Pride and prejudice door Jane Austen

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  • 22 augustus 2006
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Mr and Mrs Bennet live with their five daughters. Jane, the eldest daughter, falls in love with Charles Bingley, a rich bachelor who takes a house nearby with his two sisters and friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy is attracted to the second daugher, Elizabeth, but a bad account of him is given to Elizabeth. He and Bingley's effect the separation of Bingley and Jane.…

Mr and Mrs Bennet live with their five daughters. Jane, the eldest daughter, falls in love with Charles Bingley, a rich bachelor who takes a house nearby with his two sisters and f…

Mr and Mrs Bennet live with their five daughters. Jane, the eldest daughter, falls in love with Charles Bingley, a rich bachelor who takes a house nearby with his two sisters and friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy is attracted to the second daugher, Elizabeth, but a bad account of him is given to Elizabeth. He and Bingley's effect the separation of Bingley and Jane. William Collins, cousin to the sisters and as only male, heir to the Bennet estate, proposes to Elizabeth but is rejected. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth but she refuses. When Elizabeth travels north she is invited with friends to Darcy's place in Derbyshire, and thinking Darcy is absent she goes. However, he is there and she is surprised by his much-improved manners. She hears news that her sister Lydia has eloped with Wickham, an unprincipled adventurer. With Darcy's help the fugitives are found. The attachment between Bingley and Jane is renewed and leads to an engagement. In spite of the insolent intervention of Lady Catherine, Darcy and Elizabeth become engaged.

Pride and prejudice door Jane Austen
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1. Explain the title
The title of the book is “Pride and Prejudice”. The book could also have been named Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth, because Mr. Darcy is the one who is proud and Elisabeth is the one who has prejudices, although Mr. Darcy does have them too in the beginning. Fortunately their love for each other is stronger and will conquer all the difficulties. They are also the main characters of the story.
2. Describe the setting
The biggest part of the story takes place at Longbourn. But other places where the story takes place are: Netherfield Park, Meryton, Lucas Lodge (Hertfordshire); London; Hunsford and Rosings (Kent); Pemberley and Lambton (Derbyshire). The places, besides the ones in parentheses and London of course, are all invented by the author.

The setting of the story is around the beginning of the 19th century. That is made clear by the manners and the convictions of the characters. An example of one of the time’s convictions is that a woman must marry and may not live with her husband before they marry. Mrs Bennet acts from these beliefs in the beginning of the book, when she tries to convince Mr. Bennet to pay a visit to Mr. Bingley, a young, handsome, wealthy man, all in the hope that Mr. Bingley will finally marry one of her daughters ( preferably her favourite daughter, Jane).
Jane Austen begins the book really clever, by explaining how the people of that time where thinking. You will find the begin phrase at number 16 of this book report.
3. Are there any flash-forwards or flash-backs? If so, describe them.
I can’t remember coming across a flash-back or a flash-forward.
4. Comment the style of writing
The style of writing fits with the rest of the story. It is written in not quite old, but quite polite English. Words like by the bye, surmise, boundless and awkwardness are not often used. Well this book certainly gives a chance to words like that to shine for a moment.
5. Describe the way suspense is built up
I must say that Jane Austen is really the most majestic author when it comes up to suspense! She really makes you sympathize with the main character, Elizabeth, but at the same time, you know that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will end up together or something like that. So, you’re happy when they meet each other and you are sad when they part. In that way, Jane Austen builds up the suspense in this book. When you think that they are not going to be separated anymore and they will finally remain together, well you will just find out that you had it wrong again and then you’ll be disappointed. But this is ultimately how the author influences you to read on and follow the upcoming events with as much interest as a book ever can captivate you with.
6. Which perspective has been used and how has this affected the book?
The narrator of the book
Pride and Prejudice is an omniscient third person. The story is told from Elizabeth Bennet’s point of view. The narrator follows everything what’s happening about Elizabeth and her family from the point that Mr. Bingley buys Netherfield Park until after Elizabeth is married with Mr. Darcy. The effect is that you sympathise with Elizabeth as she’s the one the story’s about, and you get to see everything happen from her side more then of all the others.
7. Are there any loose threads in the story? If so mention one
So far I know there are no loose threads in the story.
8. Which of the characters could you identify with best and why?
I guess that I can identify best with Georgiana Darcy, because when I see or meet people for the first time I’m pretty shy, sometimes I might even seem arrogant, although I am not. But after a couple of times of seeing that person or after a while, I overcome that shyness and there are times when once I start to talk, there’s no way that somebody can put a lock on it.
9. Which scene in the book impressed you most / did you like best and why?
There are three scenes which impressed me most, because it’s pretty tough to choose one I’ll mention all three of them.
1. When Mr.Darcy follows Elizabeth at Rosings and he puts the letter into her hand. Why: because you suspect that it will get even more interesting.
2. When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy run into each other at Pemberley and after a while he comes after her, her uncle and her aunt. Why: because he behaves very nice instead of getting angry or something like that when he sees them. After what passed at Rosings between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy you don’t expect that he will behave that well and polite.
3. When Elizabeth found out that Mr.Darcy was the one who convinced and paid to Mr. Wickham to marry Lydia and by that he saved the Bennets reputation. Why: I thought it was very kind of him and if he didn’t gave up yet the hope of still marrying Elizabeth, I thought he did it also a bit for himself.
10. Which scene in the book did you like least/disappointed you and why?
When Mr. Darcy and Mr Bingley return to Netherfield after a pretty long time of being in the town or in Derbyshire you expect, as a reader, that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will remain together at last. Well that expectation is wrong and you will be pretty disappointed, because Mr. Darcy will leave to the town once again and that also has consequences. One of them is: Mr. Bingley finally has the courage to propose to Jane.
11. Are there any other ways in which the writer tries to manipulates the reader and if so, mention them.
Well, so far I have acknowledged the author only manipulates the reader’s feelings about the characters. Like I said, Jane Austen is a real maestro when it comes up to let the readers empathize with the characters. I couldn’t find a different way in which she tries to manipulate the readers.
12. Describe the author’s vision of literature. Think of the social, economic and political background.

