Pride and prejudice; Jane Austen

British literature. XIX century. Romantic novel. Romantic comedy. Novel of manners. Biography. Characters. Time and space # Literatura británica. Siglo XIX. Novela romántica. Comedia. Novela de costumbres. Biografía. Personajes. Tiempo y espacio

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'Pride and prejudice; Jane Austen'
It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first." (Ch. 18)

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." (Mr.Darcy, Chapter 60)

Pride and prejudice

By:Jane Austen

Index:

  • Author

  • Theme

  • Time and space

  • Main characters

  • Other characters

  • New vocabulary

  • Summary

  • Personal opinion

  • Author: Jane Austen

  • Jane Austen was a major English novelist, whose brilliantly witty, elegantly structured satirical fiction marks the transition in English literature from 18th century neo-classicism to 19th century romanticism. 

    Jane Austen was born on 16 December, 1775, at the rectory in the village of Steventon, near Basingstoke, in Hampshire. The seventh of eight children of the Reverend George Austen and his wife, Cassandra, she was educated mainly at home and never lived apart from her family. She had a happy childhood amongst all her brothers and the other boys who lodged with the family and whom Mr Austen tutored. From her older sister, Cassandra, she was inseparable. To amuse themselves, the children wrote and performed plays and charades, and even as a little girl Jane was encouraged to write. The reading that she did of the books in her father's extensive library provided material for the short satirical sketches she wrote as a girl. 

    At the age of 14 she wrote her first novel, Love and Freindship (sic) and then A History of England by a partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian, together with other very amusing juvenilia. In her early twenties Jane Austen wrote the novels that were later to be re-worked and published as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. She also began a novel called The Watsons which was never completed. 

    As a young woman Jane enjoyed dancing (an activity which features frequently in her novels) and she attended balls in many of the great houses of the neighbourhood. She loved the country, enjoyed long country walks, and had many Hampshire friends. It therefore came as a considerable shock when her parents suddenly announced in 1801 that the family would be moving away to Bath. Mr Austen gave the Steventon living to his son James and retired to Bath with his wife and two daughters. The next four years were difficult ones for Jane Austen. She disliked the confines of a busy town and missed her Steventon life. After her father's death in 1805, his widow and daughters also suffered financial difficulties and were forced to rely on the charity of the Austen sons. It was also at this time that, while on holiday in the West country, Jane fell in love, and when the young man died, she was deeply upset. Later she accepted a proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, a wealthy landowner and brother to some of her closest friends, but she changed her mind the next morning and was greatly upset by the whole episode. 

    After the death of Mr Austen, the Austen ladies moved to Southampton to share the home of Jane's naval brother Frank and his wife Mary. There were occasional visits to London, where Jane stayed with her favourite brother Henry, at that time a prosperous banker, and where she enjoyed visits to the theatre and art exhibitions. However, she wrote little in Bath and nothing at all in Southampton. 

    Then, in July, 1809, on her brother Edward offering his mother and sisters a permanent home on his Chawton estate, the Austen ladies moved back to their beloved Hampshire countryside. It was a small but comfortable house, with a pretty garden, and most importantly it provided the settled home which Jane Austen needed in order to write. In the seven and a half years that she lived in this house, she revised Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and published them ( in 1811 and 1813) and then embarked on a period of intense productivity. Mansfield Park came out in 1814, followed by Emma in 1816 and she completed Persuasion (which was published together with Northanger Abbey in 1818, the year after her death). None of the books published in her life-time had her name on them — they were described as being written "By a Lady". In the winter of 1816 she started Sanditon, but illness prevented its completion. 

    Jane Austen had contracted Addisons Disease, a tubercular disease of the kidneys (see Jane Austen's Illness by Sir Zachary Cope, British Medical Journal, 18 July 1964 and Australian Addisons Disease Assoc.). No longer able to walk far, she used to drive out in a little donkey carriage which can still be seen at the Jane Austen Museum at Chawton. By May 1817 she was so ill that she and Cassandra, to be near Jane's physician, rented rooms in Winchester. Tragically, there was then no cure and Jane Austen died in her sister's arms in the early hours of 18 July, 1817. She was 41 years old. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral. 

  • Theme

  • Pride and prejudice show us the importance of firts impressions and how can them affect in our feelings against the others.

    “ It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first” ( chapter eighteen)

    'Pride and prejudice; Jane Austen'

  • Time and space

  • This novel , which was written two hundred years ago, describes a year in the life of a group of young people who live in the coutry near London and its sorroundings in a period of change ( XVIII and XIX century).

    'Pride and prejudice; Jane Austen'

    4. Main characters

    • Elizabeth Bennet:

    She is the second of the Bennets daughters. Elizabeth is twenty years old, she is very atractive, witty and nice but she tends to judge people on first impressions. Her best friend is Chalotte Lucas.

    • Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

    He is intelligent, good-natured and wealthy but he is also proud and concerned with social status. Mr.Darcy is twenty-eight years old and is still unmarried. He is the owner of an estate in Derbyshire and he loves Elizabeth Bennet although he tries to avoid it.

    'Pride and prejudice; Jane Austen'
    5. Other characters

    • Mr Bennet ans Mrs Bennet

    Mr Bennet has a wife and five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine and Lydia. He is nice and intelligent and he dislikes the frivolity of his wife and his three young daughters but he has a good relation with Jane and Elizabeth besides he is very close to them.

    Mrs Bennet is not as clever or educated as her husband. Her only aim in life is to find husbands for her daughters and her pleasures are visiting, talking and clothes.

    However, their situation was worse than it seemed because of a lawyer's agreement, since Mr Bennet had no son the property, when he died, would pass to a distant cousin, Mr Collins. His daughters would not have nothing unless they married.

    • Jane Bennet

    She is the eldest Bennets sister. She is twenty-two and everybody thinks she is the most beatiful lady in the neighbourhood. Jane is very active , sensible and sweet and she anly tries to see good in other people. In the end, she gets married with Mr Bringley.

    • Mary Bennet

    She is the middle Bennet sister. Mary is eighteen years old and she spends a lot of time studying and reading but she has a lack of common sense.

    • Catherine Bennet

    She is the fourth Bennet sister. Catherine is seventeen years old and she is called Kitty by her family who describes her as a headstrong and frivolous girl.

    • Lydia Bennet

    She is the youngest Bennet sister. Lydia is fiveteen years old and she is portrayed as a dominant girl. Her life is based in flirting with military officers and she has a relation with George Wickhow (a militia regiment lieutenant).

    • Charles Bringley

    He has twenty-two years old and he is charming, handsome, good-natured and he is also very popular in Meryton but one of his faults is that he is relly easily influenced by others. Mr Bringley rents the Netherfield state near Longbourn and he loves Jane Bennet.

    • Caroline Bringley

    She is Mr Bringley's sister. Caroline is a fashionable girl who looks down Meryton people. She is jealous due to the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy.

    • George Wickhow

    He is the son of Darcy's father's stewards. This handsome man makes a good impression in Meryton society. He damages Dorcy's reputation but later we know he is financially irresponsible.

    • Lady Catherine the Borough

    She is arrogant and wealthy. Lady Catherine wants her daughter to get married with her nephew Mr Dorcey and she gets angry when she knows about the special relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and her nephew.

    • William Collins

    He is twenty-five years old. Portrayed as a dull and pompous man, he is the heir of Longbourn (the property of Mr Bennet, his cousin). Mr Collins is a parson and he has obtained clerical living on the state of Lady Catherine the Borough ( Kent). He gets married with Chalotte Lucas.

    • Chalotte Lucas

    She is Elizabeth's best friend in the beggining of the book but later, Elizabeth is disappointed with her because he accepts Mr Collins offer of marriege. Chalotte is quite clever and she is the daughter of the Bennet's neighbours. She gets married at the age of twenty- seven.

    • Georgiana Dorcy

    She is sixteen years old and she is Dorcy's younger sister.

    This young teenager plays the piano very well. Although is it supposed that she is very proud, she isn't. In fact, Georgiana is incredibly shy.

    • Colonel Fitzwilliam

    He is Lady Catherine's nephew. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Dorcy are both in charge of Georgiana and they has a very good relation. He befriend Elizabeth while she is in Kent.

    5. Vocabulary

    ENGLISH

    VALENCIÀ

    about to

    A punt de

    angered

    Va enrabiar

    attend

    Asistir a

    behaving

    Comportant

    blow open

    Esclatés

    breathe loudly

    Respirar fort

    broke away

    Es va separar

    confident

    Segura d'ella mateixa

    contempt of court

    Desacatament al tribunal

    cracked

    Es va esquerdar

    crime

    Delicte, crim

    deal

    Tracte

    deserve

    Es mereix

    eventually

    Finalment

    felt like

    Tenia ganes de

    get into trouble

    Ficar-nos en un embolic

    get involved

    Involucrar-me, participar

    grabbed

    Va pendre, va agafar

    involves

    Té a veure amb

    make sense

    Té sentit

    meant to

    Per tal que

    nooded his head

    Va asentir

    on bail

    Sota confiança

    pretended

    Fingia,feia veure

    relived

    Alleujat

    reluctantly

    A contralor

    stared

    Mirava fixament

    stepped on

    Va trepitjar

    support

    Suport

    threatened

    Amenaçant

    to hold

    onto

    A qui agafar-s'hi

    trust

    Confiés en

    warning

    Avís

    witness

    De testimonis

    woods

    Bosc

    your honour

    Vostra senyoria

    6. Summary

    Pride and prejudice was written two hundred years ago by Jane Austen and it describes a year in the life of an small group of young people who live in the coutry near London in a period of change ( XVIII and XIX century).

