Social Stereotyping in Pride and Prejudice

Table of Content

“Elizabeth possesses brains, beauty, musical talent, confidence, and rare independence” (5). When Dared realizes what Elizabeth has to offer he overcomes his disapproval of the middle class and is finally able to tell Elizabeth how he feels. Austin writes, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feeling will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell {oh how ardently I admire and love you” (188). Elizabeth is quite shocked by Dairy’s confession but, “she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man’s affection” (Austin 188).

After many days, Elizabeth is able to realize that she is wrong about Dared and that her initial impression of him does not show his real personality. Ere two are able to look past the stereotypes that they had for each other and confess their love and be married. The relationship between Jane Bennett and Charles Bentley also shows social stereotyping, but in a different way. Jane and mingled start to like each other from the second they meet. Bentley shows himself to be an amiable young man and demonstrates his admiration for Jane Bennett by naming with her twice.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Profiteered writes, “Bentley respects social form but also cares more about Cane’s personality then her social class” (7). Jane and Bentley stereotype and Judge each other very little. “He doesn’t mind a bit that she doesn’t have a penny, he has more than enough for the two of them” (Austin 15). Bentley, Milling to support a woman despite her social class, shows how he really feels about lane. Jane and Bentley seem like the perfect match for each other until Dared intervenes.

Dared is the one that separates Jane and Bentley with his stereotyping. Howard states that “while the Bonnet’s can socialize with Bentley and Dared, they are clearly their social inferiors and are treated as such” (xiii). Dared does not approve of the social class that Jane belongs to so he convinces his friend Bentley to leave town. The same problem that keeps Dared from telling Elizabeth how he feels is also keeping his friend from true love and happiness. Jane is heartbroken by the news but she does not show her feelings.

Austin writes, “Hope was over, entirely over; and Nee Jane could attend to the rest of the letter, she found little, except the professed affection of the writer, that could giver her any comfort” (133). Cane’s lack of care for social class shows her love for Bentley. She ignores the stereotype placed on the upper class and only cares about being in a happy marriage. Bentley, on the other hand, is easily convinced by Dared that marrying someone in a lower class would be social suicide. After Dared realizes that social class is not the most important aspect of a relationship, Dared and Bentley travel back to Interfiled.

Bentley is able to apologize for leaving town without saying goodbye and he ends his apology with a rapport of marriage to Jane. “There was nothing of presumption or folly in Bentley that could provoke his ridicule, or disgust him into silence; and he was more communicative, and less eccentric, than the other had ever seen him” (Austin 335). Lane and Bentley are finally able to be together. Profiteered believes “the class system imposes unwritten rules on who may marry or socialize with whom” (2). However, lane and Bentley can overcome class stereotypes and look at the person and not the person class.

The marriage of Lydia and Hickman is another example of class stereotyping. Versa states “when Lydia elopes with Hickman, it is scandal to the Manhole society and an injury to the entire Bennett family’ (5). Hickman is a man of Ere fact that Lydia married a man who does not have much to offer makes society stereotype the Bennett family as lower class. Hickman is not high in society for many reasons but Lydia decides to ignore those reasons. Burke writes that “if one family member demonstrates societal deviance, the whole family is perceived to hold the same negative reputation” (4).

In this case, the whole family received a negative reputation because of what Lydia did. Burke proclaims “the high class society maintains a very proper and restricted way of life, while the middle class is viewed clearly was inferior” (3). Lydia does not seem to care how the society views her and her family as long as she is happy. Hickman has no money because he went bankrupt after loosing all of his cash gambling. He lies to Lydia about what really happened in order to get her to marry him. Howard says “Hickman will do anything he can to get enough money to raise himself into a higher station” (xvii).

