Concepts of Pride in Pride and Prejudice

December 25, 2016 General Studies

As said in the words of Mary, “human nature is particularly prone to [pride]” (14). In Pride and Prejudice, pride prevents the characters from seeing the truth of a situation and from achieving happiness in life. Without social status and pride, Pride and Prejudice would have a story without a theme. Pride is a constant source of misunderstanding and misinterpretation in this story. Pride becomes of such importance that it effects rational decision making and interferes with the individual’s attainment of happiness. It is immediately apparent that Mrs. Bennet’s quest for pride lies in the hands of one of her daughters marrying into wealth. But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them” (4). This statement by Mrs. Bennet highlights the pride that a person achieves by finding a good match. Her goal is to marry one of her daughters to a man of a good social standing, preferably wealthier than that of her own family, in order to assure their comfort and stability. In British society, a person would have more pride for a daughter if she was able to commandeer a good husband, rather than successfully work for a living. That provides a whole new meaning for achieving something in life. .

Conversely, Mr. Darcy is a proud character in a different manner. His wealth is good enough reason for him to be proud, at least in the public’s eye. “One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favor, should think highly of himself” (14). In this quote, Miss Lucas indicates that possessions are reason enough to be proud, and Darcy deserves to be somewhat arrogant. Possessing a little pride is nothing but beneficial for a person. However, it is an entirely different story when pride transforms into pompousness, which Mr. Darcy clearly allows to happen at the ball. He creates this reputation when he considers himself too proud to dance with any of the local girls.

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