In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen shows through the interactions of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy that they had been influenced by societal values, customs and norms, which refer to manners, behaviors, and etiquette, that were deemed necessary in society and were oftentimes determined by social classes; the influence of which caused them to develop a sense of pride and prejudice. Through the external influence of the society and environment they grew up in, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth came to value different aspects of their lives which led to the ensuing conflict that arose between them. The scene when Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth shows that while Mr. Darcy does indeed love Elizabeth, he takes pride in the social connections that he
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The dashes that are used separate Darcy’s actual words from what Elizabeth understands while she is listening to him speak, which show that while Darcy believes he is being reasonable, he is actually offending Elizabeth.
Towards the end of his speech Darcy regresses to his initial speech patterns, because instead of focusing on his honest feelings of love, he instead chooses to deny it by dwelling on superficial reasons fueled by his pride. Unlike when Darcy professes his love for Elizabeth, the author chooses to relay his objections of her family through indirect speech to not only capture the shift in his tone but also motivations as he places priority on social standing above his love for Elizabeth. Because Darcy places particular attention to social rank, it can be seen that his status as a member of the upper gentry has influenced him and led him to believe that it may be unacceptable to marry one of