Romanticism and Realism in the Relationship Between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
Pride and Prejudice, the novel by Jane Austin, is a complex piece of art that blends the romance with the realism. The varieties of features are added in this novel for making it more realistic and appropriate to the 19th century novels. The mixture of the real scenario with the essence of romanticism was quite a unique feature of the novel presented by Jane Austin (England 2016). The major plot discussed in this novel is mostly signifying the essence of romance where the hero comes out and makes the heroin free from the casement. Mr. Darcy is portrayed as an idealized hero, who tears apart the social bondage and frees his heroin after fighting with the villains or captors. Simultaneously, in order to free Elizabeth from such social bondage, he fights with Lady Catherine and his sisters as well (Beijerinck 2014).
The reflection on the social reality for the 18th century woman is always fantasized with the care of a man. Hence, the young woman has to stay at her father’s place before she moves to her husband’s place. Women did not have the right to inherit or own the property. They even had few opportunities to earn money independently (Deutsch, Lawrence and Henneberger 2014). In this particular novel, the social reality of the Bennett sisters has been portrayed more prominently. They do not have to the choice regarding marriage due to which they tend to marry a person for being financially secured. The realistic approaches in this novel are contributing to the romantic appeals as well.
The entire novel is completely focusing on Elizabeth Bennett, who possesses the romantic and individualistic ideologies (Baker 2014). Her relationship with Mr. Darcy is somewhat facing clashes due to the high class and gender discriminations. The influence of the social classes on their relationships is also much highlighted in this novel. It has been noted that in the novel, Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy belongs to the upper class society that has the power over the other society people. The prominent aristocracy is reflected from Mr. Darcy’s character. He had the connections to Lady Catherine, another aristocrat, high society woman. On the other hand, Elizabeth Bennett is representing the 18th century woman who has to survive through the reality (Chang 2014). The novel depicts the clear picture of the social world, which is laden and stratified with the struggle and pretentions of the social class. Darcy, at the initial stage, took no interest on Elizabeth Bennett since she belongs to a middle class society. However, after several courses of interactions, he finds the honest and lively mind of Miss Bennett (Deutsch, Lawrence and Henneberger 2014). In fact, Elizabeth also disdains Mr. Darcy since he is superior to her.
However, their romantic relationships are influenced by the social reality of class and gender discriminations. The situation is dreadful in case of Miss Bennett has to struggle through the perception that the unmarried woman of her society can only be a tutor or a governess. However, the feminist attitudes of Elizabeth Bennett have helped her to survive through such typical mindsets surrounding the society of 18th Century. She has her individualism that does not allow her to bow for surviving through economic strength. Therefore, she turns down the proposal of Mr. Darcy at the initial stage (Deutsch, Lawrence and Henneberger 2014). She believes in marrying for love and not for money. The novel clearly breaks down the pride of Darcy with the humor, intelligence, and individualism of Elizabeth Bennett (Herrera and Kraus 2016). The novel is thus generally identifies the highly stratified society, which is segregated by the recognizable social class in 18th century.
The novel is sometimes presented as the critique representative of 18th century society in England where the women marry for their survival. In fact, there is the clean and high level of social class snobbery and social pretensions. Such gender and social class discrimination has influenced the growing relationship between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. However, it still determines the growing love between these two people who belong to the different social classes. Breaking down the pride of the high society, the middle class society could finally survive. The novel depicts the clear picture of the social world, which is laden and stratified with the struggle and pretentions of the social class. Darcy, at the initial stage, took no interest on Elizabeth Bennett since she belongs to a middle class society. The society of the 18th century is finally mixes up with the high-class society. The amalgamation between romanticism and realism is clearly portrayed.
Baker, A., 2014. Caught in the Act of Greatness: Jane Austen's Characterization of Elizabeth and Darcy by Sentence Structure in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The Explicator, 72(3), pp.169-178.
Beijerinck, H.C.W., 2014. Pride and prejudice. Europhysics News, 45(3), pp.26-26.
Chang, H.C., 2014. The Impact of the Feminist Heroine: Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 3(3), pp.76-82.
Deutsch, N.L., Lawrence, E.C. and Henneberger, A., 2014. Social class. Handbook of youth mentoring, pp.175-187.
England, P., 2016. Sometimes the social becomes personal: Gender, class, and sexualities. American Sociological Review, 81(1), pp.4-28.
Herrera, Y.M. and Kraus, N.M.B., 2016. Pride Versus Prejudice. Comparative Politics.