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Pride And Prejudice Questions And Activities English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 3447 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The things that Jane Austen described about society and the mobility between classes is that wealth, propriety, and social order are very important. Those from the higher class and lower classes have many prejudices against each other, caused by vanity and pride. Titles and social class were viewed as very significant, especially in marriages. Those who are of higher class were encouraged to marry those in the same social status and those who were of lower status tried to find wealthier spouses of a higher social class. There were many social boundaries and prejudices to overcome when it comes to marriage.

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2. Elizabeth Bennet s moral integrity is that she is not impressed by high social rank and money but believes that person s character and manners is more important. Elizabeth has great pride in her ability to judge others, in her conversation with Jane in Chapter 4. But she tends to see the lesser qualities of people rather than people s good traits. Fearless with a lot of originality, she is very honest with herself and others, always speaking her mind. Elizabeth is not concerned of high social status and was not afraid to criticize Mr. Darcy s pride when he insulted her at the first dance. Although she has not known Mr. Darcy very long, Elizabeth has already disliked him greatly, showing her prejudice.

Mr. Darcy s moral integrity is that he is quite conscious of class differences and social status. He has a very strong sense of honor. He has a lot of pride and social prejudice, and is not afraid to show everyone how prideful he is. He is a very honest person and will always try to answer truthfully. He was not afraid to refuse to dance with Elizabeth saying that she was not handsome enough to tempt him, showing many that he is a very prideful man. He has a sense of social superiority but is a very honorable and rational man.

Jane Bennet s moral integrity is that she is a very positive and tries to see the good qualities and the best in people. Unlike Elizabeth, Jane doesn t judge others badly but and is not very good at finding the negative traits of a person s character. In chapter 4, Elizabeth and Jane were having a conversation about how Jane never saw a fault in anyone. Choosing only to see a person s good qualities, she is sometimes oblivious to a person s bad traits. She did not acknowledge Ms. Bingley s prejudice against her, even though she treated Jane with rudeness and clearly tried to prevent her relationship with Mr. Bingley. Ms. Bingley has sent Jane a letter, saying that Bingley may have feelings for Mrs. Darcy.

Mr. Bingley s moral integrity is that he is not very concerned with class differences. Despite differences in social status, he was very attracted to Jane Bennet. At the first dance, Mr. Bingley immediately had a liking towards Jane, singling her out from the other woman, despite knowing her social class. He does not care of class differences due to his easy-going and good nature, as well as his love for Jane Bennet.

Mrs. Bennet s moral integrity is that all she really focuses on is that her daughters to be married to wealthy husbands of high social status. She lacks propriety and virtue. She doesn t seem to care about anything else but her daughters marrying since all she really worries a lot about is reputation and social status. She does not care if her daughters are married to someone who they are not happy or in love with as long as they are given security, wealth, or high social class. This is shown in her marriage with Mr. Bennet, a person who she does not understand and whose personality and views entirely contrasts hers. She even tried to force Elizabeth into a marriage with Mr. Collins who she clearly did not love. She is not afraid to spout out foolish things and loves to gossip and brag. Although she belongs only to the middle class, she still looks down on others and feels superior. An example when she has this snobbish behavior is when she brags about how her daughter is getting married to Mr. Bingley soon. Even though Jane hadn t even been proposed to by Mr. Bingley yet, she bragged about it to everyone as if they were already married.

Mr. Bennet s moral integrity is that he is usually lazy and always prefers to hide in his library, dodging the responsibility of his role in the family. In unpleasant situations, he makes light of them. Although not willing to do much work or make much of an effort, Mr. Bennet is witty and insightful. Making a very big mistake with his own marriage, Mr. Bennet encourages Elizabeth to only marry someone who she cares for and respects. Mrs. Bennet tells Elizabeth that if she does not marry Mr. Collins she will never see her again. But Mr. Bennet tells Elizabeth that he will never see her again if she does. Mr. Bennet, although rarely doing much, does care about his daughter s futures. He was one of the first men who called on Mr. Bingley when he just moved into Netherfield.

