Role Of Minor Characters In Pride And Prejudice

658 words - 3 pages

The Role of Minor Characters in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Perhaps the most striking part of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is her mastery of characters and the effects that each has on the plot, themes, and the other characters' actions. Though her minor characters are much less visible than the major ones, she still uses them as an integral part of the novel by weaving them into situations to enhance the plot and themes.Caroline Bingley is first introduced with the crowd of her brother, Mr. Bingley, his friend, Mr. Darcy, and her other sister, Mrs. Hurst. Her superior place in the class system compared to those in the Bennet family is evident both in the narration and dialogue of Austen's novel. Her opposition to Elizabeth stems primarily from her disdain for her unladylike manner, (such as in Chapter 17 when Elizabeth meets Jane after she falls ill, appearing with petticoats six inches deep in mud) as well as her jealousy in terms of Darcy's favoritism to her. However, her opposition to Jane is only due to her desire to have Mr. Bingley marry Georgia Darcy, a girl possessing a much higher birth and wealth than the equally pleasant Jane Bennet. Like many other characters in this novel, her belief that love is less important in marriage than the opportunity to increase one's place in society is an important theme felt by every character.Charlotte Lucas is another character that embodies the previously mentioned theme of practicality over love in marriage. When Charlotte marries Mr. Collins after Elizabeth rejects him, her willingness to sacrifice the security of a comfortable marriage with Collins over the happiness of a marriage of love is shown. While the more class-conscious Mrs. Bennet credits Charlotte for this decision, Elizabeth can only feel pity for her friend as she feels that Charlotte will be doomed to a lifetime of insipid company.A minor character with many ties to...

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