Pride and Prejudice: by Jane Austen - Summary and Analysis

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Summary
      Pride and Prejudice is the first novel of Jane Austen. It is the most popular novel in English literature. Elizabeth, the second daughter of Mr and Mrs Bennett finds Darcy proud and condescending. She is further prejudiced by an unfavourable report of him from George Wickhan, a young officer. Elizabeth rejects Darcy's haughty proposal. When Elizabeth's younger sister runs off with Wickham, Darcy persuades him to marry her and he also reconciles Jane, the eldest daughter of Bennett with Bingley. Elizabeth's prejudice goes and she accepts the second proposal of Darcy. Along with this main theme, there are the episodes ot Jane-Bingley, Lydia Wickham and Collins and Charlotte Lucas.

Pride and Prejudice is the first novel of Jane Austen.
Pride and Prejudice

Critical Analysis
      The novel has a dramatic structure. The different episodes are looked at from the central character, Elizabeth, Jane Austen reveals characters through dramatic dialogues and situations. The novel deals with an entire family. Each character is beautifully delineated. Mr. Collins is the most humorous character; Lady Catherine is a pompous lady; Jane is sweet and Elizabeth is witty and vivacious. Darcy is shy and generous, but proud. Irony suffices the novel, as the characters labour under their misconceptions. Life is viewed as a high comedy. Jane Austen writes comedy of manners. Her comedy is confined to the delineation of the manners and habits of the upper middle class. Match-making is the central occupations of the characters. But there is a serious criticism of life. The original title of the novel was First Impressions. Austen means to suggest that first impression corrected by experience lead to the judgement. The first encounter between Darcy and Elizabeth suggests the conflict and then she devises a number of situations through which the conflict is resolved. The novel is remarkable for technical brilliance and structural coherence.

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