Jane Austen published anonymously four of her six great novels in her lifetime. Although Jane Austen was a writer in the period of Romanticism and all her stories are love stories, she was no Romantic. The young women, who are the main characters in her stories, seem to be by exercising rational moderation closer by happiness then the characters who are eloping with a lover. Jane Austen’s ‘point forté’ is the manner in which she describes the characters. Though her characters are quite plainly and ordinary, she draws them with such precision and resolution, that she really gets to impress the reader with the developed and complex characters. Also a charming characteristic that you will find pretty often in her novels is her genuine and sometimes realistic view of life, expressed with a strong touch of gentle but acute irony.
In the world that Jane Austen describes her characters' main concern is marrying advantageous. Some readers of her time may think that’s quite not liberated. In this era options were limited and women and men often married for money.
Differences in class come to order in this book as well. The people of higher classes are proud, self-conscious and do not like to socialize themselves with those of lower classes.
The tension and suspense in her novels often are arising from financial necessity on one side and morals, friendship and love on the other side.
Literature, and not the literary life, was always Jane Austen’s intention.
13. Which genre does the book belong to?
Pride and Prejudice can be placed under the genre: romantic novel. Like said before: it contains love, friendship, hostility, falsehood, morals and irony.
14. What would you like to change in the story and why/ why not?
I would certainly have made Mr. Bingley more confident in making his own decisions. Even if that requires that he must not take his best friend’s counsel in consideration.

15. Which character from the book would you like to meet in reality and what would you like to say to him/her?
Actually, I would like to meet not one person but two. The first one would be Mr. Wickham. I’m pretty curious how charming he is, especially because nowadays boys or men don't have those nice manners anymore. The thing is, that I wouldn’t have anything particular to say to him.
The second person would be Mr. Wickham’s wife and Elizabeth’s sister, Lydia. She really annoys me with her impertinence sometimes. What I would say to her would be (although it isn’t that nice): “Kid, you really need a good portion of spanking!” I think that (not what I would say to her, but the portion of spanking) would do her a great deal of good.
16. Choose a quotation from the book which is exemplary to the book and explain why you have chosen this quotation.
Certainly one of the most characteristic quotations from the book would be the begin phrase. I think it’s actually a quotation that is exemplary to the most of her novels.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.” Page 1

