Pride and Prejudice


Points to Ponder

1. In the beginning of the book, Mr. Bennet states that all of his daughters are silly and ignorant like other girls, but that Lizzy has something of quickness about her. Can you show that this statement is either true or false?

Elizabeth does indeed have quickness, and it is this quickness, first apparent in her eyes, that draws Darcy to her. Her quickness is not limited to the liveliness of her eyes, however; it is observable in her wit and ability to converse. She is often able to challenge Darcy in rhetoric, and her ideas are honest and amusing in their unconventionality.

She is quick to be critical, quick to scorn, quick to develop prejudice, and quick to feel whatever it is her heart is telling her. She is not so quick or easily disposed to forgive, however. Prejudice is something that she must struggle to overcome, and pride is something she must work to subdue. She learns to be humble, but it takes time and is not quickly learned.

Elizabeth is also the quickest to come to love Darcy. When she realizes her error in mistaking his character, she fully transforms her heart and mind and views him acceptably. She admires the way he treats his sister and the regard he has for her own person. She is indeed as quick as Mr. Bennet claims—even quicker than he is, perhaps. For she is the one who warns him against allowing Lydia to go to Brighton, seeing in that trip a danger that he himself does not bother to foresee.

2. Several characters in the book are described as being proud or prejudicial. In what ways may these descriptions be applied to the novel’s heroine, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth’s pride stems from her ability to criticize and discern the faults and achievements of others. She prides herself on her discernment and delights in the absurdities she finds around her. Her delight, however, is something of a shield against hurt feelings and mortified vanity. She protects herself from others by holding herself above those whose pride may wound her. In other words, she fights fire...

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Essays About Pride and Prejudice