Book extract Pride and Prejudice


Book revision English literature 

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. 

Where/when: Setting 

  • Where and when does the story take place?

Pride and prejudice are set in England at some point in the very late 1700s-early 1800s. The action moves between a few different locations in England; including Brighton, London, and the counties of Hertfordshire, Derbyshire, and Kent. 

The exact dates are unclear, but the action takes place sometime during the Napoleonic War (1797-1815) because Austen references soldiers and regiments. Since the novel was written and revised between 1796 and 1813, we can assume Austen sets the novel at the same time as she was writing.

  • Is the setting important? Why (not)? 

No, not really. In the book there is a little detailed description of the geographic settings for the Bennet sisters, opportunities to experience the world around them were relatively restricted and most of their lives were confined to the residences and private parties of a small circle of family and friends. Austen implies that intense psychological drama can still unfold even within a small and seemingly uneventful world. 

Who: Characters

  • Who is/are the main character(s)? Give a short description/characterization. 

Elizabeth Bennet: the novel’s protagonist. She is the second daughter of Mr. Benett. Elizabeth is the most intelligent and sensible of the five Bennet sisters. She is well-read and quick-witted, with a tongue that occasionally proves too sharp for her own good. Her realization of Darcy’s essential goodness eventually triumphs over her initial prejudice against him. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy: a wealthy gentleman, the master of Pemberley, and the nephew of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Though Darcy is intelligent and honest, his excess of pride causes him to look down on his social inferiors. Throughout the novel, he tempers his class-consciousness and learns to admire and love Elizabeth for her strong character. 

Jane Bennet: de eldest and most beautiful Bennet sister. Jane is more reserved and gentler than Elizabeth. The easy pleasantness with which she and Bingley interact contrasts starkly with the mutual dictate that marks the encounters between Elizabeth and Darcy. 

Charles Bingley: Darcy’s considerably wealthy best friend. Bingley’s purchase of Netherfield, an estate near the Bennets, serves as the impetus for the novel. He is a genial, well-intentioned gentleman, whose easygoing nature contrasts with Darcy’s initially discourteous demeanor. He is blissfully uncaring about class differences. 

Mr. Bennet: the patriarch of the Bennet family, a gentleman of the modest income with five unmarried daughters. Mr. Bennet has a sarcastic, cynical sense of humor that he uses to purposefully irritate his wife. Though he loves his daughters (Elizabeth in particular), he often fails as a parent, preferring to withdraw from the never-ending marriage concerns of the women around him rather than offer help.

Mrs. Bennet: Mr. Bennet’s wife, a foolish, noisy woman whose only goal in life is to see her daughters married. Because of her low breeding and often unbecoming behavior, Mrs. Bennet often repels the very suitors whom she tried to attract for her daughters. 

George Wickham: A


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