Further thoughts on Pride and Prejudice

[General,Research] (01.28.09, 1:25 am)

I am working away on an analysis, a kind of deep reading of one of the chapters in the book. My goal behind this is to learn what things are happening symbolically within the story world, and find ways of abstracting those into some kind of format that can be easily modeled. My plan has been to do cycles of analysis and then design, and repeat the process, getting in a few good cycles. I hoped to get the analysis done last week, and the design done by Thursday, but I am only halfway through with the chapter analysis. Part of the problem is my fault for simply writing too much. Hopefully this will not prove to be problematic.

However, I did have a few preliminary notes:

Social variables / currencies are:

  • money
  • happiness
  • social status (this is moral standing in social landscape)

core character traits are:

  • moral standing (gentlemanliness) in Austen’s moral landscape
  • pride – sense of self value
  • prejudice – disposition toward (usually against) other characters. Prejudice is also an indication of the rate of change of one’s opinions
  • adherence to social codes


  • prejudice offsets moral interpretation of others
  • pride offsets moral interpretation of self ?
  • high adherence involves interpretation of social status as morality, otherwise treats real moral standing (evidenced by actions) as such

Types of conversation atoms:


  • offer: offer a topic of conversation
  • observation: special form of offer, commenting on something in situation
  • press: press an offer (if it has been rejected)
  • reject: decline an offer, potentially giving an excuse
  • pause: make no response to an offer
  • accept: accept the offer and respond to it in some form
  • respond: an accept in response to an observation
  • display emotion: blushing, growing pale, looking struck or taken aback
  • proposition: a kind of observation, suggest that something is true, generally of the conversation partner. This may be a raise or lower among others
  • agree: accept and respond positively to a proposition
  • disagree: deny and reject negatively a proposition
  • request: a special kind of offer, ask a character to engage in some activity or situation
  • gossip: a special kind of observation where the speaker shares some potentially hidden information
  • inquire: an offer that asks the conversation partner to gossip or make a proposition
  • intrigue: make an ambiguous statement which would require an inquiry to make sense, also may require a lowering of status to ask
  • defer: an accept that is accompanied with either an agreement or an inquiry for the partner to continue on

status related:

  • raise: compliment someone in some direct manner
  • lower: tease or lower someone socially
  • tease: special form of lower, indicate other’s failure to abide by social convention of conduct
  • misdirect: redirect a tease to the teaser, ignoring the accusation and reconstructing it
  • grab: attempt to raise own status by claiming authority in situation
  • threat: generally has the form of an inquiry, which suggests a grave violation of conduct were the threat transgressed. This may be used to refer to events in the past
  • pull together: associate two characters by comparison
  • distance: dissociate two characters through refuting comparison

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