Ms. Bingley s moral integrity is that she disapproves of people who are those of lower class and people who she considers to be inferior to her high social class. She is not afraid to hide her disapproval of others. For example, in her letter to Jane, she explained how her brother might have a liking towards Darcy s sister, looking down on Jane s class and trying to get her to give up on Mr. Bingley. She has class prejudice and regards those of lower class than she is as not worth of respect and looks down on them, such as Elizabeth who she views as a woman who lacks propriety and lady-likeness. In the beginning of the book when Elizabeth ran over to Netherfield as soon as she heard Jane had caught a cold, Ms. Bingley began to criticize to Mr. Darcy on how Elizabeth lacked propriety for making herself dirty from walking. She sees wealth and class as very important, being a very superficial person. In chapter 11, she tries to attract the attention of Mr. Darcy, who is a very wealthy man.

Mr. Collin s moral integrity is that he is very eager to please and obey others, especially Lady Catherine who is his patroness. He makes it clear to everyone that he has ties with Lady Catherine and is very proud about it. With an excessive sense of self-importance, he is a very prideful man but continuously tries to say things that will satisfy others so they will think well of him, always excessively praising whatever he can. He proposes to Elizabeth, although he really does not love her (since he was interested in Jane at first), but instead wants to impress Lady Catherine who suggests he finds a wife. He also wanted to marry to set an appropriate example of marriage to his congregation.

3. The use of irony in the first line of the novel, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” is that the “truth” is actually just the opposite. The first line of the novel gives the reader the expectation of wealthy men looking for wives. In the novel, it is actually single young woman who do not possess a fortune that are in want of a wealthy husband. The book heavily highlights on women who marry for wealth, economic aid, and other purposes. When Mrs. Bennet hears that a wealthy young man named, Charles Bingley, has come to live at a manor in the neighboring village of Longbourn, she is overly excited and finds it a great opportunity for one of her five unmarried daughters to wed a man with a great fortune.

An example of irony is in Chapter 4 where Elizabeth expresses her hatred for Mr. Darcy and criticizes Mr. Bingley s sister. She tells Jane that she blind to others and is not able to find the truth in them. This is ironic because Elizabeth becomes completely oblivious to Mr. Darcy s interest towards her and Mr. Wickham s true character. In these cases, Elizabeth was the one who was unaware of the truth and the one who was blind.

Another example of irony in Volume 1 is when Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth saying, She is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me. This statement shows that Elizabeth was not handsome enough to dance with but it turns out that this tolerable woman is the one who he begins to be interested in and proposes to twice. Later in the novel, he even says that Elizabeth is one of the most handsome women of his acquaintance.

Part 2

1. Coincidence played a part in allowing Elizabeth and Darcy to spend an extended period of time together by bringing them together when Elizabeth was visiting the Collins and visited Rosings, Lady Catherine s estate. Lady Catherine s nephew, Mr. Darcy just happened to be visiting. Elizabeth, at that time, had many prejudices against Darcy and really hated him. She had no intention to meet him, a man who she disliked so much, at Rosings. Mr. Darcy probably also had no intention to meet Elizabeth, for he was still struggling with his feelings for Elizabeth. He was still troubled by their differences in social class and was not wishing to see her. Lady Catherine had invited her nephew to Rosings, perhaps hoping to bring her own daughter and him together. But it had resulted in the opposite. Mr. Darcy began to be attracted to Elizabeth and even proposed to her. It was a very fateful and unexpected for the Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to encounter one another.

