The Self-Becoming of Elizabeth and Darcy in novel, Pride and Prejudice, as a result of the process of Self-ExplorationAnalyzing Jane Austen’s characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy in her novel, Pride and Prejudice, in the light of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of Self-Becoming as a result of the process of Self-Exploration is the subject matter of my assignment. Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of Self-Exploration fascinates me and Jane Austen’s novel can be best analyzed under this concept, the reason why I chose this topic for my assignment.
The process of Self-Exploration describes the development of characters in Pride and Prejudice and as novel proceeds the main characters become aware of their inner selves, coupling their inner world with their outer world and choose their own ways for crossing the river of their lives. The role of social constructs in constructing the behaviors of the two major characters of novel and their anti-thetical approach towards the social norms and values of Maryton society will also cover my analysis. The way Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet transcend the social inequalities of their time in order to meet their ends will also help me in constructing the main argument of my work.
The difference, imparted by the process of Self-Discovery, between the main characters of novel and other characters also finds coherence with my main argument.My research methodology is based on intrinsic as well as on extrinsic approach. In following intrinsic approach the novel, Pride and Prejudice, comes into play. In my research, I have concerned Jane Austen’s other writings in order to know about her portrayal of social satire. Her specific way of describing human relationships in her other novels is also relevant. To further satisfy my extrinsic approach, I have also concerned Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay titled as, “ Schopenhauer as Educator”, in his Untimely Meditations, translated by R. J.
Hollingdale. This essay covers Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of Self-Exploration, the main argument of my assignment.Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy are the two main characters of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. These two characters in novel go through the journey of self-discovery and this makes these two characters the most fascinating characters in the novel. Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s process of Self-Exploration leads them towards their success and these two characters after going through most fertile existential difficulties settle down for one another.
Nietzschein concept explains the struggle of these two characters in these words;“The man who does not wish to belong to the mass needs only tocease taking himself easily; let him follow his conscience, which callsto him: ‘Be your self! All you are now doing, thinking, desiring, isnot you yourself sic”(Hollingdale 127). Jane Austen’s first line of the novel introduces us with the main theme of her novel. Jane Austen speaks about the norms of society in these words, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in a want of a wife” (Austen 1). Her novel is basically an anti-thesis to this approach and she uses two main characters, the characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy, in order to deny the general perception of the society, the perception of looking men in terms of their wealth and women as possessions of wealthy men..
The story of the novel revolves around a family of Mr. Bennet. Novel’s exposition brings us Bingley.
Bingley in the beginning of the novel is hailed, in Hertfordshire, as a gentle man having a fortune of four or five thousand a year. Mr. Bennet has five daughters and her wife, featuring the typical character in novel, just cares about their marriages and nothing else. . Bennets also look Bingley in terms of his wealth, a typical of that society.
In fact, the age in which novel is written follows the age of industrial revolution and things were weighed materialistically in that age, even the human beings. Social constructs hindered pure love and pure emotions.In Pride and Prejudice, almost all the characters go with the tides of the time, except the two main characters.
The four daughters and Mrs. Elizabeth like Bingley. In fact, Mrs. Bennet plans to make arrangements for marrying one of her daughters with Bingley without having met him.
After having met Bingley, the four daughters, except Elizabeth Bennet, agree to marry him, if they get a chance, not because of the fact that they love Bingley but because of the fact that Bingley is a man who is extremely agreeable to the society. Bingley in return likes Bennets and he is particularly attracted towards Jane. Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t speak much about Bingley and replies to Jane’s compliments for Bingley in these words, “ He is also handsome, which a young man ought likewise to be” (Austen 13). Then Elizabeth Bennet again says to Jane, “Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never” (Austen 13) .These lines clearly speak about Elizabeth Bennet’s confidence in herself.
She doesn’t jump to conclusions and from the beginning of the novel we see her as a different character from other women in the novel. She is in a habit of giving herself a room for making her own judgements without being influenced by others. She throughout the novel goes through the process of excavation.
In other words, she follows the concept of Nietzsche in which he says;