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Pride and Prejudice
Transcript of Pride and Prejudice
Love/Marriage Roles- While people tended to marry because of social status during this time period, the relationships in the novel prove that marrying for love is possible.
Reputation-People's pride in their reputation can lead to misunderstandings and unfavorable behavior and attitude
Social Class- Social class differences were so prevalent in society that it affected every aspect of peoples' lives
Role of Women/Status of women- Women had very few rights and it was a common belief that their role in life was simply to get married, keep a good house and raise children. In her novel, Austen rejects this common belief.
Countryside of England
Netherfield (Bingley Estate)
Longbourn (Bennet Estate)
Meryton (Lucas Estate)
London (or near London)
Pemberley (Darcy Estate)
Brighton- Where Lydia goes to be near the soldiers
Author Background and Purpose
Lives in Pemberley
Knows Wickham well
Claims his weakness is his pride
Very rich, Lady Catherine's nephew
Very fond and protective of his sister
True gentleman (to those he knows)
Somewhat asocial and reserved-"I certainly have not the talent... of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done."
Lives in Longbourn
Second eldest of the Bennett sisters
Mr. Bennet's favorite of all daughters
Wants to marry for love, not convenience
Independent minded; not afraid to speak her mind
Interesting sense of humor (makes fun of "accomplished" women)
Prejudice (in interpreting people)
"In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal." Shows that she does not fear speaking her mind frankly and honestly, even to those of incredibly high rank
Grew up with the Darcy's, favorite of the late Mr. Darcy
Goes after money, not love
Charming soldier (militia)
Able to earn the sympathy of those around him
Discovered to be a compulsive liar
Why we recommend it
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
Reveals the importance of marriage in the 19th century and that wealth and status were the primary concerns, not love
"She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me."
-Darcy's pride and conceit leading to his negative opinion of everyone in the world around him
Jane Bennett and Charles Bingley
and Fitzwilliam Darcy
Lydia Bennet and Lt. Wickham
Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas
Elizabeth Bennett and Lady Catherine
Bingley, a man of large fortune, moves to Netherfield with his friend Darcy and becomes the object of the Bennet family's attention.
There are several climaxes, such as when Elizabeth turns down Darcy and when the family finds out that Lydia has run away with Wickham
Lydia and Wickham are found and married
Bingley and Jane are married
Darcy and Elizabeth are married
Everyone ends up happy
Jane and Elizabeth help Lydia financially
Kitty changes because she is free from Lydia's bad influence
Kind, amiable, happy person, similar to Jane
Allows himself to be easily persuaded, very influenced by those close to him
Follows Darcy, who is his opposite and best friend
Eldest Bennet daughter
Extraordinarily kind, "never sees a fault in anyone"
Very quiet, hides her emotions
Naive, always trying to see the good in people
Gives Elizabeth a second perspective
Born in 1775 in Hampshire, England
Published all books anonymously ("By A Lady"
Her family was member of low order of landed gentry
Novels generally depict dependence of women on marriage to secure social and economic security
Died at age 41 without having married
Cousin of the Bennet family
Lives on Lady de Bourgh's land
Eager to please, especially upper class
Wordy, long winded, prone to long speeches, everything he says has clearly been thought out before hand
Tends to seem dry and rehearsed
Proposes to Elizabeth but gets turned down, instead marries Charlotte Lucas
Class issues- Bingley comes from a lot of money and a respectable family, Jane comes from a family of modest means. Bingley's family does not like Jane, and they are happy to separate the two .
Bingley is persuaded by Darcy that Jane does not return his affections and leaves, but he comes back in the end and proposes to Jane
Class issues - The Lucas family finds Collins a great match b/c they can give their daughter little fortune
Collins will soon come into possession of the Longbourn estate
Charlotte finds Collins to be "satisfactory", showing that little love was actually in this arrangement
Status of women- Charlotte was unmarried at 27, and her family was afraid that she may never be married because she was "old" and so she accepted Mr. Collins because otherwise she many not have been married
Also an example of Charlotte's more submissive nature, as well as her own ambitions. i.e. "“Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon that establishment were gained.”
