What Is The Main Conflict Of Pride And Prejudice?

Updated 30 September, 2023
The main conflict of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice comes from the very title of the novel. Elizabeth’s prejudice and Darcy’s pride play a major role in their relationship and in the book in general. It provides obstacles for their relationship to overcome, and prove their love for each other.
Detailed answer:

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is mainly about Elizabeth and her relationship with Mr. Darcy that evolves from a hateful relationship into a couple in wedlock. Pride and prejudice play a big part in Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship and are the source of the main conflict of the novel.
Mr. Darcy is a rich and prideful man that pays no attention to Elizabeth when they meet at a public dance. Elizabeth, putting too much stock in first impressions, thus keeping her prejudiced, leads her to dislike Mr. Darcy; additionally, her introduction to the charismatic Mr. Wickham encourages her dislike of Mr. Darcy, further driving them apart, and encourages a relationship with Mr. Wickham, which she thinks is mutual. Elizabeth is convinced that her prejudice against Mr. Darcy is valid upon the information at hand and what she thinks is her advanced ability to judge human character.
From the beginning of the novel just after Elizabeth met Darcy, she had decided on her opinion against him. He was rude and refused to dance with her then later on she heard him say to Mr Bingly, “she’s not handsome enough to tempt me” talking about her. She also believed that he didn’t like her at all ever since he said “My good opinion once lost is lost forever.” This is quite ironic since Elizabeth claims that he is prejudiced towards her yet he is not, she made the snap judgement without getting to know him.
Elizabeth is aptly surprised when Mr. Darcy announces his love for her and proposes to her; alas, while explaining his deep love, he reminds her of their difference in social circles, stating that she couldn't expect him to 'rejoice' in her 'inferior connections'. She takes offense to his pride and completely turns him down. She strongly informs him of the primary reasons she does not like him, those reasons being how he treated Mr. Wickham and how he had separated Jane and Mr. Bingley. When Mr. Darcy complains at her bitterness, she remarks that his arrogant proposal distanced her from him, that he should have 'behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner'.
Mr. Darcy storms out lividly, later hand-delivering a letter to Elizabeth. The letter detailed why he separated Mr. Bingley and Jane, and that Mr. Wickham had been dishonorable to Mr. Darcy's younger sister. Elizabeth comes to realize her poor judgments were born of prejudice. She improves her feelings about Mr. Darcy, who had also done some self-reflection, and came to see his treatment of others in a new, negative light.
Finally, only after overcoming their pride and prejudice, Darcy and Elizabeth confess their fellings to each other.

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