Mazhenov Dauren Student ID: 20123464 Undergraduate Foundation English 5/ ENG0005 07/11/2012 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 SETTING 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 Major 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. THEMES Major Themes The pivotal theme is that marriage is important to individuals and society. Throughout the novel, the author describes the various types of marriages and reasons behind them.
Marriage out of economic compulsions can be seen in Charlotte’s marriage to Collins. Marriage due to sensual pleasure can be seen in Lydia’s marriage. The marriage of Jane and Elizabeth are the outcome of true love between well-matched persons. MOOD The mood throughout the novel is formal and realistic to its nineteenth century setting. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL BACKGROUND A general knowledge of the social and cultural setting in which a novel is written is important, for most novels mirror the customs and values of a particular society, often criticizing it.
The Hertfordshire country town where the greater part of the novel is set is Longbourn, only a mile from the market town of Meryton and 24 miles from London. The neighborhood around the Bennets is large, for they dine with twenty-four different families, only three of which are named. The Bennet’s society is drawn largely from Meryton (which is the mother’s background) rather than from the country (which is the father’s), THE LITERARY BACKGROUND Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice appeared on the English literary scene in 1813.
The author had worked on its realistic style and content for more than fifteen years, for she was a perfectionist in her approach to writing. Her first novel was unlike any of the hundreds of others written at the time, which were mainly Romantic (filled with emotion and passionate) or Gothic (filled with horror). OVERALL ANALYSES CHARACTER ANALYSIS Elizabeth Bennet – Elizabeth is a spontaneous, high-spirited, vivacious, witty, and warm young lady. She is also a bright, complex, and intriguing individual who is realistic about life. Unlike her sister Jane, she is not ready to believe that everyone is flawless.
She knows the ‘impropriety’ of her father and is aware that it springs from the unhappiness of his life with his wife. She also perceives the fickleness of her mother’s temper and her crass social behavior. Even to the point of being saucy and blunt at times, Elizabeth is not afraid to speak her mind. Throughout the novel, Elizabeth’s encounters with Darcy are a battle of adult minds. Elizabeth’s speeches, crackling with irony, filled with pep, and displaying vibrant humor, exert a magnetic pull on Darcy. He recognizes that she is a woman endowed with sense and sensibility, radically different from most young females that he knows.
He is particularly impressed with her poise; she is not intimidated by the upper class or overawed by the arrogant Darcy. Elizabeth’s main flaw is an exaggerated prejudice. Her first negative impression of Darcy at the Netherfield ball, Wickham’s tall story about him, and Darcy’s influencing Bingley against Jane fuel her prejudice. She spends most of the novel truly disliking her future husband. PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen creates a picture of the small, cocooned world of the middle class gentry with their commonplace joys and their commonplace sorrows.
The central concern of this “comedy of manners” is Mrs. Bennet’s dogged efforts to find suitable husbands for her eldest daughters. Of course, Mrs. Bennet’s judgements cannot be trusted, for she is a nagging wife, an ineffectual mother, and a social misfit throughout the novel. Her repeated and continued foolishness is one of the things that holds the plot together into a unified whole. The plot’s focus on marriage is seen from the very beginning of the story. The arrival of Mr. Bingley, ‘a single man of large fortune’ at near-by Netherfield immediately fires the imagination of Mrs. Bennet.
An acquaintance is struck and what follows is a series of parties, balls, and teas, which are very essential to the plot; it is at these social gatherings that the four main characters –Bingley and Jane and Darcy and Elizabeth are brought together THEMES – THEME ANALYSIS The central theme of the novel concerns itself with marriage, as indicated in the ironic opening line of the book: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. ” Throughout the novel, it is not the man who is seeking a spouse so much as it is Mrs.
Bennet seeking suitable husbands for her older daughters. The entire novel explores the various types of love and marriage. The Bennets’ marriage is shown to be a disaster, with the wife playing the part of a fool and the husband retreating to live an uninvolved life in his ivory tower. In contrast to the marriage of the Bennets is the pleasant conjugal life of the Gardiners, who are mutually compatible and supportive. Charlotte Lucas’ marriage to Mr. Collins is a compromise, one of economic necessity, so she will have a means of support.