ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Pride and Prejudice: what young ladies of today can learn from Jane Austen's characters.

Updated on February 3, 2012
Jane Austen
Jane Austen | Source

The genius of Jane Austen undoubtedly translated her personal family life into the life of the characters in one of her most beloved works - Pride and Prejudice. Her own relationship with her sister found its way into the relationship between Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. Her problematic inheritance dilemma has shown the weight it casts on the father. The role a marriage can play for a woman in 19th century England has created a background for the events that played out between well developed characters. Austen has many lessons for us to observe, and we will be better off if we pay attention.

Mr. Bennet receives the news about Lydia.
Mr. Bennet receives the news about Lydia. | Source

Lydia Bennet: a lesson on flirtation.

Think about your own values, and develop your own character.

Young girls should pay particular attention to the character of Lydia Bennet in this story. As the times have changed, teenage girls have changed, but a certain element of an overly flirty young girl, who is incapable of seeing that her actions go against her own best interest, has remained. The mistakes Lydia Bennet's been making in Pride and Prejudice 200 hundred years ago, are quite similar to the mistakes high school girls are making today. Her silliness and her lack of attention to high moral values are simply a sign of immaturity, but at the same time, they bare very real consequences, not only for her, but for the people around her.

Can you find happiness when only the materialistic and frivolous enters your mind? Can you find love with a man of good character, when you are filled with foolish concerns? Jane Austen answers for us, and the answer is "no". Despite Lydia's seemingly happy development, the older reader sees that her marriage will not be a happy one, and her relationship with her husband is based on an illusion. By no means do I think that a marriage should be a goal of every young woman, but so many of us yearn for love, and one cannot find it, unless she is willing to pay attention her own character.

Kitty Bennet: a lesson on friendships.

Choose your friends wisely, and do not follow them blindly.

So much of what Lydia has to offer in her lessons to us we can also see reflected in Kitty's words and actions. Of course, there is more than just mere friendship between Kitty and Lydia. They are sisters, after all. However, their relationship can easily be translated into a friendship between two young girls. Consider your own friendships. Do you choose to lead your relationships? Do you choose to follow? Is your own character strong enough to withstand poor influence? Do the friends you choose lift you up, or bring you down?

Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Bennet | Source

Elizabeth Bennet: a lesson on young woman's character.

What does it mean, to be "an accomplished young woman"?

Elizabeth Bennet is not perfect. She does not read people well, and she judges more than she should, but she is a thinking young woman. She cares about her family, strives for perfection in her relationships, and sets high standards for herself and those around her. She will not settle. She is not naive about her situation, and maybe that's why her refusal to Mr. Darcy's proposal is one of my favorite parts. How confident one must be to take such a step under her circumstances! With all of her faults, she is still well worth looking up to, even if she is a fictional character. I can imagine Jane Austen envisioned herself as she wrote Lizzy's character.


Caroline Bingley: arrogance and cattiness get you nowhere.

You cannot find happiness in a relationship if you do not treat others well.

One of my most favorite parts in this book is the scene in where Miss Bingley is putting down Lizzy, and is hoping Mr. Darcy will join in on the fun. Yet, Mr. Darcy does the exact opposite, he comes back with, "...it has been many months now since I have considered her one of the handsomest women of my aquaintance." What Miss Bingley, and so many others, do not understand is you can never gain the respect of person of noble character unless your character is also kind and generous. Miss Bingley's arrogance has brought her nothing, but momentary satisfaction of pointing out flaws in another woman. Was is worth it?

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy | Source

Fitzwilliam Darcy: what makes a good partner?

What makes an excellent partner.

Every girl deserves to find her own Mr. Darcy. What exactly makes him such a great partner? Oh, where to begin. Intelligence is attractive, so is confidence, but what makes Mr. Darcy truly irresistible is the way he is willing to set aside his pride for the woman he loves. What a gesture on the part of Mr. Darcy to settle the debts of a young man who has shown no respect to him in the not so distant past. Arguably, this is one of the most difficult things to do in life - to help out someone who mistreated you in some significant way, and expect nothing in return, except the happiness of a woman you love. Some will say there aren't any men like Darcy left in our day and age, but I beg to differ. They are there, and we simply have to be willing to look for the signs that indicate generous, honorable nature in a partner.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      Very pithy analysis. As a Jane Austen fan, especially a Pride & Prejudice one, this hub really appeals to me and I am sure it would too to Austen's other fans. Pride & Prejudice indeed offers a whole lot of morals attached with the characters, which makes the book a timeless masterpiece, and it's great to have them laid out here.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)