Kin Altruism, Spite, And Forgiveness in Pride and Prejudice

Magdalen Ki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This paper argues that Jane Austen reconfigures the dynamics of kin altruism and reciprocal altruism in Pride and Prejudice. The previous generation has in mind the welfare of the family and the household’s dependents; however, Mr. Darcy, the Bingleys, the de Bourghs, and the Bennets prioritize the lineage family. The plot is further complicated by the social logic of tit for tat and the behavior of spiteful individuals. Austen highlights the pros and cons of kin altruism and reciprocal altruism, and ultimately likens social harmony to forgiveness and the triumph of a modified nuclear-extended kinship system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-228
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophy and Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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