A Pride and Prejudice Novel Response
(Pun intended! Might I add, Pride and Prejudice was originally titled First Impressions!)
Chapter 1 Summary:
- Jane Austen’s novel begins at the Bennet’s house in Longbourn, where readers are introduced to the protagonist Miss Elizabeth Bennet and her family. Mrs. Bennet is overcome with excitement when she learns of one Mr. Charles Bingley renting out the Netherfield estate close by. As she immediately shares her joy with Mr. Bennet, it is exemplified how drastic the two opinions of these character differentiate.
Chapter 2 Summary:
- The story continues to be set and established. Mr. Bennet, after visiting their new neighbor Mr. Bingley, claims that he will introduce the young bachelor to Elizabeth.
Chapter 3 Summary:
- Plans are made for Mr. Bingley to visit the Longbourn estate. As a feast is planned for his arrival, it is learned that he has ran to London for an urgent matter. The Bennet’s meet him once again, along with Miss Caroline Bingley and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, at the ball in Meryton. Mr. Bingley is delighted in Miss Jane Bennets company and effuses such to his close friend Mr. Darcy. It is here that Elizabeth overhears what Mr. Darcy thinks of her after having only just been acquainted with Elizabeth that evening. “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me;”
Chapter 4 Summary:
- Relationships between characters are deepened in the course of this chapter. Readers learn more and more as the story is beginning to take off. While Jane is quite taken with Mr. Bingley, who was born in a respectable family with an inheritance of 100,000 Pounds, Elizabeth is not too fond of Mr. Darcy. We see how deep the relationship is between the two sisters Elizabeth and Jane, while also learn how much Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy appreciate each other.
Chapter 5 Summary:
- Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth Bennet’s close friend, is introduced. It is made clear just how deep Mr. Bingley’s affections for Jane appeared and how offended Elizabeth was by Mr. Darcy’s sentiments. “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
This is where I feel beginning setting, characters and relationships have been completely established.
I have chosen to compare Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, two polar opposites that share a deep respect for one another.
1. What is responsible for the type of relationship they share?
I feel how different the two are is what brings them together. While Mr. Bingley appreciates the opinion of Mr. Darcy and gets to understand a viewpoint far different from his own, I believe Mr. Darcy also benefits. Mr. Bingley is who grounds him, who shows him an aspect of the world Mr. Darcy finds difficult to understand. This is what makes their bond even stronger, especially exemplified regarding the Jane and Mr. Bingley issue. Their relationship didn’t undergo any breakage, as Mr. Bingley was quicker to understand that Mr. Darcy had the wrong ideas about Jane, and was only looking out for his friend. I must contribute Mr. Bingley’s understanding to the deep bond they share.
2. Do they ever resent each other?
Friendships are bound to experience unfriendly feelings, and hatred is definitely not to be ruled out in some cases. Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy themselves are bound to disagreements and irritated feelings, but resentment is not one of them. With such a deep understanding and respect for the other that they obtain it is impossible for the two to completely despise each other. We can once again connect this to how easily Mr. Bingley forgave Darcy for pulling him away from Jane.
3. Perhaps Mr. Bingley only forgave Mr. Darcy due to his passionate love for Jane? Maybe he was too preoccupied with the possibility of finally being with her and didn’t have time to let the past weigh him down?
This is a question even I myself began to ponder, but quickly realized that he forgave Mr. Darcy out of the kindness of his heart and Mr. Darcy’s pure remorse. While an ulterior motive behind Mr. Bingley’s forgiveness could be the case, it doesn’t seem very much in character. I would be surprised to learn this is the case only due to how Mr. Bingley holds himself throughout the book and in his friendship. Once again, his forgiveness can easily contribute to their deep relationship and deep understanding. Mr. Darcy’s intentions were bitter but pure and Mr. Bingley recognizes this.
4. Do they feel the same way about money?
Both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley appear to have money as the least of their worries. The two married out of love and not preferred connections, for one! Mr. Darcy’s strong sense of pride may appear to contradict this opinion, but I believe his pride comes from how he was brought up as a child. Growing up in a wealthy family, Mr. Darcy was told how he should feel about others and how to react with them. It was only until he met Elizabeth that his opinions began to change, and he himself wanted to change as a person. He confesses this near the end of the book, shortly after becoming engaged!
1. What do you think was the theme or message of this novel? What events helped you figure out the message?
The message of this novel to me is to not let your pride influence your prejudices. Elizabeth Bennet says it herself, “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” Due to how Mr. Darcy damaged her pride, she began to hold preconceptions against the man while her good opinion towards him was almost lost forever. Mr. Darcy can definitely take some blame for her judgement, but it cannot be ignored that Elizabeth took one experience with him to begin to form hatred. Had she not let her pride influence how she felt, perhaps the next meetings with Mr. Darcy could have been used to understand him? With her prejudices, she was hesitant to look deeper into why he acted the way he had. Don’t let your pride overcome you but let it make you stronger; use pride to your advantage and let it assist you in being resilient.
2. How did you feel about this novel? Would you recommend it to someone else?
I loved this book so much! I loved to expand my vocabulary, and to be introduced to the world of Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is a novel that is filled with so much enjoyment and was a pleasure to read. I myself am in love with romance books and historical fiction, so it was a perfect match! I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to expand their knowledge on historical fiction and be more open to it. It can be challenging, but in the most perfect way possible! It helps you build writing skills and handle those difficult books easier!
**BONUS!** What was the best part of the novel?
… Mr. Darcy.
When someone says the words, “Pride and Prejudice”
When someone says the words, “I don’t like Pride and Prejudice.”
When someone asks why I love the book so much…
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