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Significance of the Title ‘Pride & Prejudice’

The title of a book conveys the idea about what the novel is going to contain. The title of the book ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was originally going to be ‘First Impressions’. But later Jane Austen changed it to the current title. The title Pride and Prejudice perfectly resembles the main themes of the book. Pride and  Prejudice is a domestic comedy novel that the pics the story of aristocracy and class consciousness among the families in the 19th century. The story is mainly concerned with reputation and appearance. The title Pride and Prejudice describe the two human sentiments that are found into two protagonists of the novel.

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    In this novel we meet the protagonist Mr darcy who is a very class conscious person.  The theme of pride is associated with  his behaviour towards the female protagonist Elizabeth. Mr Darcy, who is filled with Pride regarding his enormous wealth and social position creates a very bad impression in front of Elizabeth in the very beginning of the novel. Mr. Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth stating that she is not beautiful enough to tempt him. We get a glance of the pride that is filled within him that makes him create a division between people based on their appearance and social status. The word Pride refers to a feeling of the satisfaction that is derived from one’s own achievements. Later, when he proposes to Elizabeth we can still see some pride left in his character. It is the reason that Elizabeth refuses his proposal. Even when Mr Darcy writes a letter to Elizabeth to defend himself, he does not lower his ego. In this novel we see that Darcy is not the only one associated with the theme of pride. Even Elizabeth has some amount of pride too. Elizabeth is proud on her skill of judging a person’s character. However she actually mistakes while judging Mr Darcy’s character.

 The theme of prejudice is associated with the female protagonist Elizabeth Bennet. The word ‘prejudice’ refers to a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Elizabeth forms an opinion about Darcy’s character without actually analyzing it with reasons. When Mr Wickham tells her a fake story about Darcy she easily believes it without checking. Similarly she expresses her biased opinions against many other characters too. For instance her reaction towards Mr Collins is much arrogant.
     But during the course of the novel the characters gradually mature and sacrifice their Pride and Prejudice when they finally realise that these are two vain sentiments. Elizabeth’s refusal to marry Darcy makes him realise about her true worth in his life. He gives up his pride and proposes to her two times. Elizabeth too realises about her prejudice and accepts his proposal the second time. She feels ashamed to think how she had been so blind and prejudiced towards Mr Darcy. After sacrificing these sentiments they both marry at the end.
    Thus we can say that the title Pride and Prejudice is very appropriate for the novel.

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