[2015] Erica Haschert (AP Literature): Pride and Prejudice/Jane Austen

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[2015] Erica Haschert (AP Literature): Pride and Prejudice/Jane Austen

This story takes place in Longbourn, England, one of the rural part of the country during the 18th century.

By Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is one of the best examples there is of a Horatian Satire, a light satire that also has a social criticism mixed in. For Pride and Prejudice however, one of the social criticisms is on marriage. In the 18th century, ladies were married off as young as 15 years old, although it was usually past 16 years old. Men were mostly concerned with looks and how submissive their wife will be, and women looked for how much their social standing and money will increase by marrying. No one seemed to ever marry for love, which ended up with two people who are not fond of each other living together and having and raising children together. Austen used several stock characters to help show that ladies should marry for love instead of just money.



Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet-Darcy: the main character the story revolves around; second oldest Bennet daughter; very stubborn and outgoing young woman; ends up marrying Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy: very wealthy (10,000 pounds a year) young man; has a young sister names Georgiana; very shy, often mistaken for proud; extremely intelligent and generous; ends up falling in love with Lizzy and marries her against his aunt's orders. Mr. Bingley: a wealthy (4,000-5,000 pounds a year) young man; very kind; outgoing; ends up falling in love with Jane and happily marries her.Jane Bennet-Bingley: first Bennet daughter; very shy young woman; very quiet and kind; ends up falling completely in love with Mr. Bingley and happily marries him. Charlotte Lucas-Collins: Lizzy's best friend; very plain with her features; marries Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins: Lizzy's cousin; he is to inherit Mr. Bennet's estate should Mr. Bennet die before he has a male heir grandchild; a minister for Lady Catherine's church. Mr. Wickham: Mr. Darcy's childhood buddy; decided to not take the job in the church like Darcy offered; became a foot soldier to make some money; a wonamizer; very charming; convinces Lizzy that Darcy is not to be trusted; ends up marrying Lydia after convincing her to run away with him. Lydia Bennet-Wickham: youngest Bennet daughter; very outgoing; has no impulse control; most adventurous of the Bennet daughters; ends up marrying Mr. Wickham. Mr. Bennet: the father of the Bennet daughters; husband to Mrs. Bennet; favors Lizzy. Mrs. Bennet: mother of the Bennet daughters; wife to Mr. Bennet; constantly obssessed with getting all five of her daughters married off; favors Lydia. Lady Catherine: obnoxious upper class widow; has no wife and one daugher; thinks the world revolves around her; employs Mr. Collins in her church.Mary Bennet: third oldest and middle child of the Bennet daughters; does not have the looks, so she is constantly trying to prove herself by becoming good at everything. Catherine (Kitty) Bennet: second youngest of the Bennet daughters; follows Lydia's lead; not especially outgoing.

This quote reveals the novel's entire plot. This is a novel about men oursuing their wives, essentially. It alos highlights the idea of marriage in the 18th century that it is simply to better one's social standing.

In this quote, Lizzy just agreed to dance with Mr. Darcy, a man she's "destined to hate." This is where we see how deep her hatred for Mr. Darcy is and helps to show how drastic her idea of him changes by the end of the novel.

This quote is said by Mr. Darcy at the first ball he attends in Longbourn. This shows that in the 18th century, the men were concerned with looks, loooks that were short of perfect, as well as social standing of the young ladies they were looking at to possibly marry one day.


The Bennets have five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth (Lizzy), Mary, Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia, all who are unmarried. Ms. Bennet hears that a new weathly unmarried young man has moved in next door and proceeds to throw Jane at him. They end up having feelings for each other but he is soon wisked away by his friend, the proud Mr. Darcy, who is also very wealthy and young and unmarried. Lizzy tried to engage Mr. Darcy, but to no avail. Lizzy ends up meeting a charming officer names Mr. Wickham who ends up convincing Lizzy that Mr. Darcy is a terrible man who made him become a poor foot soldier. Meanwhile, Lizzy's best friend Charlotte ends up marrying her cousin, Mr. Collins, who is to inherit her father's estate when he dies. When Lizzy goes to spend time with her at Lady Catherine's estate, she ends up running into her nephew, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy then asks her to marry him, to which Lizzy said no. Mr. Darcy vanished for a while and Lizzy returns home. Lizzy then decides to travel the countryside with her aunt and uncle, the Gardners. They end up touring Pemberly, Mr. Darcy's estate, in which they end up running into him. While he pays Lizzy a visit at her hotel, Lizzy find out that Lydia has run off from the camp she was staying at with another family to elope with Mr Wickham. Lizzy rushes home to comfort her mother. Then a letter arrives from Mr. Gardner, who had joined the search for Lydia, and announced that Lydia and Mr. Wickham ended up getting married. After visiting with Lydia before she goes to live with Mr. Wickham, Lizzy finds out that it was Darcy who paid for everything and discovered the couple, saving her family from ruin. Lizzy then ends up going to spend more time with Charlotte, she runs into Mr. Darcy who is staying with his aunt. She recieves a letter from him that explains everything, and she realizes that she loves him. While this is going on, as soon as Lizzy gets back Mr. Bingley comes back and asks Jane to marry him, and they end up being extremely happy with each other. Mr. Darcy comes back in town with him and end up talking to Lizzy where they finally realize they love each other and then go talk to Mr. Bennet and they get married and live happily ever after.


Literary Devices


Pride and Prejudice is broken up into three volumes. The first is where the reader meets all the characters and get the background of all the drama that is about to ensue. The second volume is where the reader encounters all the drama. It is where Mr. Darcy and Lizzy meet at Lady Catherine's estate and realize they love each other, Lizzy finds out about Mr. Wickham. Volume three is where all the love happens. This is where Lydia and Mr. Wickham marry (the love coming from Lydia of course), Jane and Mr. Bingley marry, and Lizzy and Mr. Darcy finally profess their love for each other.

Pride and Prejudice is written in a third person narrative.

Structure Features

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" (1).

"Heaven forbid!--That would be the greatest misfortune of all!--To find a man areeable whom one is destined to hate!--Do not wish me such an evil" (62).

"She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. " (7).

Most women marry to higher their social status, but in order to be happy women must marry for love. Pride is hard to escape, coloring the judgement of people and causing them to make hasty mistakes. Prejudice can cause people to wrongfully assume bad things about others based on material apperances.


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