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Pride and Prejudice
Transcript of Pride and Prejudice
Date of Publication: 1813
Genre: Romanticism to Victorianism The news that a wealthy young gentleman named Mr. Bingley has rented the manor of Netherfield Park causes a great stir in Longbourn, the Bennet household. The Bennets have five unmarried daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Mrs. Bennet is desperate to see them all married. After Mr. Bennet pays a social visit to Mr. Bingley, the Bennets attend a ball at which Mr. Bingley is present. He takes a special attention to Jane and spends much of the evening dancing with her. His close friend, Mr. Darcy, is less pleased with the evening and haughtily refuses to dance with Elizabeth, which makes everyone view him as arrogant and obnoxious.
At social functions over the next few weeks, Mr. Darcy finds himself increasingly attracted to Elizabeth’s charm and intelligence. Jane’s friendship with Mr. Bingley also continues to grow, and Jane is invited by miss Bingley to lunch at Netherfiled. On her way to the house she is caught in a downpour and becomes ill, forcing her to stay at Netherfield for several days. In order to tend to Jane, Elizabeth goes to stay at Netherfield as well. While there Darcy pays close attention to her much to the annoyance of miss Bingley.
When Elizabeth and Jane return home, they find Mr. Collins visiting their house. Mr. Collins is a young clergyman, and the cousin of Mr. Bennet who will inherit Mr. Bennet’s fortune. Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Collins makes a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth. She turns him down, wounding his pride. Meanwhile, the Bennet girls have become friendly with militia officers stationed nearby in Meryton. Among them is Wickham, a handsome young soldier who is friendly toward Elizabeth and tells her how Darcy cruelly cheated him out of an inheritance.
At the beginning of winter, the Bingleys and Darcy leave Netherfield and return to London, much to Jane’s dismay. Miss Bigley writes that Mr. Bingley is planing on marrying Georgiana, Darcy's sister. A further shock arrives with the news that Mr. Collins has become engaged to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend. Charlotte explains to Elizabeth that she is getting older and needs to marry for financial reasons. Charlotte and Mr. Collins get married and Elizabeth promises to visit them at their new home. The Gardiners, Mrs. Bennet's cousins come and invite Jane to come to London with them. However, Miss Bingley visits her and behaves rudely, while Mr. Bingley fails to visit her at all. The marriage prospects for the Bennet girls appear bleak.
During the spring, Elizabeth visits Charlotte, who now lives near the home of Mr. Collins’s patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is also Darcy’s aunt. Darcy comes to Lady Catherine's one evening and is surprised to find Elizabeth there. Her presence leads him to make a number of visits to the Collins’s home, where she is staying, and one day, he makes a shocking proposal of marriage, which Elizabeth quickly refuses. She tells Darcy that he is arrogant and prideful, and that she knows he is responsible for breaking up Jane and Bingley and mistreating Wickham. Darcy leaves but comes back the next day with a letter. In this letter, he admits that he urged Bingley to distance himself from Jane, but claims he did so only because he thought Jane was indifferent towards him. As for Wickham, he says he is a liar and that Wickham attempted to elope with his younger sister, Georgiana Darcy, for her fortune.
The letter causes Elizabeth to reevaluate her feelings about Darcy. She returns home and acts coldly toward Wickham. The militia is leaving town, which makes the younger, Bennet girls upset. Lydia is invited to spend the summer in Brighton, where Wickham’s regiment will be stationed. Elizabeth goes with the Gardiners on a trip eventually leading to Pemberley, Darcy’s estate. She agrees to visits Pemberley thinking Darcy is away. Suddenly, Darcy arrives and behaves cordially toward her. Making no mention of his proposal, he entertains the Gardiners and invites Elizabeth to meet his sister.
Shortly after, however, a letter arrives from home, telling Elizabeth that Lydia has eloped with Wickham and that the couple is nowhere to be found, which suggests that they may be living together before marriage. Fearful of the disgrace such a situation would bring on her entire family, Elizabeth quickly returns home. Mr. Gardiner and Mr. Bennet go to search for Lydia, but Mr. Bennet eventually returns home empty-handed. Just when all hope seems lost, a letter comes from Mr. Gardiner saying that the couple has been found and that Wickham has agreed to marry Lydia in exchange for an annual income. The Bennets are convinced that Mr. Gardiner has paid off Wickham, but Elizabeth learns that the source of the money is Mr. Darcy.
