Elizabeth is the second oldest Bennet
daughter. She is intelligent,
outspoken, and witty and the
protagonist of Pride and Prejudice.
Elizabeth is quite the controversial
character in her time, for women did
not typically behave as Elizabeth
does. She speaks her mind in a time
when women were supposed to be
quite, or at least not so
straightforward and blunt.
Elizabeth’s character development
plays a huge role in the novel’s plot.
Darcy is a member of the Gentry (Upper class, and
therefore is very powerful and inﬂuential. Being
part of the Gentry, Darcy obviously is very
wealthy and has a very well established family. At
ﬁrst Darcy is not as well liked for he is not as
thoroughly described as Elizabeth, and because
Elizabeth is the heroin, we as readers typically
follow her opinion (which, she of course is not
very fond of Darcy at the beginning. As the novel
progresses however, it is easy to see that Darcy is
Elizabeth’s counterpart and is truly a good
Other Bennet Sisters
Jane Text Kitty Lydia
Elizabeth’s older sister, Lydia is the
is the fourth
and the eldest of the Mary Bennet daughter,
youngest and most
Bennet Daughters, Jane Mary is the middle ridiculous of the
and, like Lydia, is
is just what a young daughter. Mary serves Bennet daughters.
woman of Austen’s time as the moral ﬁgure in Her running away
period was expected to the novel for she is with Wickham
silly. Her head is
be. She is both reserved extremely well read plays a crucial part
and gentle and serves as (certainly the most of and displays her
with thoughts of
the novel’s (and the Bennet daughters) very unladylike
society’s) ideal woman. and formal. immaturity.
Mrs. Bennet & Her Obsession with Marriage
Many readers laugh at Mrs. Bennet’s ridiculousness, and indeed Austen does use
her to implement comedy into the story, however there is a very real truth behind
Mrs. Bennet’s character. Women of that time only could obtain “freedom”
through marriage, and women were expected to marry as soon as they could. If
a woman didn’t, she was looked down upon by society and she was considered
to be an “old maid.” Take Charlotte Lucas for example. Charlotte is six years
older than Elizabeth and marries Mr. Collins, not because she loves him, but so
she will no longer be a burden on her family (who must support her as long as
Pride vs Prejudice
Darcy is extremely proud, and is
Oh I determined not to like others for he is
too good for them (wealthy,
him accomplished etc.), where as Elizabeth
good. is extremely prejudice and is
determined not to like Darcy for she
believes he is pompous and thus
refuses to ﬁnd the good in him,
instead she merely looks for ﬂaws.
Darcy is a member of the upper class
(Gentry) whereas Elizabeth is a
member of the upper middle class
(Bourgeois). Notice the obvious
differences in the home. Darcy’s home
is very spacious and well decorated
Pemberly with paintings, statues, and other
expensive, high class elements, where
vs. as the Bennet’s home is not quite so
elegant, even though the Bennet’s
Bennet Home house was much better (in both size
and decorations) than the lower class)
Love Relationships: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly
Relationships: The Bad Lydia and Wickham
Austen uses Lydia and Wickham’s (along with
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s) relationship to represent a
bad marriage. Lydia ran away and lived with
Wickham out of wedlock. During Austen’s time,
this was completely unladylike and unacceptable.
Lydia’s marriage will no doubt end up like Mr.
and Mrs. Bennet’s, which of course is not a good
or happy marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are in constant bickering and
ﬁghting throughout the entire novel. Austen
intends for readers to infer that the Bennet’s
marriage was similar to Lydia’s and Wickham’s,
quick due to raging hormones.
Charlotte and Collins
It could be argued that Charlotte and Collin’s marriage is not a bad marriage,
for it is nothing like Lydia and Wickham’s, or Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s.
However, it also by no means compares to Darcy and Elizabeth, or Jane and
Bingley. However this marriage is perhaps one of the most signiﬁcant of the
entire novel, for this marriage is kind of a wake up call. Charlotte accepts
Collin’s marriage proposal even though she does not love him, and
disregards his ridiculousness. Many women of Austen’s time made decisions
similar to Charlotte, that is marry those they did not love. Women of that
time had a lot less options that women of today in the fact that they were
completely dependent on their husbands, and could not earn a living for
themselves. Therefore, they had to get married as soon as possible.
Relationships: The Good
Darcy & Elizabeth
Pride and Prejudice is perhaps one of the
worlds best love stories, for it’s ending
is not only satisfying, but also truly
remarkable for both Darcy and
Elizabeth had so many barriers to cross
throughout the book. The fact that at the
beginning of the book, readers would
never have suspected Darcy and
Elizabeth to be married by the end for it
seemed they were so different.
Humbling Darcy seemed to be an
impossible task, but alas he is humbled.
The same can be said for Elizabeth.
Bingley & Jane
Even though Jane and Bingley’s
relationship might not be as magniﬁcent
as Darcy and Elizabeth, it is still a
successful marriage. However,their
relationship is slightly ﬂawed, for they
are both not as strong as Darcy and
Elizabeth. Their relationship was almost
ruined due to their act strongly against
external forces pushing them apart.