I have chosen also some parts out of chapter 43 which are also quite exemplary to the book, because it kind of gives an example of what I meant with the "meet-part-meet". But I must give a short introduction of what had passed before: Elizabeth went with her aunt and uncle to visit Pemberley, after she assured herself that Mr. Darcy wouldn’t be present there. Unfortunately, just before they’re parting something unexpected takes place.
“As they walked across the lawn towards the river, Elizabeth turned back to look again; her uncle and her aunt stopped also: and while the former was conjecturing as to the date of the building, the owner of it himself suddenly came forward from the road which led behind it to the stables.
They were within twenty yards of each other, and so abrupt was his appearance, that it was impossible to avoid his sight. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each other were overspread with the deepest blush.” Page 220
“At length every idea seemed to fail him; and after standing a few moments without saying a word, he suddenly recollected himself, and took leave.” Page 221
“Whilst wandering on in this slow manner, they were again surprise, and Elizabeth’s astonishment was quite equal to what it had been at first, by the sight of Mr. Darcy approaching them, and at no great distance. The walk, being here less sheltered then on the other side, allowed them to see him before they met. Elizabeth, however astonished, was at least more prepared for an interview than before, and resolved to appear and to speak with calmness, if he really intended to meet them. For a few moments, indeed, she felt that he would probably strike into some other path. This idea lasted while a turning in the walk concealed him from their view. The turning past, he was immediately before them.” Page 223
17. Draw your own cartoon from the book and write which scene it depicts
See the addition. The cartoon depicts the scene when Elizabeth and Mr.Darcy meet each other at Pemberley.
18. Design your own front cover for this book
See the addition.
19. Does this book reminds you of another book, song, play, painting, sculpture or movie?
This book certainly reminds me of the other Jane Austen novels. Besides Pride and Prejudice I have also read Sense and Sensibility, and I now I am reading Emma.
Like mentioned before, Jane Austen has written them in pretty the same style of expression.
It also reminds me of James Blunt song “Goodbye my lover”. The lyrics seem to fit quite well with their love story
The book also reminds me of the film “Pride and Prejudice” of course, that has just been filmed in 2005.
It also reminded me of the movie “Bridget Jones Diary”. It’s all the same story, only “Bridget Jones Diary” is wrapped up in a pretty modern coat. The assimilations are noticeable: Colin Firth plays in “Pride and Prejudice” (1995) Fitzwilliam Darcy and in Bridget Jones (2001) Mark Darcy; his relationship with the main characters is the same in both movies.
Finally, it reminds me also of a painting of Pierre-Auguste Renoir named: Young girls at piano.
Playing at the piano was something very in vogue (at least after Jane Austen books) for accomplished young ladies of that time.
PS: Note for the other book report, The picture of Dorian Gray: Another song that I discovered afterwards, that fits a very little bit with it; it’s the song “Tears and Rain” from James Blunt. I heard for the first time in a song mentioned the name Dorian Gray and I was astonished.

20. You have been approached by a newspaper to write a catchy review/advertisement for this book. Write it!
The best Jane Austen novel contains a classical story about love and values. The novel takes place in the England of the 18th century, divided by the social classes of that time. The five daughters of the Bennets - including the ambitious Elizabeth (also called Lizzie), the beautiful Jane and the young Lydia – were all raised by their mother with one particular goal in life: finding of a good husband. When a wealthy unmarried man moves into a house in the neighbourhood, it’s all just excitement at Longbourn, the residence of the Bennets. Because it seems logical that they will find enough possible future husbands among the circle of sophisticated friends of the man. But when Elizabeth meets the handsome but also - as it seems – snobbish Mr. Darcy, the battle of the genders begins.
21. You have been approached by an editor to write the text on the back of the book. Don’t use more than 150 words
Pride and Prejudice is a classical story about love and values in the 18th century. The five daughters of the Bennets: the beautiful Jane, the intelligent Elizabeth, studying Mary, Kitty, the immature and the wild Lydia have all just one goal in life: to find a good husband. Unfortunately for the Bennet family, if Mr. Bennet dies, Longbourn, their residence will be entailed by a cousin which they had never met before, Mr. Collins, so the happiness and the safety of the family is based on the celebration of a lasting marriage. When Mr. Bingley, a handsome and rich bachelor man moves next to them, the excitement begins. From the circle of friends of Mr. Bingley will not miss a potential future husband for the girls of the Bennet family. But many sufferings and ordeals are endured by the sisters before they find their happiness.
22. If you were to direct a movie based on this book, what would you alter in the story?
I think that I would want to alter something that has to do with time and timing. I would rather have that Jane’s letters had reached Elizabeth a bit later, and that more things had passed round Pemberley.
23. If this book turned into a movie, which character would you like to be and why?
I certainly would want to play Elizabeth. She’s the one who gets through the most actions in the story and she is also the character that is described best and seems to be the most interesting character to play as well.
24. Which song/music./composer would you choose for the opening shot and what would the opening shot be?
The opening shot, for me, would be when the two Bennets were arguing whether paying Mr. Bingley a visit or not. When I was searching for some more information about a composer, Camille Saint-Saëns, whose song “The swan” I admire, I happened to come across his cd “The carnival of the Animals.” So I started to listen to the songs. When I was thinking about the opening shot, the title of a song really seemed to fit to that shot. The song is named “Hens and cockerels”. The music fits to the opening shot as well. In the beginning they argue, but in the end it’s the man who has the last word.
25. Which song/music./composer would you choose for the last shot and what would the last shot be?
The last shot for me will certainly be the end of the book, when everything ends like “…and they lived happily ever after”. The music that fits best to that thought I found to be The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns.


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De datum van overlijden van Jane Austen klopt niet, i.p.v 1970 moet dat 18 juli 1817 zijn.

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