Jane Austen – Resolved questions – Pride and Prejudice

Questions to revise Jane Austen

  1. Jane Austen: a rather uneventful biography.

Jane Austen was born in 1775. She was the sixth of seven children and she spent her life very close to her family. Her inseparable companion was her sister Cassandra, who, like Jane, never married. Her father taught her the basis of the literature and she started writing when she was very young, in 1987. After some revisitations she finally published “Pride and Prejudice” in 1813. Her novels were originally published anonymously but her brother Henry revealed her name subsequently. Jane, however, was very famous even she did not revealed her identity trough her novels. She was able to write other novels until 1817, the date of her death.

  1. Why is Jane Austen not a Romantic writer, despite being a contemporary of Wordsworth and Coleridge?

Jane Austen, unlike Coleridge and Wordsworth, valued reason and realism in her characters over emotion and sentimentality. Her objectives was to analyze the behaviors of each character. They must had the right amount of moderation and common sense who win on the spontaneity and passion. She checked the principles of the previous generation trough her own direct observation and spontaneous feeling.

  1. Is Jane Austen a realistic author? What kind of world does she describe and how?

She limited her view to the world of the country gentry and to a determinate social class, with its virtues and vices. In her time, news and communications were often restricted to the local population and they spread very slowly among the country. So usually the people were aware only on local events. She inserted a lot of verbal and situational irony, rather than a clear interpretation or comment by the author.

  1. Pride and Prejudice: introduce its main events and characters.

The novel “Pride and Prejudice” is full of young lovers’ trials, misunderstandings, reversal, triumphs and ends in a happy marriage. The protagonist is Elizabeth Bennet, who has four sister. Her parents, Mr and Mrs Bennet, are constantly worried about the conjugal life of their daughters. During a ball, the Bennet’s family meet Charles Bingley, his two sisters and his friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. Mr Bingley immediately falls in love with Jane, and Mr Darcy started to feel attracted by Elizabeth, even if he doesn’t want to admit it. Unfortunately for him, Elizabeth doesn’t return his feelings for his rude behaviour. Successively Darcy declares his love to Elizabeth, who rejects it. She accuses him of separating his sister from Bingley because he doesn’t consider the social position of her family to be sufficiently prestigious for his friend. Also she accuses him for the unfair treatment to George Wickham, a young officer who was considered like a son from Darcy’s father. Darcy writes her a letter to explain that Wickham is an unscrupulous adventurer. Meanwhile, Wickham flees with Lydia. Darcy, to convince Elizabeth that her prejudice was unfounded, find Lydia and Wickham and paid their wedding. Elizabeth accepts the renewed proposal of Darcy, even if Lady Catherine doesn’t agree with them. In the end Bingley returns to Jane and the novel closes with the marriages of the two couples.

Her characters are round characters because they gradually change their inner feelings, behaviours and judgements during the novel.

  1. Explain the title of the novel.

The title “Pride and Prejudice” must be divided in two parts to explain its meaning. With Pride, the author wants to emphasize the proud disposition of each character , who doesn’t want to change his opinions of others characters. Prejudice means that many of the main characters base their opinions of others on initial impressions and about what social class they fall into.

  1. Marriage is both a private and a social issue and in the novel Pride and Prejudice and we have some examples of more or less successful matches. Do you remember at least two?

Marriage is a social issue by the time it is used for economic and social status porpoises, and it is a private issue, because it implies an important feeling of humans’ interiority that is love. In Pride and Prejudice, we have some successful examples of marriages, like Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Mr Bingley, that happens for true love between. An example of less successful marriage is the one between Mrs and Mr Bennet, which may have happened for social issues, because they are not really compatibles, but it works anyways. Another negative example of this, are Mr Collins and Charlotte Lucas that get married only for social and economic reasons.

  1. What does the author think about love, judging by the characters and event in the novel “P and P”?

She thinks that love must be excluded from social advantages and its strong impulses and intensely emotional states should be regulated by private reflections. Often private reflections are anticipated by a crisis or a climax where the character can establish his personal feeling and judgement without any influences from any others.

  1. Give a brief account of the excerpts you have read, pointing out the themes treated and the stylistic features they show ( marriage, money, characterization, use of irony).

In the extract of the novel “Darcy proposes to Elizabeth”, Darcy declares his love to Elizabeth, who rejects it. He reacts whit a sort of accusation on her social position of inferiority. Jane’s initial kind interpretation on the proposal becomes the opposite. She asked if he have something against the relation between Jane and Bingley and if he have done something to stop them. He answered what Elizabeth did not want to hear. In addition, she repeats her accusation about his rude treatment to Wickham. In the end she declares that she can never fall in love with him for the unfairness he have commit.

The main themes of this extract are the prejudice and the proud of both characters. Darcy and Elizabeth are clearly influenced by judgements of others. Respectively Darcy considers too much negatively the social position of Elizabeth, who can only compare him to a bad person, for his selfish behaviour. Is obvious that both characters are hiding some of their feelings, deeper than these. We can notice this in the climax where Darcy where rejected that ends whit the weeping of Elizabeth, who is the prey to an inner conflict between her opposite feelings. Also the initial proud of each characters doesn’t allow them to reflect on their own mistake and judgements, keeping them on the same idea.

In the extract of the novel “No more prejudice”, Elizabeth finally declares her love to Darcy, who paid the wedding of Wickham and Lydia. He does that to shows his good intentions to Elizabeth, who revisits her feelings towards him. So she admits her love to him after an inner reflection, that Jane Austen doesn’t shows. During the conversation she’s so embarrassed to be not able to watch him. Anyway she can listen the words of Darcy, who shows his real love to her.

The main themes of this extract is the final exclusion of Jane’s proud, who revisited her feelings and her judgement on Darcy. Also in this extract the passions are much strong but they aren’t enhanced by the author who wants to be as close as possible whit the reality and whith the contemporary code of good manners. Clearly we can see that Jane Austen believe in the true love and in the power of real emotions because Darcy becomes more beautiful when Elizabeth declares her love.

These answers weren’t written by me. If there are corrections to be made, write below in the comments, thank you.

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