, ready stoically to face everyday difficulties that are falling on him. Mrs. Bennet is not an educated lady, she is timid, screaming and frankly stupid. Her only purpose is to find worthy suitors for the two elder daughters Elizabeth and Jane. It was not an easy issue to solve.
Find a wealthy and decent man to make his daughter his wife, without having a dowry, for the father of a provincial family was an almost insoluble task. And if he has five daughters, then there is nothing to talk about. A similar situation developed in Mr. Bennet's family. His wife had no intelligence, no upbringing, no origin. However, she had a high opinion of her own person. Of course, it was impossible to find spiritual support in her. Daughters also did not inspire hope, at least, three of them. The older Jane and Elizabeth inherited intelligence and spiritual qualities from their father. The novel "Pride and Prejudice" narrates about the vicissitudes in the fate of members of the Bennett family.
Once in a small town, Meryton rumor was heard about the arrival of a young rich and, most importantly, an unmarried man. His name was Bingley. He arrived not alone, but in Mr. Darcy's company. It was a man who has the same positive qualities, that is, well-being and the absence of a wife. Resonance, which this message evoked in a respected, but a poor house, where five girls lived, can not be explained. However, Bennet's sisters reacted differently. As already mentioned, the elders possessed intelligence and prudence, which other representatives of this large family could not boast with. The problematic of the novel is connected with the collision of human vices, which are present in the title. Pride and prejudice prevailed in the Bennet house, as well as throughout the town.
All the mothers in the county diligently paraded the charm and advantages of their daughters, in the hope that Bingley would choose any of them as his wife. Mrs. Bennet made every effort to implement this venture, hoping that Jane would become Bingley's wife. The character of Mr. Bingley is soft and flexible, he is inclined to romance, loves not only the beauty of the body but, above all, the beauty of the soul. Immediately after meeting Jane, he realizes that this girl will become his wife. Jane reciprocates a handsome young man, but Mr. Darcy intervenes in the matter, ready to shield his friend from an unequal marriage.
The Image of Elizabeth
The nature of this girl combines such contradictory features as tenderness and stubbornness, steadfastness and mercy. She is very attached to her father and cherishes every minute spent with him. A special relationship developed between her and her older sister. They always treated with deep tenderness towards each other, when Jane falls ill, Elizabeth walks several kilometers on foot to visit her beloved sister. A brief summary of the subsequent chapters reveals her character in more detail by the example of a complex relationship with Mr. Darcy.
Smart and well-read Elizabeth finds Darcy excessively arrogant, but extremely interesting, amused by endless arguments with this man, the girl does not notice how she gradually falls in love with him. But the barely emerging feelings turn out to be very fragile and almost disappear after Elizabeth learns that it was Darcy who took Bingley out of the city and thereby caused her sister so much suffering.
Love and Enmity
Already at the first invited party, where the acquaintance of Bennet's sisters took place with the young people who arrived, intrigue is tied up. Mr. Bingley and Jane begin to feel sympathy for each other from the first minutes. The relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is contradictory. Each of their dialogues is a verbal duel. It looks ceremoniously and courteously, but nevertheless, these people experience mutual dislike which increasingly becomes like falling in love. The obstinacy and independence of judgments are possessed by these heroes of Jane Austen's novel.
Characteristics of Mr. Darcy
He is cold and has a certain insight. Mr. Darcy is very different from all the young people that Bennett's sisters met before. He makes quite an unpleasant impression on them. The reason is the extreme arrogance of this man. Later it will turn out that behind the mask of coldness and contempt for others lies a sensitive and kind soul. A brief summary of Darcy's first encounters with Elizabeth is the clash of two very similar people. They almost from the first days of the arrival of friends in the provincial town are in love with each other, but they do not want to admit it even to themselves. Pride and prejudice prevent them. Mr. Darcy is in love with Elizabeth, but he tries to suppress this feeling because marriage with her would become a misalignment. The girl's family is much poorer than all members of the aristocratic family, to which this young man belongs.
It takes a little time, old Mr. Bennet dies, and his family is on the verge of real poverty. According to the laws of that time, the female person did not have the right to inherit the land and the estate, so Mrs. Bennet had to cede reins to her nephew who was willing to leave them the right to reside in the house solely on the condition to marry Elizabeth. As it should be in any story about a non-dowry, an unwanted groom appears on the stage. This storyline was used for the first time precisely by D. Austin. This is the innovation of the English writer. Mr. Collins is a man of no aristocratic origin, but he is extremely purposeful. He is in the confidence of Lady de Behr, which has a favorable effect on his fate. And, having achieved significant heights in his presentation, Collins decides to favor Elizabeth with a proposal of the hand and heart. Certainly, this self-assured person of a small mind gets rejected.
Traveling with her relatives, Elizabeth visits a beautiful castle, the owner of which is a certain young gentleman. Of course, this is Darcy. In the chapter that describes these events, he appears before Elizabeth in a different light. He does not express arrogance, a contemptuous cold glance that so irritated the girl. It should be said that this unexpected meeting was preceded by no less important events. Darcy once confessed to Miss Bennet in his feelings but did it in such arrogant form that only increased his unpleasant impression. Offering the girl to become his wife, he noticed that this step for his social situation would be almost disastrous. And later his reputation in the eyes of Miss Bennet was finally ruined by the deceitful story of Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth later learned the truth, and for a long time, she blamed herself for being unfair with Darcy. Arriving home, Elizabeth learns that her sister was married, and Darcy contributed to her marriage, paying Wickham a considerable amount that he married a disgraced girl. Such an act finally reveals Elizabeth's eyes on Darcy, she agrees to become his wife, and her sister Jane finally gets the opportunity to become Bingley's wife.