Reputation seems to be a difﬁcult theme for students to
understand in Pride and Prejudice, for Reputation is not as
important in modern society as it was in the Regency
period. In that society, a woman’s reputation was the
single most important thing, for if a woman did not
follow the strict social rules (such as acting in ladylike
manners like being quite and reserved), she was at risk
of not being well liked. If a woman was thus “picked
on,” her chances of getting married were next to
impossible. And, if a woman did not get married, she
became a burden (ﬁnancially) to her family who had to
support her. This is obviously shown through Lydia’s
foolish and disgraceful elopement with Wickham.
The Humbling of Darcy Elizabeth’s rejection of Darcy’s ﬁrst
proposal is extremely humbling for Darcy.
Despite the fact he spends the majority of
Sorry his proposal pointing out Elizabeth’s ﬂaws,
Darcy, she’s Darcy, of course, believes Elizabeth will accept right away,
just not that for she will obviously be well taken care of for Darcy is
into you. extremely wealthy. Elizabeth will not only gain monitory
beneﬁts, but also the beneﬁt of advancing from middle class
to upper class, which many women could only dream of.
From this point on, Darcy makes a dramatic change and no
longer sees Elizabeth as an inferior.
“Darcy-’In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not
be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire
This link contains Darcy’s ﬁrst proposal, and
and love you...He spoke well, but there was feelings besides the
Elizabeth’s reaction and acquisitions against Darcy subject of tenderness than of pride....’
Elizabeth-’You could not have made me the offer of your hand in
Not a any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it...from the
very ﬁrst moment I may almost say of my acquaintance with you, your
happy manners impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance,
your conceit, and your selﬁsh disdain of the feelings of others,
Lizzy were such as to form the ground-work of disapprobation, on which
huh? succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not
known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world
whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.’
Darcy.-‘Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your
connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose
condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?...Again his
astonishment was obvious...’”(Austen 125-127)
The Humbling of Elizabeth
This is aHUGE scene for Elizabeth’s character
development. After Elizabeth reads Darcy’s letter,
she realize how blindly hated Darcy without
attempting to truly get to know him. She realizes
everything she has been told from Mr. Wickham
was a lie, and that the separation of Jane and Mr.
Bingley was simply a misunderstanding. From this
point on, Elizabeth begins to fall in love with Darcy,
a man who she discovers to be a kind, gentle man.
“How despicably have I acted! I who have prided myself on
my discernment!- I, who have valued myself on my
abilities! who have often disdained the generous candor of
my sister, and gratiﬁed my vanity, in useless or blamable
distrust.- How humiliating is this discovery!- Yet, how just
a humiliation!-Had I been in love, I could not have been
more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love, has been my
folly.-Pleased with the preference of one, and offered by the
neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our
acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance,
and driven reason away, where either were concerned.
Till this moment, I never knew
myself.” (Austen 137)
Now it’s your turn!
Grab a scrap sheet of paper to write down your answers. Bring your ideas into class tomorrow for discussion!
Do you believe Pride and Prejudice to be a conservative text or revolutionary. Or
1. both? Explain your answers and provide page numbers for textual evidence
Jane Austen’s novel was originally titled First Impressions. What roles do
2. ﬁrst impressions play in the novel? Do you think this was an appropriate
Charlotte does not marry Collins for love, but rather for economic security. Is
3. this view of marriage today still acceptable?
Compare and contrast Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s marriage to Lydia and Wickham’s.
4. Do you think Lydia and Wickham will end up like Mr. and Mrs. Bennet?
Both Elizabeth and Darcy make an extraordinary change throughout the duration of
5. the novel. Do Darcy could have made the change without Elizabeth? Or vise versa?
Why or why not?
Glces 11th Grade
3.1 Develop the skills of close and contextual literary reading.
3.3 Use knowledge of literary history, traditions, and theory to
respond to and analyze the meaning of texts.
Examine mass media, ﬁlm, series ﬁction, and other texts from
11th Grade Jane Austen-Romantic Period Authors
Informed Decision Making Model Unit 11.2
decision-making process, consequences, forward thinking, decision/indecision,action/
inaction, vision, decisions in the course of history
-Bias skews all decisions,
actions, and thoughts (Theme)
-Appearance vs. reality
-Flawed data (appearances, propaganda) leads to
%26tbs%3Disch:1 Elizabeth slumped over (Slide 3)
%3Dbeige%2Bﬂoral%2Bpattern%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26tbs%3Disch:1 Brown Flowery
pattern on divider slides (Slides 2, 7, 14).
1 Lydia and Wickham in the Buggy (Slides 11, 13).
%26tbs%3Disch:1 Collins carrying books (Slide 11)
d2c2005/fd2c06/prideandprejudice/prideandprejudice_81.jpg Charlotte picture parallel to
Collins (Slide 11)
ALL OTHERS PICTURES can be found at: http://screencapheaven.com/testcoppermine/