Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most popular love stories of all time, a masterpiece beloved for generations. Austen’s novel is a dazzling kaleidoscope of tropes, each one masterfully woven into a narrative that feels as fresh and relevant today as it did in the early 19th century. So, grab your favorite cup of tea, and let’s talk tropes.

1. Enemies to Lovers 💕

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s relationship is one of the most celebrated and well-loved examples of enemies to lovers. It’s the main through line in Pride and Prejudice.

Austen masterfully uses their initial misunderstandings and prejudices as a basis for their eventual growth and mutual respect, setting a high standard for the trope in romantic literature. Her novel has contributed to the popularity and enduring appeal of enemies to lovers in modern storytelling.

Who doesn’t swoon over the electrifying journey from mutual disdain to deep affection?

2. The Marriage Plot 💍

At its heart, Pride and Prejudice is the epitome of the marriage plot trope, which focuses on the courtship and ultimate marriage of the protagonist. The four couples are examples of different versions of marriage. Elizabeth & Darcy: true love, Jane & Bingley: love at first sight, Charlotte & Mr. Collins: marriage of convenience, Lydia & Wickham: hasty marriage.

3. Cinderella 🏰

Poor Eliza (whose family will lose their estate because of inheritance laws) falls in love with the wealthy Mr. Darcy.

4. The Misunderstood Hero 😌

Mr. Darcy initially comes off proud and aloof, earning Elizabeth’s disdain. However, as the story unfolds, we discover his true character, marked by loyalty, generosity, and integrity.

5. The Witty Heroine 🎀

Elizabeth Bennet stars as the witty heroine, a trope that celebrates intelligence, humor, and independence. Her sharp wit and spirited nature captivate Mr. Darcy.

6. Love at First Sight 👀

Jane and Mr. Bingley fall in love at first sight, showcasing an immediate mutual attraction that faces societal obstacles.

7. The Fast vs. Slow Love 🥂

Austen contrasts the idealistic view of love, as seen in Jane and Mr. Bingley’s instantaneous attraction, with the more realistic, slow-burning love that develops between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

8. Marriage of Convenience 💵

Choosing to marry Mr. Collins for security rather than love, Charlotte embodies pragmatism and the societal pressures faced by women of her age and station.

9. The Eccentric Family 🏡

The Bennet family, with its large personalities, showcases the trope of a big crazy family. Each Bennet sister represents different responses to the era’s marriage market, from Lydia’s impulsiveness to Jane’s sweetness and Elizabeth’s discerning nature.

10. The Scandal 🚨

The trope of scandal is usually an obstacle to love. Lydia’s elopement with Wickham endangers the Bennet family’s social standing and catalyzes Darcy’s intervention, revealing his deep feelings for Elizabeth.

11. The Seducer 🌹

Wickham embodies the seducer trope, not just in his romantic entanglements but how he manipulates social situations to his advantage.

How can you use these tropes to weave some romance into your stories?

Inspiration for this Newsletter

This ​breakdown of the tropes​ in Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, my favorite book I read last year. FYI, it’s never too late. This is her first book, and she is 65.

This month in honor of Valentine’s Day, the Hallmark Channel is doing ​Loveuary with Jane Austen​. They have three new Pride and Prejudice themed movies. I am in awe of how Pride and Prejudice continues to inspire new versions two hundred years after its publication.

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