Wickham is among the members of the militia who come to Meryton, Lydia is a constant flirt with all of them
Run away together from Brighton
Lydia shows no regard for the moral code of her society, and feels no shame or guilt for having ruined her family's reputation. Similar to Wickam, seeing as he felt no guilt for trying to extort Darcy and ruin his reputation.
Both are very irresponsible, and fail to ever see their wrongdoings
Wickham doesn't really want to marry Lydia, even though he ran away with her
Marries her anyway, Lydia's affections are always greater than Wickham's
Class issues- When Lt. Wickam and Lydia run away, it was a major scandal. They were forced to be married, with monetary compensation, so as to safeguard reputation of the Bennet family, not because they loved each other. If they hadn't married, it would have been a scandal the Bennet family could never live down.
Elizabeth turns down Mr. Collins
The officers come to town
Bingley leaves, Jane is heartbroken
Elizabeth travels with her aunt and uncle (the Gardiners)
Confidante of Elizabeth
Practical and humble
Marries Mr. Collins
Exemplifies the status of women in this time period
"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."
-Demonstrates Mr. Bennett's fondness and regard towards Elizabeth and his desire for her to be happy even if it means passing up an opportunity of a suitable marriage
"It has often led him to be liberal and generous, to give his money freely, to display hospitality, to assist his tenants, and relieve the poor. Family pride, and filial pride—for he is very proud of what his father was—have done this. Not to appear to disgrace his family, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence of the Pemberley House, is a powerful motive. He has also brotherly pride, which, with some brotherly affection, makes him a very kind and careful guardian of his sister, and you will hear him generally cried up as the most attentive and best of brothers."
Influence of the pride of Mr. Darcy
Pride: Darcy's pride in himself is what causes him to appear as unapproachable, and causes great conflict for him in social situations
Prejudice: Elizabeth's prejudice towards the upper class and, more specifically, Darcy
Class issues- Darcy is one of the richest characters presented in the novel. His wealthy upbringing causes his immense pride. His pride however, interferes with his social life because he goes far enough to act as though no one is good enough for him. One effect of this is Darcy's inability to show clear affection towards Elizabeth, who comes from a much lower class family.
Lady Catherine acts very condescendingly towards Elizabeth
In their first meeting Catherine expresses her opinion on everything, lecturing Elizabeth on propriety by telling her she should practice her music and criticizing her family
Elizabeth refuses to bend to her will on several occasions--"Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence"
Elizabeth and Lady Catherine Continued
Lady Catherine demands that Elizabeth renounce Darcy's proposal
Lady Catherine insults Elizabeth ("a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world"), Elizabeth passionately refuses to hear anything Catherine has to say
Demonstrates Austen's belief that class distinctions should be of no consequence, especially in marriage
Lady Catherine is left resentful and angry, while Elizabeth is happily married to Darcy at the end
Pemberley Estate- Darcy's home also doubles as a symbol for Darcy himself. Austen describes “a stream of some natural importance [in front of the house] was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance.” Just like this stream, Darcy is naturally important because of his birth status, but swelled by his arrogance and pride into something bigger. He has no artificial appearance, as his emotions are clearly displayed and he does not hold back his opinions.
Countryside-Similarly, the countryside also acts as a symbol for courtship, love and status. Nearly all marriages taken place are born and cultivated in the countryside. In addition, while the country is less glamorous than the larger towns. It it is a source of pride for the Bennetts, especially Mrs. Bennett.
Letters - Darcy's letters, both those for his sister and the one for Elizabeth, are direct manifestations of his love and affections. They are an outlet for his thoughts that he is often unable to communicate verbally.
Balls- These were symbolic of social status and the superficial nature of many people during the time.
“The country," said Darcy, "can in general supply but a few subjects for such a study. In a country neighbourhood you move in a very confined and unvarying society.”
“But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever."
"Yes, indeed," cried Mrs. Bennett, offended by his manner of mentioning a country neighbourhood. "I assure you there is quite as much of that going on in the country as in town.”
“When I am in the country," he replied, "I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either.”
~Demonstrates the importance of location in the novel, Mrs. Bennet's own sense of pride for her countryside,
and Mr. Bingley's conformist/pleasant character
“Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it.”
~Illustrates the importance of marriage, both with and without love, as well as the standard of beauty that women must achieve
Colloquial language of 19th century Britain
Free, indirect speech
Third person omniscient narrator