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.
- 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?
- How does Elizabeth change or grow as a person? Do you agree with her decisions?
- How are women represented in the novel? Are they mean? Trapped? Practical? Manipulative? Does Austen always have sympathy for them?
- Does Charlotte do the right thing in marrying Collins? Is there an ‘ideal’ type of marriage in the novel?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?