Pride and Prejudice Themes
The themes in Pride and Prejudice are rooted deeply in the era in which the novel is written. Have Paper Masters help you examine the themes within Austen's novel. Our literature experts will flush out the elements and themes and make the novel clear and understood within a custom research paper.
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, first published in 1813, is a novel that largely deals with manners. The story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's five daughters and their trials and tribulations in love remains one of the most beloved books in the English language. Like any good novel, there are a number of themes throughout the book. Ideas about the following elements of life are the major themes within the novel:
- Social class and economics
The first and most important theme is that of marriage. However, in Austen's writing, marriage is often an economic, rather than a social, arrangement. In Austen's day, marriage was often the only option for a young woman. The different marriages that Austen portrays throughout Pride and Prejudice give the reader an idea of how different sorts of alliances work.
A second theme in Pride and Prejudice is that of social class. In many ways, marriage becomes a sort of market within the novel, as economic concerns often take precedence over romantic ones. The characters in the novel come from the landed gentry, therefore marrying a wealthy individual is often the only means of preserving one's social class.
A final theme is that of self-knowledge. Elizabeth and Darcy are often at odds, but through their interactions they come to a greater understanding of each other and themselves. Even the opening line speaks of universal truth, leaving one asking how we, the reader, know what we know.