Now married, Wickham and Lydia return to Longbourn briefly, where Mr. Bennet treats them coldly. Bingley returns to Netherfield and resumes his courtship of Jane. Darcy goes to stay with him and visits the Bennets but makes no mention of his desire to marry Elizabeth. Bingley, proposes to Jane, to the delight of everyone but Bingley’s judgmental sister. While the family celebrates, Lady Catherine de Bourgh pays a visit to Longbourn. She corners Elizabeth and says that she has heard that Darcy, her nephew, is planning to propose. Lady Catherine demands that Elizabeth promise to refuse him. Elizabeth says she will not agree to this. A little later, Elizabeth and Darcy go out walking together and he tells her that his feelings have not changed since he last proposed. She accepts his proposal, and both Jane and Elizabeth are married. Plot Summary Author's Style Property Symbols "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a
single man in possession of a good fortune,
must be in want of a wife." England's Regency Period From 1811-1820 when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son ruled in his place.
Class system strictly upheld and the Church and Royals defined social scenes.
England embraces the industrial revolution.
Literature just came out of the Age of Reason 1750-1800. Biographical Information about Author Born as 7th child of parish Rector.
Relatively poor family.
Lived in Bath.
Remained single her whole life.
Wrote many novels, but remained anonymous until after death. Characteristics of Genre Described the conventions of aristocratic and sophisticated society.
Satirical through characters demonstrating types of people instead of individual personalities.
Atmosphere is more important than plot.
Comedy of manners.
Depicted real people in real life scenarios.
Focused on imagination and emotion. Irony: Contrast between the explicit and what is meant.
Situational Irony: Events turn out to be the opposite of what is expected.
Ex. Wickham ends up with Lydia, the youngest of the Bennett sisters.
Verbal Irony: Words literally state the opposite of their meaning.
Ex. "I am perfectly convinced by it that Darcy has no defect, he owns it himself with disguise.
Dramatic Irony: Facts are unknown to certain characters but known to the reader.
Ex. Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth very early on, but she doesn't know it, though the reader does. Sarcasm: Caustic language used to hurt or ridicule.
Ex. "Your mother will never see you again if you marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." Chapter 20
Dialogue: Characters' actual speech.
Ex. "Well Jane, who is it from...?" "It is from Miss Bingley" Chapter 7 Indirect Discourse: Hearsay; not an exact quotation
Ex. "Mr. Collins was Eloquent in her praise." Chapter 14
Switching Point of Views: The transfer from one point of view to the next
Ex. Though the novel is 3rd person omnicient, most is told from Elizabeth's point of view, however sometimes it gives us information Elizabeth is unaware of. "Again during the chief of the day was miss Lucas so kind as to listen to Mr. Collins...this was extended further than very amiable." Netherfield: Symbolizes genteel, higher class along with separation from the lower class.
Pemberley: Symbolizes the coming together of the Novel and of Darcy and Elizabeth's love.
