A Comparison Of Characters In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

1394 words - 6 pages

A Comparison of Characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

There are several ways of comparing the potential of a man to be a
suitor, ranging firstly from the possible social gain that the woman
might achieve from marrying up a class, to the security that the man
could offer them in terms of life quality and economic status, and
lastly that they might actually be in love with each other and make
each other happy.

Mr Darcy, as a man, on first viewing, would appear to be the perfect
suitor for any eligible woman. He is a man of great wealth (definitely
within the top 1% wealthiest families in the country), and a man who
offers a possibly massive step up in social hierarchy - that could
increase the height of their family on the social ladder hugely. To
most of the women in Hertfordshire, he would be seen as an ideal
husband before they have met.

He has a good reputation amongst his class as being a superbly
mannered man, who is a brilliant dancer and a good friend, but the
impression that he gives to the whole of Hertforshire is immensely
different. When they first encounter him, he is seen by the mothers as
a great prospect to marry one of their daughters (indeed he is seen as
much more attractive than Mr Bingley), but this quickly changes. He is
seen to be far too proud - he deems but one woman at the Netherfield
Ball to be good enough for him to dance with (Bingley's sister), and
although his manners are gracious, he is merely going through the
motions; not being even nearly as sociable as Bingley. By the end of
the evening, every person in Hertfordshire perceives him to be a
stuck-up, prejudiced man who is nowhere nearly as amiable as Mr
Bingley, and Mrs Bennet, having suffered the indecency of having a
public insulting of one of her daughters, fervently hates the man.
However, most of the population would still have accepted his hand in
marriage had he proposed to them, but Eliza declines due to the false
information that she has been given about Darcy's actions towards
Wyckham. When she discovers the truth about this information, she is
able to see how she has misperceived Darcy's character, and realises
how blind she has been, indeed she has been prejudiced against Darcy
since their very first meeting, and once both Darcy and Eliza let down
their guards, they realise that they are perfect together.

Darcy as a potential husband offers, for most of Hertfordshire,
financial security, a life of luxury and a rise in social status, but
in terms of happiness, only Elizabeth can fulfil the criteria needed -
they are truly in love, and any other woman in Hertfordshire would
probably not end up entirely happy with a man of Darcy's
characteristics.

In stark contrast, Mr Bingely makes a completely different impression
on the locals in Hertfordshire. Although his wealth...

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