Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Themes

Themes and Colors
Pride Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Pride and Prejudice, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Pride is a constant presence in the characters' attitudes and treatment of each other, coloring their judgments and leading them to make rash mistakes. Pride blinds Elizabeth and Darcy to their true feelings about each other. Darcy's pride about his social rank makes him look down on anyone not in his immediate circle. Elizabeth, on the other hand, takes so much pride in her ability to judge others that she refuses to revise her opinion…

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Prejudice in Pride and Prejudice refers to the tendency of the characters to judge one another based on preconceptions, rather than on who they really are and what they actually do. As the book's title implies, prejudice goes hand in hand with pride, often leading its heroine and hero into making wrong assumptions about motives and behavior. Austen's gentle way of mocking Elizabeth's and Darcy's biases gives the impression that such mistakes could…

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The family is the predominant unit of social life in Pride and Prejudice and forms the emotional center of the novel. Not only does it provide (or fail to provide, as in the case of Lydia) the Bennet daughters with their education and manners, but the social ranking of the family determines how successful they may reasonably expect to be in later life. Austen skillfully reveals how individual character is molded within the family…

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Pride and Prejudice is a love story, but its author is also concerned with pointing out the inequality that governs the relationships between men and women and how it affects women's choices and options regarding marriage. Austen portrays a world in which choices for individuals are very limited, based almost exclusively on a family's social rank and connections. To be born a woman into such a world means having even less choice about whom to…

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Class is the target of much of the novel's criticism of society in general. Austen makes it clear that people like Lady Catherine, who are overly invested in their social position, are guilty of mistreating other people. Other characters, like the suck-up Mr. Collins and the scheming Caroline, are depicted as thoroughly empty, their opinions and motivations completely defined by the dictates of the class system. To contrast them, Austen offers more positive…

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