Jane Austen offers her characteristic insight and dives into the depths and meanings of Pride and Prejudice’s title. Every character in Pride and Prejudice displays pride, prejudice, or both in some way. Pride and Prejudice, which was first published in 1800, opened the door for screenwriters and authors to create similar works. The work explored first impressions and how prejudices could cause pride, but also alter over time. Pride and Prejudice inspired many modern works including Beauty and the Beast and Death Comes to Pemberly. Bridget Jones’s Diary is another similar work. Sharon Maguire manages to keep the idea of Pride and Prejudice alive in Bridget Jones’s Diary by creating characters with the same qualities and lives that the characters in Pride and Prejudice. Bridget, Daniel, Mark and Darcy are all introduced to the audience. Bridget Jones’s Diary could best be described by using parallel plots and different characters.

Bridget starts the movie telling the audience it’s her 32nd year being single. She also tells them that every year her mom “tries to fix up” her. This sets the scene for a Pride and Prejudice-type story. Bridget is, like Elizabeth and has yet to find a husband. Bridget is faced with the same pressure as Lizzy. She also has to deal with the constant reminders from her mother that she must find a husband. Bridget’s mom and Mrs. Bennet share a lot in common. They want their daughters to marry wealthy men who can provide financial security. Mrs. Bennet, for example, mentions the great thing about Mr. Bingley arriving in town and how it makes her daughters feel financially secure (Austen 4). Bridget’s mother emphasizes Mark’s “well-to do” status when trying to convince Bridget that he is a suitable future spouse. Each female is subject to constant pressure from outside sources to settle down. Their mothers are the greatest contributors to the pressures. Bridget is a very relatable character, as Elizabeth and Darcy both struggle to cope with the pressures of society. Bridget (and Darcy) both receive and show prejudices towards Mark when they meet for the first time. Pride and Prejudice comes out after Elizabeth meets Darcy for the first time. Elizabeth judged Darcy’s behavior based on his appearance and was immediately disappointed. He was a shrewd, self-sacrificing man, and she could have forgiven him if he didn’t make me feel ashamed (Austen 41). This sentence shares three important points with Elizabeth. She clearly states Darcy is proud of herself and is proud of her beauty. Bridget Jones’s Diary shows Bridget meeting Mark for the first-time. Bridget draws a conclusion about Mark based upon his sweater and his relationship with his mother. Bridget hears Mark talking to his mother about Bridget. He tells Bridget that Bridget “smokes like a chimney, drinks as a fish and dresses like her mother” and that Bridget has no interest in a future together. These two events demonstrate how Elizabeth is proud of Bridget and their embarrassing pasts. This episode also speaks to the prejudices of Mark, Darcy and Lizzy. The parallelism between the stories is made more evident by the fact that four characters from each novel share similar behavior patterns.

Another similar situation Bridget and Lizzy end up in is a “love triangular”. Wickham grabs Lizzy’s attention immediately as “Mr. Wickham was just as far from the rest of the officers Lizzy had seen (Austen 176) Wickham managed to grab Lizzy’s attention at first sight. Wickham convinced Lizzy to believe Darcy a wicked person. However, the truth finally came out and Lizzy realized Darcy wasn’t a bad person. Wickham was the exact opposite. Bridget Jones’s Diary depicts Daniel as the ‘Wickham’ character. Bridget becomes attracted to him and thinks he’s better than Mark. Bridget realizes that Daniel’s story about Mark is a lie and Mark is more humane than her. Bridget and Lizzy end up with men they once hated. Although Bridget and Lizzy are presented with two men and are left confused for a time about who to choose from, Bridget and Darcy are able make the right choice after they let go of all their pride. Maguire is influenced by Austen’s similar views on the importance to be humble. They incorporate this love triangle, allowing Bridget and Lizzy the opportunity to disintegrate it after they become more humble.

The movie was shot in the 21st Century and Jane Austen wrote the book in the 19th. However, Sharon Maguire was able to adapt the stories to their time and make them relatable. Bridget Jones’s diary uses a modern approach to address how prejudice and pride can impact relationships and how people can adapt when these two factors are removed. Austen makes the same points. However, Austen writes them during a time in which pride and prejudice were more prevalent. Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary share a similar message, thanks to the parallel use of characters.