Quotes or quotations are a set of phrases and sentences that consist of universal themes and beliefs. Every person who reads can use the quotes and apply to their daily situation. Pride and Prejudice, one of the famous literary works of all time, contains famous quotes that can be applied to various situations around the world even in modern times. Some of these quotes have been discussed below.
Quotes in Pride and Prejudice
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
These are the opening lines of the novel. These lines show how Jane Austen thinks about young people, especially men, who are settled and have a decent income, begins to look for a wife. The theme of marriage and having a wife resonates throughout the novel. Almost all the characters are engaged in one or the other way to marry. It explains that the parents too want their financially stable children to have a family of their own.
“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.”
These lines are spoken at the end of the fifth chapter where Elizabeth, Miss Lucas, and Mrs. Bennet are discussing different moral virtues and shortcomings. They further talk about the impacts on the character specifically concerning Mr. Darcy, who possesses immense pride at his lineage. Mary discusses these virtues and explains that vanity and pride are not the same things, but they are used interchangeably. She instead differentiates that vanity is what we want others to think about us, while pride means our opinions of ourselves.
“If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark.”
These lines are from the sixth chapter of the novel. Charlotte speaks these lines in response to Miss Bingley’s comments about Elizabeth that she is still arrogant. Charlotte says that a woman should not conceal her affection as much as she could lose the opportunity of marrying the very person from whom she is concealing those emotions. In other words, Charlotte feels that is necessary to do everything and more to impress the opposite person to win their love and affection. However, by the end of the story, it is proved otherwise.
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least.”
These lines are spoken by Charlotte in the sixth chapter as she is continuing her lecture to her friends specifically about Jane’s marriage. She believes that marriage is just a means to an end. According to her, it is okay to limit the affection and intimacy from husbands. She continues that if they get too affectionate, husbands will start expecting more from the wives. During that era, it was the common lifestyle of women unlike now, where women are mostly independent. These lines are significant in that they echo the major theme of the novel.
“I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself.”
These dialogues are from the eleventh chapter. Mr. Darcy says these words to Elizabeth during her stay at Netherfield. Both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth speak against their prideful nature. These words display Mr. Darcy’s integrity, honesty, though filled with pride and his lack of self-awareness, leaving Elizabeth surprised after observing his arrogance.
“How despicably I have acted! 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!”
Elizabeth speaks these lines in the thirteenth chapter of the novel. She receives an offer from Mr. Darcy. Earlier both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have a prejudice against each other. However, now she feels ashamed of her misgivings when she trusted Mr. Whickam’s lies. She realizes that all her ideas about her wisdom have dashed to the ground. She thinks that her mistrust and vanity were nothing but the vanity of her mind. In other words, Elizabeth regrets that she has been wrong in her judgment about Mr. Darcy.
“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.”
These lines are spoken by Elizabeth. She displays her strength and realizes her mistakes. She feels relieved that she was not in love; otherwise, she would have been blind. She admits that she mistreated Darcy before knowing the truth. Later, she admits her feelings towards Mr. Darcy.
“Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart, and then he will be sorry for what he has done.”
Mrs. Bennet speaks these lines to Elizabeth when she says that Mr. Bingley has refused to marry Jane who has been dreaming to marry Charles Bingley. She says that when Jane hears, she will die of heart attack and that Mr. Bingley will feel sorry for this bad act. This dialogue display’s Mrs. Bennet’s lack of a positive attitude as she fails to attempt any resolution. However, Elizabeth does not answer and just reflects over it to resolve the situation.
“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.”
Mr. Darcy has spoken these lines to Elizabeth who is sitting silently before him. He proposes to her and finding no answer, praises her for what she has in her heart for him. He asks her that if she has changed her mind, he will not talk on that subject anymore. These are very significant lines and explain the unique relationship that develops between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. It can also be related to our times and that you don’t have to try to impress the opposite person to win their love.
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
These dialogues are spoken by Mr. Darcy during the engagement. He confesses that he doesn’t really know how and when he fell in love with Elizabeth while indirectly asking her to forgive him. He further expressed that it doesn’t matter as he cannot return to the past but has started loving her more the moment they decided to be together.