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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Essay title: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen marvelously portrays the life of a middle-class country family in England during the early nineteenth century. The family, the Bennets, is presently engaged in finding suitable (rich) husbands for their five daughters. The main character, Elizabeth Bennet, is an intelligent, witty, and opinionated young woman. She has already rebuffed one would-be suitor because she felt he was unfit, and in this scene, she turns down another, Fitzwilliam Darcy, because she feels that he is arrogant and cruel. This scene portrays a lively exchange between the two, with Elizabeth accusing him of prejudice and Darcy charging her with being full of pride.

The scene opens with Darcy entering the room where Elizabeth was reading. After inquiring about her health, he pauses for a few moments and then suddenly declares, "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you" (Austen, 142) He then proceeds to tell her all the things that are wrong with her family and her own "inferiority" (142). Despite all this, he still loves her. Darcy seems sure she will accept, but Elizabeth's dislike of his pride and arrogance make it impossible for her to accede. They then proceed to enter into a heated argument and each volley cutting insults upon the other. Austen's wording during this exchange adds to the liveliness of this quarrel. Elizabeth first disparages his proposal by saying, "Why with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character" (143) Darcy's proposal was a far cry from romantic and it convinced Elizabeth that Darcy wants a wife inferior to him, something she would never stand for. She

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