    In the middle of this society we are able to find some special and funny people: The Bennet, who live with their five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine and Lydia. Mr Bennet is nice and intelligent and he dislikes the frivolity of his wife and his three young daughters but he has a good relation with Jane and Elizabeth besides he is very close to them.

    Mrs Bennet is not as clever or educated as her husband. Her only aim in life is to find husbands for her daughters and her pleasures are visiting, talking and clothes.

    However, their situation was worse than it seemed because of a lawyer's agreement, since Mr. Bennet had no son the property, when he died, would pass to a distant cousin, Mr. Collins. His daughters would not have nothing unless they married.

    One day, a man who is called Charles Bringley leases the Netherfild estate and plans to settle with his two sisters and his brother-in-law. The arrival of this wealthy and handsome man in the neighbourhood excites Mrs Bennet who has four unmarried daughters.

    A few weeks after they arrival, Charles Bringley, his family and his best friend, Dorcey, attend a public ball in the village of Merynton , where Mr Bringley shows himself to be amiable and good-natured when he dances with many young ladies and shows his admiration for Jane Bennet, the eldest of the five Bennet sisters. However, Mr. Darcey, makes poor impression on strangers, such as the people of Merynton who think he is proud, judjamental and concerned with social status, so he makes himself really unpopular despite his annual huge income.

    On the other hand, Elizabeth Bennet listens him refuses her to dance “ because she is not handsome enough for him” so she immediately thinks, as all the other people, that he is incradibly proud dispite his fine figure.

    Following the ball, Jane is invited for an evening at Netherfield, but catches a bad cold and is forced to rest for some days. Her sister Elizabeth goes to Netherfield to nurse her.

    Meanwhile, Mr Collins, a young cousin of Mr Bennet and the entailed heir of Longbourn arrives for a visit. He has recently obtained a clerical living on the estate of Lady Catherine De Bourgh in kent and he is traying to look for a wife among his cousin's daughters. Finding that Jane appears destined for Bringley, he asks Elizabeth to get married with him but she refuses Mr Collins despite the threats of her mother. In the end he is accepted by Elizabeth's best friend, Chalotte Lucas, who is still unmarried at the age of twenty-seven.

    Later, Elizabeth is introduced to a handsome young officer, Mr. Wickham, who is the son of Darcy's father's steward. This charming man makes a good impression in Merynton society, and his reports that Darcy has cheated him out of a rightful inheritance serve to further damage Darcy's reputation. This reinforces Elizabeth growing dislike of Darcy and she is relieved when he leaves, with Mr.Bringley and their family, the neighbourhood. This act causes Jane's sadness because she is in love with Charles Bringley.

    However, Elizabeth encounters Darcy again on a visit to Lady Catherine ( his aunt) at Rossings Park and suddenly he reveals to her his true feelings: he loves her “in spite of her objectionable family”. After this he proposes to her but she refuses him absolutely because of what he has said and also because she thinks that Darcy persuaded Mr. Bringley to sever ties with Jane although she also mentions what Mr. Wickham said.

    The next day, Mr. Darcy hands Elizabeth a letter in which he justifies his actions- he believed that Jane didn't love his friend and he didn'd want him to suffer for this girl. Darcy also reveals the true nature of Mr.Wickham, who is financially irresponsible and morally bankrupt. He also tried to get his sister to leave home and to go with him.

    After reading this, the young lady is quite upset with herself but she is not totally convinced.

    Later Elizabeth and her family discovers that Lydia has gone out with Mr.Wickham to another village but after Darcy's inter vention they come back home and finally they get married.

    Elizabeth feelings change and after some time she receives a visiting from Lady Catherine who has discovered Mr. Darcey's feelings for Elizabeth and she tries to intimidate her into refusing his nephew.

    The book ends when Jane gets married with Mr. Bringley and her younger sister, Elizabeth, gets married to Mr. Dorcey after he prososes to her again.

    7. Personal opinion

    Pride and prejudice is one of the most exciting and fascinating books I have ever read. Although it was written two hundred years ago by Jane Austen, the ideas it gives to the reader and the problems which our main characters have to face are real and apply to moden life. Every single teenager their day-to-day life has experienced how first impressions can affect in our personal lifes and how the family can influence our decisions. I am sure that fifty or sisty years ago the idea of marriage was really important and with it, its social status. Many women neither loved nor respected their partner, but they wished to escape the terrible fate of becoming maid (the same happened to Chalotte Lucas, Elizabeth's best friend at the beginning of the novel) . To sum up, what I like most about Pride and Prejudice is that it shows us real situations, real problems and it tells us their possible consequences.

    This book, like most of Jane Austen's works, employs the narrative technique of free indirect speech and by using narrative which adopts the tone and vocabulary of a particular character, Austen invites the reader to follow the events from the speaker's point of view, sharing opinions, sadness or happiness.

    I would recommend this book to those ones who love reading good literature or spending a good time learning how our ancestors lived and thoght and what aims in life they had.

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