It is a well established fact that the title says a lot about a book. The crafting of a book takes many strenuous hours, but the title takes the same consideration. In just a few words, the readers are given the basic idea of what the book talks about. Jane Austen’s book “Pride and Prejudice” is an example of a novel with a title which is integral to its whole plot. As the reader advances in the novel, the importance of the title becomes clearer.
“Pride and Prejudice” works remarkably well as a title because it contains two important elements. Firstly, it contains the descriptions of the main characters and secondly it contains the entire plot in the most concise form possible.
Throughout the novel, majority of the characters display pride, prejudice etc. Jane Austen describes her take on pride through the natures of her different characters. Earlier in the novel, Mary describes Pride as “…a common failing. Human nature is particularly prone to it”. Mr. Darcy stands as the most obviously proud character. The possession of a high social rank and a vast fortune, his pride is justified to some extent but takes on a negative undertone when he looks down on others. Lady Catherine, Miss Bingley and even Elizabeth Bennet constitute the other proud characters. While Lady Catherine’s patronizing behavior and Miss Bingley’s rudeness are due to their social class, Elizabeth can be deemed proud on the account that she has high respect for herself and this causes her to be prejudiced against anyone who hurts it. This is best displayed when Elizabeth refers to Darcy: “And I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine”
In Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, Austen uses Mr. Bennet to help develop the characters; in like manner, Austen uses Mr. Bennet to help develop the plot. One of Mr. Bennet's most meaningful contributions to the character development is the influence he exerts on Elizabeth. "She is obviously his favorite [daughter], and probably the only one in his family that he feels real fatherly ...
Along with Pride, Prejudice is also a common trait in many of the characters in the novel. According to Austen, Prejudice is an unfavourable opinion which is not unbiased and this is best described in the way which Elizabeth reacts to Mr. Darcy. She forms an unjustified opinion of him from their very first meeting. Mr. Wickham’s account of him adds further fuel to the fire. When Darcy gives Elizabeth the letter as an explanation to his accusations, she starts reading it “persuaded that he could have no explanation to give…with a strong prejudice against anything that he might say”.
The title Pride and Prejudice also has ironic undertones, an element that Jane Austen is appreciated for. The irony is that Darcy’s pride turns out to be Elizabeth’s Prejudice against him.
Earlier to be titled “First Impressions”, Pride and Prejudice is a novel which is done full justice by its title. The title is the most suitable one because these two traits are the pivot around which the entire novel revolves and thus a testimony to Jane Austen’s brilliance.