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Course Hero, "Pride and Prejudice Study Guide," August 10, 2016, accessed May 29, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Pride-and-Prejudice/.

Pride and Prejudice | Motifs

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Letters

Letters are an important motif in the novel. Not only are they the sole method of long-distance communication for the main characters, but they also serve to advance the novel's plot and characterizations. For example, Mr. Collins's letter announcing his planned visit to the Bennets shows his pomposity. Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth explains why he separated Jane and Mr. Bingley and illuminates the reasons for his past behavior toward Wickham; this knowledge greatly improves Elizabeth's and the reader's understanding of his character. Jane's letters to Elizabeth impart the terrible news about Lydia's elopement and thus help propel the plot toward its resolution.

Journeys

The idea of a journey implies change and a seeking of something new. As characters in the novel venture out of their familiar settings, they reveal more about themselves and move the plot forward. For example, the novel opens with Charles Bingley's move into the neighborhood. His arrival in a new place sets the stage for the action to come. Elizabeth's trips, first to Hunsford to visit Charlotte and later to Pemberley with the Gardiners, put her in Darcy's path—and lead to a new phase in their courtship. Lydia and Wickham's elopement is a fairly drastic example of a journey. Journeys, as motifs of change, keep the plot unfolding and characters developing through the novel.

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