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Exploring Human Behaviour in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

In this blog post, we will explore how Austen uses her characters to study human behaviour in Pride and Prejudice.

Written by Daniel

9 months ago | Read time: 3 minutes


Exploring Human Behaviour in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice


Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice, is a timeless tale of love, relationships, and human behaviour. The characters experience a range of emotions throughout the novel and demonstrate the complexity of the human condition. In this blog post, we will explore how Austen uses her characters to study human behaviour in Pride and Prejudice.

The Theme of Love

One prominent theme in Pride and Prejudice is love. Love can be seen as a form of human behaviour that helps to shape our lives. Throughout the novel, we see different types of love – parental love between Mr and Mrs Bennet; romantic love between Elizabeth and Darcy; platonic love between Elizabeth and Charlotte Lucas; sisterly love between Elizabeth and Jane Bennet; self-love demonstrated by Lady Catherine de Bourgh; etc. Austen uses these different forms of love to illustrate how people behave in their relationships with others. For example, when Elizabeth rejects Mr Collins’ proposal for marriage due to his lack of ‘real affection’ for her, it demonstrates that she values genuine connection over social status or material wealth.

The Theme of Pride

Another important theme in Pride and Prejudice is pride – both its positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, pride can lead to arrogance (as we see with Lady Catherine de Bourgh) but on the other hand it can also lead to strength (as we see with Elizabeth). This tension between arrogance and strength helps to highlight the complexity of human behaviour – even those who are proud may have good intentions at heart but be misguided in their actions or words. Furthermore, Austen also shows us how pride can be dangerous if taken too far – as Mr Darcy learns when he discovers that his arrogance has cost him dearly in terms of his relationship with Elizabeth.

The Theme of Family

Finally, family plays an important role in Pride and Prejudice as well. Not only does it provide a backdrop for some of the most pivotal moments in the novel (such as when Mr Bennet gives his consent for Elizabeth’s marriage to Darcy) but it also serves as a basis from which to explore various forms of human behaviour such as loyalty, kindness, conflict resolution skills etc. For instance, while Mrs Bennet is often portrayed as foolish or shallow by many readers due to her tendency to exaggerate situations or speak without thinking first, she ultimately displays great loyalty towards her family by ensuring that all her daughters eventually marry well – no matter what their opinion on marriage may be at any given time!

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Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice is primarily a study of human behaviour because it explores various themes such as love, pride, and family through its characters’ interactions with each other. By using these characters to illustrate different forms of human behaviour – both positive and negative – Austen allows us not only gain insight into our own lives but also into those around us who may not always behave exactly as we expect them too! Ultimately then this makes Pride and Prejudice more than just an entertaining read but a valuable lesson about understanding human nature which still rings true today.

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