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What separates PP from the typical Shakespearean drama is the direction of the protagonists’ interactions. As a central focus of the play, Elizabeth never faces impossible odds in life, never having to conquer demons of any sort. Instead, the “union of wit and drama is achieved with complete success only in the central sequence of [PP], in the presentation of Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s revaluation of each other” (Watt 1963, p. 63). As a testament to gender equality, both Darcy and Elizabeth have their reservations about each other’s backgrounds and intentions. For example, Elizabeth is constantly wary of Darcy as an urban snob who too quickly makes assumptions about country life. She is guarded as his opinions involve her family. Elizabeth’s suspicions of Darcy grow into spite, culminating with her brief friendship with Wickham, who Darcy regards with a certain degree of spite. Austen introduces the characters of Elizabeth and Wickham carefully, making sure that Elizabeth never fully becomes enamored with him for his kind facade. Instead, Austen portrays Elizabeth as “completely and willfully [misjudging] Darcy’s character, [overlooking] Wickham’s faults simply because he is Darcy’s enemy” (Bloom 1987, p. 60). Darcy almost mirrors Elizabeth, who in turn suspects the Bennet family of intending to marry Jane Bennet to the wealthy Charles Bingley solely for his money. Though his suspicions are largely born out of concern for his friend, Darcy admittedly concedes his prejudice toward the lower classes just as Elizabeth admits to her prejudice toward the bourgeois. Austen brilliantly weaves the two characters together, who are spiteful and immature only to each other throughout the novel. The mirrored character development of Elizabeth and Darcy overlap as Darcy reveals Wickham’s dubious past, leading to the “revaluation” and budding relationship they share. The paralleling of Darcy and Elizabeth serves as an added allusion to the concept of equality. Though both characters are “extremely mature people by the time [they] meet,” both characters develop and overcome what small flaws in judgment they exhibit despite their good intentions


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