Pride and Prejudice AP Literature Summer Homework
“That is very true, replied Elizabeth, and I could easily forgive his pride, if he has not mortified mine”. (15)
We were told early in the book that Elizabeth strongly dislikes Darcy but this quote reminded me of how humans interact with each other when their feelings are hurt. Reminiscent of conversations when a man gets rejected at a bar by a female, as soon as the female says no to the man he tries to convince himself that he never liked her anyway with remarks like “well I thought you where fat”, or “well your ugly anyways”. It's also juvenile and embarrassing. Darcy's personality never really changes in the book only Elizabeth feelings towards him change. Darcy is prideful and thinks himself above most people, but then so does Elizabeth. She looks down on poor Charlotte who chooses Mr. Collins is a husband because she has to, to avoid starvation. Elizabeth looks down on her family thinking that her mother is beneath her father. I would argue that Elizabeth has more pride than Mr. Darcy does in his little finger. If the book had started out with Mr. Darcy answering Mr. Bingley's statement that the woman at the dance were all beautiful including Elizabeth, I bet her opinion of him would've completely changed. Just like the scorned men in the bars Elizabeth has cut Mr. Darcy down in an effort to save her own pride but in the end she is really just hurt.
“Is not general incivility the very essence of love?”. (122)
This quote really struck a chord with me. I saw Bingley an entirely new light. Mr. Bingley’s entire life is being followed by his two sisters and his brother-in-law. They act like an insulator, his entourage does not allow him to have any true feelings or enjoyment of his life without their approval. That Mr. Bingley was willing to offend people at his own party just to be around Jane, a woman of little importance, is proof of his love to Elizabeth. I had not considered rudeness to be an indicator of love, but the way Elizabeth projects his feelings allows me to understand Mr. Bingley's character better. Mr. Bingley seemed disingenuous and small to me before this quote. Elizabeth has reminded all of us of the expectations of a very wealthy man during this time. Mr. Bingley is expected to do the right thing because his entourage requires a good marriage to propel their standard of living, as well as his own. Making the wrong decisions in marriage affect them, probably more than anybody else. That Mr. Bingley is willing to turn his back on these expectations makes me think more of him and allowed me to see him in a whole new light, worthy of someone like Jane.
“I have heard, indeed, that she is uncommonly improved within this year or two. When I last saw her, she was not very promising. I am very glad you like her. I hope she will turn out well”. (280)
This is my favorite quote from the book. Jane Austen has created a masterpiece beyond parallel with the statement. Austen has showcased exactly who Mr. Wickham is, encapsulated in these words. That Mr. Wickham would have the audacity to speak this way about another human being showcases his lack of morality and arrogance. You can almost see his smug face saying the words, the picture paints itself for your eyes. It is not a very famous quote. I could not find it anywhere described or talked about on the Internet which is a shame. Wickham is a character you love to hate. I cannot imagine a worse thing to say about someone then they were “not very promising”. She could've used a million words here to put in Wickham’s mouth, but his understated contempt showcased his character. Jane Austen has an understated way of speaking volumes without using ugly vulgar language. This cut down stings just as much today as it did years ago as it will hundred years from now, it is truly timeless.