Hickman hopes that marrying Lydia will get him more money and raise his social status. Also, he only marries Lydia after his plan to marry a rich northern woman fails. Chant says that, “Lady’s lack of common sense and responsibility is revealed when she takes pride in being the first Bennett girl to be married. Lydia does not take into consideration the circumstances of her marriage, the personality of her husband, or the prospects of their marriage for the future” (1). Lydia and Hickman have a marriage that is doomed to fail which will only cause the Bennett family more grief.

Lydia causes her family to become social outcasts. Mrs.. Bennett is also a victim of class stereotyping. The business of her life is to get her daughters married. Profiteered shows that “Lady’s shallowness points to her parents deficiencies” (4). If Mrs.. Bennett had been more interested in her daughter’s lives and not who they are going to marry, maybe Lydia would not have run away with Hickman and caused the family anguish. Mrs.. Bennett is speaking to her husband when she says, “But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them to marry the rich Mr.. Bentley’ (Austin 6).

She spends most of her time planning and worrying about her daughters and their future husbands. She wants her daughters to marry into a rich family, even if they are not in love. Mrs.. Bonnet’s opinion about marriage is clear when she tells Elizabeth that she will never speak to her again unless she marries Mr.. Collins (Austin 111). Her disappointment in Elizabeth shows how much she cares about social class and the stereotype that her daughters will receive after being married. At the end of the novel, Mrs.. Bennett is overwhelmingly happy about the news of two of her girls, Jane and Elizabeth, marrying into the upper class.

A critic states “to the absolute delight of Mrs.. Bennett, Elizabeth and Dared and Jane and Bentley soon announce their plans to marry’ (Moss 2). Mrs.. Bennett is a foolish woman who lacks all sense of modesty and virtue and has no concern for the moral or intellectual education of her daughters; she only cares about their social status. Marietta thinks that “it is rather foolhardy to marry without having a more-or-less guaranteed income in advance” (7) and Versa believes that ‘man is a social being, and apart from society, there is not even the individual” (2). Mrs..

Bennett would agree that the main reason to get married is to secure a place in Mr.. Bennett, on the other hand, does not care as much about social society. Class as his wife. He thinks about the well being of his children and if they are really Mr.. Bennett is very surprised because he thought that Elizabeth would never be happy with him. Mr.. Bennett says to Lezzy, “l have given him my consent. He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse any thing, which he condescended to ask. I now give it to you, if you are resolved on having him” (Austin 364). The fact that Mr..

Dared is a very rich man does not matter to Mr.. Bennett because he cares only about his daughter’s happiness. Mr.. Bennett also shows his opposing views from his wife when Mr.. Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Mrs.. Bennett reacts by insisting that Elizabeth accept the proposal in order to keep the house in the family while Mr.. Bennett insists that she does not accept the proposal because she is not in love with Mr.. Collins. Mr.. Bennett says to his daughter, “An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of {Our parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr..

Collins, and I will never see you again if you do” (Austin 111). Elizabethan parents obviously have different views on what makes a successful marriage. The relationships of Dared and Elizabeth, Bentley and Jane, Lydia and Hickman, and Mrs.. Bennett, Mr.. Bennett and their daughters are prime examples of social stereotyping in Jane Student’s Pride and Prejudice. Dared has such a hard time admitting his feelings for Elizabeth because of the lower social class that she belongs to. Elizabeth tries to deny her feeling for Dared because of the snobbish stereotype put on him because of his upper social class.

Bentley and Jane are able to have a loving relationship without social stereotyping until Dared convinces Bentley that Jane is not in the proper place in society. The marriage of Lydia and Hickman nearly destroys the Bennett family because of the lower class that Hickman belongs to. Mrs.. Bennett only cares about the society ranking of her children so the fact that Lydia did not marry into a higher class causes her grief. Mr.. Bennett has opposite views of his wife and cares more about his children being happy then being socially accepted. Social stereotyping in Pride and Prejudice causes many relationships to be questioned and challenged.

Cite this page

Social Stereotyping in Pride and Prejudice. (2018, Mar 08). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront