Pride and Prejudice

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Book report
Camille Beurret

Book: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher (+place): Harper Collins Publishers, London
First edition: 1813

Summary
Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five unmarried daughters. The family isn’t very rich, so the main concern of Mrs. Bennet’s life is to see that all her daughters are married, preferably to men with a lot of money. When Mr. Bingley, a handsome, rich, young bachelor arrives to stay briefly in Hartfordshire, where the Bennets live, Mrs. Bennet immediately tries to get one of her daughters to marry him. Mr. Bingley really likes the oldest and prettiest one of the five daughters, Jane, whom he eventually marries. Meanwhile, Bingley's proud friend Darcy meets Elizabeth, who at first despises Mr. Darcy, and avoids him as much as possible. Though Darcy is rather cold and reserved at first, his fondness for Elizabeth grows and becomes more obvious. Convention, however, restricts his affection for her, as he is rich and high on the social ladder, and Elizabeth comes from a middle-class family. But their love for each other overcomes the pride en prejudices of both and they marry.

The main characters
Elizabeth Bennet: She is the second oldest daughter in the Bennet family. She’s very close to her father and her older sister Jane. She is the most intelligent one and has an own opinion on everything and not afraid to let anyone hear it. "In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere.  He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal." (Page 343) Elizabeth's notions of social equality are very, very different from what is expected of her. Lizzie, how her closed ones call her, has a great sense of humour, which sometimes makes her appear too cynical. But her honesty and cleverness enable her to rise above the class-bound society. She realizes her prejudices are wrong and finally sees the nobility in Darcy’s character.

Fitzwilliam Darcy: He is the son of a wealthy, well-established family and the master of the great estate of Pemberley. He is considered very proud. This quotation is at a ball, where Mr. Darcy tells Mr. Bingley what he thinks of Elizabeth Bennet: “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. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me”. (Page 10) In fact he’s rather shy, and because of that he doesn’t make much contact with people. Therefore people assume that he’s too proud to talk with them. According to some, especially his friend Mr. Bingley, he’s a very nice and generous man who will always be ready to help someone in need. Eventually that turns out to be his true character. 

Jane Bennet: She is the eldest daughter of the Bennet family. She is very cheerful, friendly and is always determined to think the best of people. But as she seems weak, she’s actually a very strong woman. She has suffered a broken heart without showing it to anyone. In the book she’s described as some sort of angel: so pure, good and very beautiful. This is a quotation of Jane’s mother (Mrs. Bennet) describing Jane to Mr. Bingley: “You must own she is very plain. Lady Lucas herself has often said so, and envied me Jane’s beauty. I do not like to boast of my own child, but to be sure, Jane – one does not often see any body better looking. It is what every body says. I do not trust my own partiality.”

Charles Bingley: He is Darcy’s considerably wealthy best friend. He is just like Jane: friendly and good-hearted, and I think that’s the reason why they love each other so much. He has very good manners, is very polite and pleasant. He is not good at hiding his feelings; he’s more the sort or person that is incapable of hiding what he feels. Also, he’s sometimes a bit insecure; therefore he aims to please his friends by...
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