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Pride and Prejudice

Book Group Discussion Questions

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How well do you know the book?

1. How do first impressions play a large role in Pride and Prejudice?
When Elizabeth and Darcy first meet, they both don't like each other. However, throughout the novel, they grow to understand each other, and eventually fall in love. (SL)
 
2. Explain why letter correspondence between characters was so important in the novel.
Letters were the most common, and sometimes only way to communicate in Regency England. Both women and men were educated in the proper technique of letter writing and good penmanship was a must. In this regard, the novel depicts an accurate (and unexaggerated) portrayal of the era. (ML)
 
3. What about Mr. Collins makes Charlotte want to marry him?
Charlotte is attracted to Mr. Collins because of his well-worked flattery skills. Despite the fact that he studies these techniques often, he means well and is basically a "nice man." He is also socially respectable and acceptable, which solidifies Charlotte's desire to marry him. (BN)
 
4. How does the title of Pride and Prejudice pertain to the novel? 
Many characters throughout the novel show the qualities of pridefulness and prejudice is exhibited through the severe social stigmas associated with the different levels of society. (SL)
 
5. Which of Elizabeth's qualities changed Darcy's original opinion of her?
After Mr. Darcy gets to know Elizabeth, he sees her dynamic personality and realizes that it makes up for any flaw in her appearence. (ML)
 
6. Why is Jane Mrs. Bennet's favorite daughter? 
Jane is Mrs. Bennet's favorite daughter because she is the most beautiful, smartest, and most elegant. All of these traits make Jane the easiest to marry off, which is the real reason why Mrs. Bennet likes her the most.(BN)
 
7. Which characters in Pride and Prejudice show a sense of pride and which show a sense of prejudice? Elizabeth Bennet displays pride. Her father, Mr. Bennet, always describes her as a very proud person. He always speaks highly of her. Mrs. Bingley and Catherine de Bourgh both display prejudice because they are so attached to the social class structure. They focus incessantly, to the point of ridiculousness, on the social rules of the time.(SL)
 
8. Why does Elizabeth reject Darcy's initial proposal?Elizabeth rejects Mr. Darcy's first proposal simple because she doesn't like him. As is common, her first impression of him, which wasn't favorable, tainted her view of him. She saw him as a prideful, arrogant aristocrat with no respect for her as a person. (ML)
 
9. Why did Mr. Bennet marry Mrs. Bennet? 
Mrs. Bennet was the perfect suitor for Mr. Darcy, based on the social structure of the time. They were both from prominent families and both were expected to marry into another prominent family. (BN)
 
10. How were the key characters educated in the novel?
In Regency England, many prominent young women were educated by tutors. Their curriculum consisted of literature, many different languages, the arts, including painting and music, and literature.  (SL)
 
11. Why didn't Mr. Bennet heed Elizabeth's advice to prevent Lydia from going to Brighton?
Mr. Bennett was tired of hearing Lydia complain about being unsatisfied with her life at Longbourne. He allowed her to go basically because he didn't want to hear any more of her complaints of boredom. (ML)
 
12.  How does Elizabeth find out about Wickham's true character?
 Darcy first tried to tell Elizabeth about Wickham, but she didn't believe him. He then left her a letter regarding Mr. Collins. Once Elizabeth finished reading the letter, she completely believed Darcy. Then, Mr collins confirmed what Mr. Darcy had already told her, making her sure of Wickham's true character. (BN)
 
13. What is Mrs. Bennet's reaction when her daughter, Lydia, marries Wickham? 
She is originally horrified that her daughter eloped with a man and shamed the family in such a way. However, she realizes that Lydia has made an acceptable catch and will be finanically, if not completely socially, secure throughout her life. (SL)
        
14. Why is Mr. Bennet skeptical of whether of not Elizabeth really loves Darcy when the engagement is announced? 
Mr. Bennett knows that Elizabeth was not initially taken with Mr. Darcy, and that in fact, she did not like him at all. Mr. Bennett does not understand how Elizabeth could change her mind so drastically on such a life-changing matter. (ML)           
 
15. Why does Mr. Collins come to Longbourne? 
It is his time in life to find his perfect suitor. Alot like Darcy, he comes to Longbourne to find a prominent young woman to become his suitor. (BN)

"'Tis too much!' she added, 'by far too much. I do not deserve it. Oh! why is not every body as happy.'"
(Austen, #1) 
 

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