Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet Quotes
[Miss Bingley:] "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no [woman] can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved."
Here's a good look at some of the expectations for upper class women: music, singing, drawing, a nice voice, and a graceful walk. Notice anything missing? Oh yeah: any skills or accomplishments that aren't purely decorative. No calculus. No economy. No critical thinking. Only things that will help her attract a dude.
"How despicably I have acted!" she cried; "I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself." (36.18-19)
Super important moment: Lizzy says that now she finally gets herself. She's just as prejudiced and prideful as anyone else, and she let her own personal feelings deceive her. Hey, better late than never.
"There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it." (40.14-15)
This is Darcy and Wickham that she's talking about. Wickham is basically evil, and Darcy is, well, all you have to do is google "Darcy perfect man" to see what people think about him. But when we first meet them, we're just as taken in as Lizzy.