Character of Mr. Darcy and the Theme of Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

  • Added:
    Jan 19, 2013
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Mr. Darcy`s character undergoes the most drastic transformation in the novel. At the begining, he is introduced by the writer as a good- looking, egoistic, wealthy, aristocrat from a highly-respected family. The ladies, who had found him very attractive at first sight, considered him a man unsuitable for marriage because he showed no virtues.

The most striking example of his arrogance and snobbism was his remark about Elizabeth Bennet: “tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me”. (Austen:13). However, you shouldn`t judge a book by its cover. Mr. Darcy is naturally shy and constrained, which is often misunderstood for arrogance. He is loyal and kind towards his servants. On almost every occasion, he behaves like a gentleman. Elizabeth`s likeable personality made him fall in love with her. He struggled with his pride and prejudices to admit that he loved her. When he became aware of his feelings towards Elizabeth, he abandoned his old standards in order to let love into his life.

Elizabeth`s intelligence and strong will helped her to overcome her own prejudice and see the real man behind the mask. At the end of the novel, Darcy becomes a character of sense and love.

The major themes in this novel are marriage and love. Jane Austen writes about different types of marriages and motives behind them. She analyzes various meanings of marriage which are made to force the reader to made assumptions about which marriage will be successful.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet married not because of love but for social and financial acceptance. There was also a hidden agenda in the marriage between Lydia and Mr. Whickham. They didn`t marry for love, they married because they felt passion for each other. Charlotte Lucas also had hidden motives. She got married in order to gain financial security and to solidify her life. On the contrary Darcy fell in love with Elizabeth because of her personality. They learned how to tolerate each other, and in doing so, they became truly happy.

Austen believed that marriage shouldn`t be based on shallow emotions, wealth and social status. Austen uses characters as literary devices to show to the readers the contrasts between marriages based on love and marriages based on financial and social stability. She is making readers believe that marriage should only be for love and we begin to realize that only love can bring happiness.

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