In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a story of how Elizabeth (and her true love, Darcy overcome all obstacles-including their own personal failings-to find romantic happiness. She questions weather she should marry Fitzwilliam Darcy for love or social stability. The first time he asked for her hand in marriage he was obviously was not wanting to marry for love but to upgrade her poor social standing in which Elizabeth turned down. When Darcy for the second time proposes to Elizabeth she is truly in love but for the sake of her pride she wants to say no but is taken over by love. Once Elizabeth final meets the true Darcy she then falls in love with him threw all the social turmoil.
This proposal and Elizabeth’s acceptance mark the climax of the novel, occurring in Chapter 58.
Elizabeth was much too embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, “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.” Elizabeth feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand, that her sentiments had undergone so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure, his present assurances.
Austen in a roundabout way successful proposes. It is important to remember, however, that the proposal and acceptance are almost a foregone conclusion by this point. Darcy’s intervention on behalf of Lydia makes obvious his continuing devotion to Elizabeth, and the shocking appearance of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the previous chapter, with her arrogant attempts to prevent the engagement, serves to suggest strongly that a second proposal from Darcy is about to happen. The clunky language with which the narrator summarizes Elizabeth’s acceptance serves a specific purpose, as it captures the one moment of joyful incoherence for this supremely well-spoken character. She accepts Darcy’s proposal “immediately,” the narrator relates, but “not very fluently.” As Elizabeth allows herself to admit that her love has supplanted her long-standing prejudice, her control of language breaks down. The reader is left to imagine, with some delight, the ever-clever Elizabeth fumbling for words to express her uncontainable happiness.
Elizabeth is not only coping with a hopeless mother, a distant father, two badly behaved younger siblings, and several snobbish, antagonizing females, she must also overcome her own mistaken impressions of Darcy, which initially lead her to reject his proposals of marriage. Her charms are enough to keep him interested, fortunately, while she navigates family and social disorder. As she gradually comes to recognize the decency of Darcy’s character, she realizes the fault of her original prejudice against him.
Throughout the novel there are numerous mentions of the beauty of Elizabeth’s eyes. Her eyes may be symbolic of her abilities of perception. She has pride in her abilities to perceive the truth of situations and of people’s characters. However, her perceptive abilities fail her frequently because vanity and judges people influence her carelessly. By the end of the novel she overcomes her prejudice through her dealings with Darcy. Elizabeth is concerned with propriety, good-manners, and virtue, but is not impressed by mere wealth or titles. While at first she finds Wickham charming and Darcy proud, in the end she realizes that she has been blind and prejudiced, and that Darcy is the true gentleman while Wickham is not. We are all blinded either for good or bad by wealth and social titles