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Discussion Archives > August 2020: Pride and Prejudice

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message 1: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
1. Pride and Prejudice is probably Austen's most famous, most beloved book. One element, the initial mutual dislike of two people destined to love each other, has become a cliché of the Hollywood romance. I'm sure you can think of numerous examples.

This book has been described by scholars as a very conservative text. Did you find it so? What sort of position do you see it taking on the class system? It has also been described as Austen's most idealistic book. What do you suppose is meant by that?

2. In 1814 Mary Russell Mitford wrote: "It is impossible not to feel in every line of Pride and Prejudice...the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy.... Darcy should have married Jane."

Would you have liked the book as well if Jane were its heroine?
Have you ever seen a movie version in which the woman playing Jane was, as Austen imagined her, truly more beautiful than the woman playing Elizabeth?
Who doesn't love Elizabeth Bennet?!!

3. Two central characters in Austen have her own first name.

In Emma: Jane Fairfax is a decorous, talented, beautiful woman.
In Pride and Prejudice: Jane Bennet is everything lovely.
What do you make of that?

4. Lydia and Wickham pose a danger to the Bennet family as long as they are unmarried and unchecked. But as a married couple, with little improvement in their behavior, this danger vanishes.

In Pride and Prejudice marriage serves many functions. It is a romantic union, a financial merger, and a vehicle for social regulation. Scholar and writer Mary Poovey said that Austen's goal "is to make propriety and romantic desire absolutely congruent."

Think about all the marriages in the book with respect to how well they are fulfilling those functions.
Is marriage today still an institution of social regulation?
What about it would change if gay marriage were legally recognized?

5. Austen suggests that in order to marry well a woman must be pretty, respectable, and have money. In the world of Pride and Prejudice, which of these is most important? Spare a thought for some of the unmarried women in the book—Mary and Kitty Bennet, Miss de Bourgh, Miss Georgiana Darcy, poor, disappointed Caroline Bingley. Which of them do you picture marrying some day? Which of them do you picture marrying well?

6. Was Charlotte Lucas right to marry Reverend Collins?

7. What are your feelings about Mr. Bennet? Is he a good father? A good husband? A good man?

8. Darcy says that one of Wickham's motivations in his attempted elopement with Georgiana was revenge. What motivations might he have had for running off with Lydia? (Besides the obvious...)

9. Elizabeth Bennet says,".... people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever."

Do any of the characters in the book change substantially? Or do they, as Elizabeth says of Darcy, "in essentials" remain much as they ever were?

10. Elizabeth is furious with Darcy for breaking up the match between Jane and Mr. Bingley. Although he initially defends himself, she changes his mind. Later when Lady Catherine attempts to interfere in his own courtship, he describes this as unjustifiable.

Should you tell a friend if you think they're about to make a big mistake romantically?
Have you ever done so? How did that work out for you?

(Questions issued by Penguin Classics edition.)

message 2: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
SOOO excited to finally read this one!

message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Roe | 10 comments 1. When Harry Met Sally,
It Happened One Night,

message 4: by Zahra (new)

Zahra Attar- (zahraattarstudent) I'm certainly joing you all! I'm kind of a new member, so hi!

message 5: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Zahra wrote: "I'm certainly joing you all! I'm kind of a new member, so hi!"

Excited to have you here! Can't wait to discuss!

message 6: by Kristine (new)

Kristine | 82 comments Ordered another copy of The Color Purpke. Have Pride and Prejudice. I know Jane Austen is a love of most. I was in England, I went to her cafe. I bought her books. I loved, Bath, England. I just really could not get on board with her writing. However, these are classics, so I am going to give it a try. Nothing to lose.

Excited about these books. Thanks for doing this monthly

message 7: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Of course! Excited about these too!!!

message 8: by Zahra (new)

Zahra Attar- (zahraattarstudent) Rachel Jorquera wrote: "Zahra wrote: "I'm certainly joing you all! I'm kind of a new member, so hi!"

Excited to have you here! Can't wait to discuss!"

same! thanks

message 9: by Zahra (new)

Zahra Attar- (zahraattarstudent) I finally finished this book and pretty enjoyed it. What part is everyone reading currently?
9. Good question! Well, the only ones who changed during the book, were the two main characters, Elizabeth and Darcy, and maybe mr. Benet changed a bit, too. MCs both changed each others mind by waht they said and did. Mr. Benet's change was his regrets about money and not saving it, I suppose.
2. Jane would have made a nice heroine. But the point is changing and Jane herself and nearly all of her feelings stayed the same. Also, one of the book's main issues was that how our impressions of peaple can change and prove us wrong. This all happened because of Elizabeth's suspect and prejudice about Darcy's and Wickham's past. Those suspects came to her mind because she had somw conversations with Wickham, as you know, and if it was Jane instead, she wouldn't even hear about nor Darcy nor Wickham's past. And even if she did, she wouldn't judge any of them, as we saw how she didn't do so, while Elizabeth was so sure about every word Wickham said.
So excited to hear what you all think!

Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) A Classic for a reason. I enjoy this one every time I read it. The movie with Colin Firth is great too!

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