Defining Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice - Silhouette

Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, had initially donned the title of First Impressions. Inspired by its mention in Fanny Burney’s novel Cecilia, Jane Austen, perhaps after deeper contemplation during the course of writing the novel, thought best to replace it by one subtler yet more relevant to the novel’s essence. Pride and prejudice: words which encase the phenomenon of social interlocution via appearances, either portrayed by ourselves or inferred from others, are scarcely asunder in meaning. Pride relates to slightly contrasting dispositions – either of self-dignity which rein in our weaknesses, as aptly described by George Eliot in Middlemarch: “Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts – not to hurt others.”, or which is abounded by self-vanity, as also mentioned by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice: “Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” Prejudice, similarly, is the formation of opinions usually based on unfounded means and which let us either blinded by vanity to be critical, or by awe to be servile. Continue reading “Defining Pride and Prejudice”