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Pride or Jealousy


Submitted By qsilverone
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Pride or Jealousy
We’ve all done it, seen someone flaunting something that we don’t have, or boasting about an achievement, only to instantly dismiss them as a prideful, pompous person whom we harbor a dislike for from then on out. Less often does a person who makes this impression on someone wind up marrying them, spending the rest of their time with them, happily ever after. There is a fine line between being rightfully proud of accomplishments, and being over the top about how you choose to inform people about them. With this being said, often times being accused of being “too proud” can be a sign of jealousy on the part of the accuser. What is pride, a label or an action, or is it a flaw? Jane Austen carefully develops the aspects of her characters that could be deemed prideful in her novel, and in doing so, gives us clues as to her feelings about pride and what it really is.
In the novel, Pride and Prejudice, the main characters, Darcy and Elizabeth, are the two most often accused of being too proud. The fact that Darcy is a well off, good looking young man makes him a likely candidate to be accused of being too proud. Every person that Darcy is “better” than is a person who could possibly accuse him of being too proud. Because of how Darcy’s first impression he made on Elizabeth made her feel, it is obvious that she has no intention of complementing him when she says he is too proud, but rather to criticize him. For her, telling herself and other people that he is excessively proud is the only thing she can do to somewhat hurt him and his reputation, after he strongly damaged hers. He thinks he is better than her, and dancing with her is something a man of his stature should not do.
I use the word accused in reference to what people call Darcy because I think the meaning of the word “pride” itself has evolved since Austen’s writing. Nearly 200 years ago,

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