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February Week 4

Teen Reader

Pride and Prejudice


Pride and Prejudice

Click here to read the text version of Pride and Prejudice

Click here to read the audio version of Pride and Prejudice

About the Author

Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Jane Austen, (born December 16, 1775, Steventon, Hampshire, England—died July 18, 1817, Winchester, Hampshire), English writer who first gave the novel its distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. She published four novels during her lifetime: Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). In these and in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (published together posthumously, 1817), she vividly depicted English middle-class life during the early 19th century. Her novels defined the era’s novel of manners, but they also became timeless classics that remained critical and popular successes for over two centuries after her death. (From

Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 novel of manners written by Jane Austen. Though it is mostly called a romantic novel, it is also a satire. The novel follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness.

Mr. Bennet, owner of the Longbourn estate in Hertfordshire, has five daughters, but his property is entailed and can only be passed to a male heir. His wife also lacks an inheritance, so his family faces becoming very poor upon his death. Thus, it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others, which is a motivation that drives the plot.

Pride and Prejudice has consistently appeared near the top of lists of "most-loved books" among literary scholars and the reading public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, with over 20 million copies sold, and has inspired many derivatives in modern literature. (From Wikipedia)

Questions for Pride and Prejudice

The book had the original, working title First Impressions. Why is Pride and Prejudice a better title? In what ways are Darcy and Elizabeth guilty of both pride and prejudice and how does this drive the action of the story?

How are Elizabeth’s wit and intelligence and independence first made clear in the novel? In what ways, during the course of the novel, is she the victim of her own intellect and independence? Are these features eventually responsible for her happy ending?

The love Elizabeth feels toward Mr. Darcy evolves and deepens largely without direct contact. Does that make you question that love? What causes these feelings of love? Are they realistic?

Why is Darcy so attracted to Elizabeth? When can we first sense this? Why does it take her so long to see it? Elizabeth’s attraction to Darcy arises very differently. Why is this important?

The happy union between Darcy and Elizabeth is ultimately (and unwittingly) assured by Lady Catherine. How? Why is this master stroke of dramatic irony so satisfying for readers? Can you see how the roots of this irony are sown throughout the novel? (Questions from

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