Longbourn: Symbolizes the class struggle Walking Paths The women constantly went on walks, which consequently symbolized the freedom for women from societal pressures, equalizing all the women in the novel. Lady Catherine Symbolizes the great class separation and the prejudice shown towards those like Elizabeth who are of a lower class. Marriage Symbolizes the social implications of the time shown by how people wanted to marry into higher class families. This was also an area for security. Possible Themes Pride and Prejudice/First Impressions
Pride and prejudice lead to negative relations when demonstrated in first impressions
Property and Inheritance
People's property and inheritance should not play a major role in relationships
Duty and Transgression
It is a person's duty to act appropriately despite past transgressions
The accomplished woman is not simply one with great class standing, but is a well rounded, headstrong individual
Marriage should occur from love despite social standings or other prejudice Setting:
Hertfordshire, London, Derbyshire, Kent
During the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1815)
Mostly rural scenes with large fields and estates, typically far from town with a few scenes in London Significance of Opening Scene Sets the ideas for the rest of the novel. Shows Mr. and Mrs. Bennett discussing the marriage prospects of their daughters because of the new, wealthy, single man moving into Netherfield. This scene demonstrates the mentality of this novel and the historical preferences that Jane Austen is trying to establish and counteract. Significance of Closing Scene This is significant because both Jane and Elizabeth end up happily married, and the people who had been looked down on were able to overcome the prejudice against them as the truth came out. Austen's themes regarding marriage and pride are thus avidly summed up singnificance: As the opening quote of the
novel, this statement becomes the premise for the rest of the plot and Mrs. Bennet's way of thinking when she desperately tries to get
her daughters married. Shows the themes of pride and prejudice when picking a husband. "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." Significance: Shows the popular view of marriage at the time and highlights Elizabeth's rare opinion. It is her disagreement with this quote that leads to her denial of Collins' proposal. "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any at all." Significance: Shows Darcy's flaw of pride as well as the high standards for women of the time period. "Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us." Significance: Shows the main themes of pride and prejudice as well as Darcy's flaw of pride. Ultimately, both Darcy and Elizabeth must overcome their pride to be together. "How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because of their passions were stronger than their virtues." Significance: Contrast the disgraceful relationship based on lust of Lydia and Wickham, with Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship of true love and shows what Elizabeth wants in a marriage. "My fingers do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. They have not the same force of rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault--because I would not take the trouble of practicing. It is not that I do not believe my finger as capable as any other woman's of superior execution." Significance: Shows the witty, non-submissive spirit of Elizabeth, strengthens Darcy's attraction for her, and shows the high expectations and perfection it took to be an accomplished woman. Characters: Elizabeth Bennet
protagonist) Main character of the story. Portrays the opposite societal norms of being a spirited independent woman and marrying for love. Witty, intelligent, passionate, outspoken, headstrong prideful Mr. Darcy
(Major character) A parallel to Elizabeth's character, falls in love with her even though she is in a much lower class. Reserved, genteel, passionate, outspoken, headstrong, caring, prejudiced, prideful Jane Bennet
(Major character) Foil to her sister Elizabeth, conforms to societal norms and thinks good of everyone. kindhearted, well mannered, optimistic, hasty, naive Mr. Bingley
(Major character) Foil to Mr. Darcy, he is more open with his feelings and represents the perfect gentlemen both socially and morally. Kind, moral, genteel, happy, lighthearted, loyal, naive Mrs. Bennet
(Major character) A pushy overbearing mother who desperately tries to get all her daughters married. Demonstrates vanity and class struggle. Motherly, annoying, persistent Mr. Bennet
(Minor character) The laid back father of the Bennets. Foil to Mrs. Bennet in parenting style. Withdrawn, sensible, detached Mr. Wickham
(major/minor character) The militia man who lies to Elizabeth about Darcy, and elopes with Lydia. Shows how important first impressions are. Charming, witty, deceitful, greedy, careless Miss Bingley
(Minor character) Mr. Bingley's haughty sister who greatly disapproves of the Bennets and does not want her brother to marry Jane. Shows vanity, pride and class separation. Elegant, arrogant, vain, prideful, prejudice Mr. Collins
(major/minor character) The Bennets' awkward cousin who will inherit their estate and tries to marry Elizabeth. Shows the concept of marrying for social and financial gain. Awkward, polite, quiet, obsessive Lydia Bennet
(Minor character) The youngest Bennet daughter who is wild and crazy and nearly disgraces her family. Through her elopement with Wickham we see Darcy's love for Elizabeth. Careless, wild, passionate, self absorbed, foolish Lady Catherine
(Minor character) Darcy's high society, sophisticated aunt who does not approve of the Bennets and tries to prevent the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. Shows the class separation of the time. Elegant, talkative, self centered, vain, prideful, judgemental Conclusion: Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful crafted comedy of manners, detailing the customs of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage and how having pride and prejudice impacts each of these elements, as well as first impressions, in 19th century England.