British Soc & Lit 1: Blog Post 3 (Pride & Prejudice)

Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice (1813)

Readings: If you can’t read the entire novel, at least read these sections (1/2 of the novel):

  • Volume 1: Chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 22
  • Volume 2: Chapters 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18
  • Volume 3: Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19

Presentations: Thursday, April 19

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Sometimes we hear that “everyone felt sorry for the Bennets” or “everyone was jealous of the Bennets,” and the opinions keep changing. Can you always trust whether the narrator is honest or joking?
  2. How does Elizabeth change or grow as a person? Do you agree with her decisions?
  3. How are women represented in the novel? Are they mean? Trapped? Practical? Manipulative? Does Austen always have sympathy for them?
  4. Does Charlotte do the right thing in marrying Collins? Is there an ‘ideal’ type of marriage in the novel?
  5. Austen originally called her novel First Impressions. How do “first impressions” matter in the novel? Why do you think the novel has the name it does?
  6. Mr. Bennet’s humor is enjoyable in the novel, but at times he seems to be a bad father and husband. Is this true? How and why?
  7. People in 1813 of course didn’t actually speak in the elegant, sophisticated way they do in the novel. Why might Austen have written in this way?
  8. Austen seems to feel that upbringing is more important than people’s basic personalities. Is this true? For example, is Lydia badly raised or just a foolish, boy-crazy girl?
  9. One criticism of the novel is that it is a little snobbish– the rich people are always conveniently the best people. Do you think this is true?

4 thoughts on “British Soc & Lit 1: Blog Post 3 (Pride & Prejudice)

  1. Alina Kim

    Q. Austen officially called her novel “First Impressions”. How do first impressions matter in the novel? Why do you think novel has the name it does?

    A. I think that Jane Austen called her novel “First Impressions” because in the novel the characters judge each other by first impression. In Elisabeth case, Darcy is proud, snobbish and arrogant aristocrat. I suppose that the reason of her misjudgment and misunderstanding is her first impression of Darcy. However in Darcy case, his first impression of Elisabeth change more quickly than the Elisabeth’s one. Elisabeth caught his eye and sparked his attention that no woman had done. I think that the keyword of the name “First Impressions” is “First”, because all characters in some way misjudge each other by first impression.
    After Jane Austen rewrite this novel, the book was published as “Pride and Prejudice”. In my opinion this novel has the name “Pride and Prejudice” because it indicate the character of main characters in novel. Elisabeth-Prejudice. Darcy-Proud. In novel, when Bingley encouraged Darcy to dance with Elisabeth, Darcy replied that she was “not handsome enough to tempt” him. I think that Darcy really mortify her by refusing to dance with her. In chapter 5 of volume 1, Elisabeth said “I could easily forgive his pride, if he not mortified mine”. The pride of Elisabeth is hurt. After this she begins to treat all his word and deeds with prejudice.
    In conclusion, I think that the “Pride and Prejudice” teach us that we shouldn’t judge people by first impressions or gossip.

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  2. Soyeon Kim

    Q. Austen seems to feel that upbringing is more important than people’s basic personalities. Is this true? For example, is Lydia badly raised or just a foolish, boy-crazy girl?

    A. I think one of the most important factors that contribute to people’s basic personalities is one’s surrounding. People are influenced from their own surroundings, such as their family background, school life, friends, and so on. It is a natural thing. The way their parents raised can influence to the children’s personalities. For example, let’s say the parents taught their kids to live their own lives, don’t have to think about what others think of them. Naturally they learned it and it can influence to have their own values.
    It’s the same case to Lydia. Her mother raised their daughters that to meet and marry to a handsome rich is the important thing. And she didn’t care about their ideal types at all. So naturally, some of their daughters only cared about handsome guys. But look at other daughters like Jane and Elizabeth. They didn’t judge man by money. They had their own ideal type and standards. Upbringing is also included in one’s surroundings and it can influence to personality. However, I think it can influence to someone, not to every people.

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  3. Yoo-Ji Eun

    I think Caroline Bingil’s actions are too demonized in the book.

    Caroline Bingley is the sister of Darcy’s best friend, Charles Bingley. She acts very mean and arrogant to people, especially to Jane and Elizabeth. One of the reasons for her actions are because of her affections to Darcy. So, many people don’t like her and no doubt she really is a snob.

    But what I think is that she is just a young girl in love. There isn’t a huge part of her in the book so, we can’t be sure about how serious she was to Darcy but we can be sure that her emotions were not made up.
    One of the scenes I remember was when Caroline on propose said mean things about Elizabeth in front of Darcy. If you think for one second you would know that Caroline isn’t stupid enough to know that her words could make Darcy mad. But why would she say such a thing?
    My answer is, Caroline couldn’t help herself. She was raised up, getting whatever she needed whenever she wanted, but with love that wasn’t possible. She wanted Darcy to notice her as a woman or anything that could get his attention. If Darcy was mad at Caroline, then for a couple of minutes she would be on his focus.
    It looked as a very desperate thing to do for Caroline. Wanting to do anything so her cruse would look at her for just a second.

    I really felt sorry for Caroline.

    Reply
  4. lee ji won

    When we first meet someone, with their appearance, way of talking, actions and other things, we are judging is that person bad or kind. This called first impression. But, normally, we cannot distribute whether the person is kind or bad at first. Because, people are quite different with their first impression.
    Like in the novel, at the ball, Mr. Darcy showed disrespectful actions to Elizabeth, that gives Elizabeth an idea, that he is an arrogant person. However, the time has pass by, she realizes he is not actually an arrogant man that she thought. He helped her families and by knowing his truth characteristics, Elizabeth admits she was wrong. On the other hand, unlike Darcy, Mr. Wickham hid his characteristics and make up new one, to attract Bennet’s daughters. So, that gives Elizabeth good impression about, him. But, time pass by, he showed arrogant attitude, and he gives disgrace to Bennet’s family by runaway with Lydia. That gives Elizabeth, she was thinking wrong.
    By giving the wrong impression for each character, writer gives a shift to a novel. By giving shift to the novel, Jane Austen want to tell don’t judge people by their first impression. Therefore, pride and prejudice has other name called “first impressions”

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