Student ID: 20123464
Undergraduate Foundation English 5/ ENG0005
A Short Summary And Analysis Of The Book ‘’ Pride and Prejudice’’ By Jane Austen
BACKGROUND INFORMATION - BIOGRAPHY
Jane Austen was born in 1775 at Steventon, Hampshire in southern England, where her father was a minister. She was the sixth child in a family of seven children. The family was very close, and Jane had a particular closeness to her sister Cassandra. Although she attended boarding school for a short while, she was mostly educated at home. Both she and Cassandra were attractive and attended country parties; neither of them married, although Jane had several proposals. Much of Jane’s life is captured in the letters that she wrote to her sister, but Cassandra cut out any references there might have been about Jane’s intimate, private life and her innermost thoughts. In spite of the missing information, the letters retain flashes of sharp wit and occasional coarseness. Jane began to write at a young age. Pride and Prejudice, her most popular novel.
KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set in the 19th century in England. It is set principally in Longbourn, the Hertfordshire country town that is a mile from Meryton and twenty-four miles from London.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Mrs. Bennet - The match-making mother of five daughters. The wife of Mr. Bennet and "a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper," who embarrasses her older daughters with her lack of class and entertains her husband with her ignorance. Mr. Bennet - A country gentleman, who is the sometimes irresponsible father of five daughters and the husband of Mrs. Bennet. He is fond of books and can be witty and amusing. Jane Bennet - The eldest daughter of the Bennets who is pretty, shy, calm, gentle and good-natured; she falls in love with and marries Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzy) - The second daughter of the Bennets who is lively, intelligent, witty and sensible; she at first strongly dislikes Mr. Darcy and then falls in love with him. Marry Bennet - The third daughter, who is pedantic, tasteless, plain, vain, silly, and affected. Catherine Bennet (Kitty) -The fourth daughter, who is almost a non-entity in the novel except for chasing soldiers. Lydia Bennet - The youngest daughter who is silly, thoughtless, stupid, unprincipled.
SHORT PLOT / CHAPTER SUMMARY
Pride and Prejudice is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five unmarried daughters. They live in the estate of Longbourn in Hertfordshire, a rural district about thirty miles from London. The family is not rich. Their property is ‘entailed’ to pass to the nearest male heir in the family, in this case to Mr. Collins. The main concern of Mrs. Bennet’s life is to see that all her daughters are married, preferably to men with large fortunes. She sees an opportunity for her eldest daughter Jane when Mr. Charles Bingley, a wealthy gentlemen from the city, occupies the nearby estate of Netherfield Park. In her excitement, she urges her husband to visit Mr. Bingley on the very first day of his arrival, before any of the other neighbors. Mr. Bennet complies to his wife’s request and visits Mr. Bingley, but withholds information about his visit from the family. At the next social gathering in Meryton, Bingley brings along his two sisters, Caroline Bingley and Louisa Hurst. But more importantly, he brings his closest friend, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Bingley, who is charming and social, is immediately attracted to the modest and gentle Jane Bennet. Darcy, in contrast to Bingley, is proud, rude, and disagreeable. When Bingley suggests that Darcy dance with Elizabeth Bennet, he refuses and negatively comments on her looks. Elizabeth overhears the comment and develops a strong prejudice against Darcy.
The pivotal theme is that marriage is important to individuals and society. Throughout the novel, the...