Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"His pride," said Miss Lucas, "does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud." (5.18)
It looks like Charlotte agrees with Mr. Darcy: some people really do deserve to be proud. Of course, notice that she doesn't say anything about his character. She thinks he has a right to be proud because he's good looking and comes from a rich family.
"Pride," observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. 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." (5.20)
Mary is our Greek chorus girl, parroting the advice manuals that were popular in the early nineteenth-century. (It's like going around and quoting self-help books.) Sure, she sounds like a real stick-in-the-mud. At the same time, isn't she kind of right? There is a difference between pride and vanity—and it's a lesson that Lizzy and Darcy both have to learn.