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Symbols In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald And Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austin

874 words - 4 pages

Unlike a multitude of other books that use many obvious symbols to help characterize its characters, such as the use of the green light in The Great Gatsby, Jane Austen makes use of something starkly different. In her book Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen uses her setting to illuminate certain characteristics of the characters in her book. This is most evident in Darcy, whose house at Pemberley brings out Darcy’s tendency to break from social order, his want for a natural and not social marriage, and finally, his depth of character that often surprises the reader.

Often times in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s setting reveals whether its occupants will adhere to, or break the social ...view middle of the document...

Just as Pemberley parallels Darcy’s break from social order, the descriptions of Pemberley reveals that Darcy similarly rejects the idea of social marriages (for the most part) and wants a more natural marriage that takes form in his marriage to Elizabeth. As Elizabeth is riding with the Gardiners to Pemberley she states, “She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste.” In contrast to Rosings Park, Pemberley’s beauty comes not from a planned out garden, but instead comes from nature itself. Pemberley is also described as not having any “artificial appearance.” Darcy, as conveyed by his home, favors what is natural and unplanned. His marriage to Elizabeth fits his character, and his setting, perfectly. He never planned it (and did whatever he could to resist the feelings) and the marriage is of love not for social standing as Darcy has nothing to gain from it. As we can see Austen’s setting of Pemberley as Darcy’s home helps illuminate, and even foreshadow, Darcy’s idea of marriage which ultimately culminates in his marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.

Along with revealing certain traits of her characters, Austen’s settings often times foreshadows the transition of a certain character or their underlying, yet unseen, traits, that the reader is not yet aware of. This is again emulated in our example of Pemberley. Austen writes, “They had now entered a beautiful walk by the side of the...

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