2. Elizabeth s opinion on Charlotte s and Mr. Collin s marriage is that she is concerned that Charlotte will not be happy in a marriage with such a toady and conceited man. Just a few days earlier, Mr. Collin had proposed to Elizabeth who had rejected him. He had immediately transferred towards Charlotte. Charlotte and Mr. Collins clearly do not love each other. Mr. Collins couldn t be in love with Charlotte because he had at first planned to propose to Jane but then quickly changed to Elizabeth and now to Charlotte. Charlotte did not marry Mr. Collins for anything besides for security. She felt the urgency to marry for practicality. She was afraid she could not get married. She told Elizabeth that she was not a romantic and that she was in need of an establishment and a comfortable home, which was sure to be provided in her marriage with Mr. Collins. Charlotte married for a purpose other than love. Although Charlotte sometimes feels embarrassed to be married to him in certain situations, she is given a home and financial security. Elizabeth knows that Charlotte will never have a life of complete happiness.

Elizabeth s opinion on her parent s marriage is that they were wed without love. Her father does not show his wife any respect at all, resulting in loneliness and insanity in the marriage. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet for all the wrong reasons. He married her because of her good looks and youth, not because of her character, her good qualities, and not out of love.

3. Dear Mr. Darcy,

Not long before my writing this letter, my judgment of your disposition was so different. Your letter has allowed me to discover great flaws in myself. I have found errors in my judgment, yet I have also discovered my own prejudice against you. I have always considered myself to be a perceiving and sensible judge of character. I had so much pride in my judging abilities. At our first encounter, I had immediately had a preformed and unfavorable opinion of you. I believed you were an insolent, disagreeable, and arrogant man. From there on, my prejudice against you only made that hatred worse.

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I became acquainted with Mr. Wickham who I immediately interpreted him as a charming man. I had only been acquainted with him and yet I believed him. I now realize I have been fooled by him to believe his story about your allegedly distasteful character. He told me that out of his respect for your father, he refused to expose you. But even I can see now, that that is not true. I refused to notice his hypocrisy. He has no reserves in revealing lies about you. He has spread mendacities about you, immediately altering the perception of many. Yet, you chose to hide the truth of his character. But I completely reputed everything he told me. I even thought you were awful as to manipulate Mr. Bingley and ruin my dear sister’s chance of happiness because of my family’s lower status in the gentry. Given what I was led to believe, you were the worst of men. You were the last man that I would ever be consented to marry.

Now, having reread your letter multiple times, I cannot deny the justice of your explanation of Jane’s seeming indifference in her relationship with Mr. Bingley. I can now comprehend as to how you perceive my sister’s behavior to Mr. Bingley’s affection. But I should tell you that Jane truly loves Mr. Bingley and that her behavior is merely caused by her composed nature.

When you made your offer to me in marriage, I immediately rejected you. I had even accused you of interfering with Jane’s relationship with Mr. Bingley as well as well as driving Mr. Wickham to poverty. I have shattered your pride, dignity, and honor. So I must write this letter to say that I am absolutely ashamed and humiliated of my misjudgments of you and Mr. Wickham. Until this moment, I never knew myself. My discernment abilities, in which I had so much pride in, has brought me to say that I wholeheartedly regret my unjust accusations of you for I have wrongly insulted you. I have caused you so much distress. This is the first time I have understood my own weakness, my pride and prejudice. I have been blind, prejudiced, and partial. I am so sorry and feel much great remorse and guilt for what I have said, done, and thought of you.

, Yours, very sincerely,

E. Bennet

Part 3

1. The causes of Lydia s behavior are that her mother was never cared for moral education for her daughters and her father s lack of care for the daughters, especially for Lydia, Mary, and Kitty. Mr. Bennet does care for the happiness of his daughters despite his indifferent and withdrawn behavior. But he only laughs and makes sarcastic comments when he should be giving his daughters, especially Lydia, rational and good guidance. Mrs. Bennet is not concerned with anything besides having her child marry, vanity, and appearance. She is a very bad influence to her children. Since she has such a pathetic and imprudent personality, she cannot possibly give good parenting to her daughters. There is a huge lack of discipline in the house and there are no guidance from the parents, both Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet. Lydia s behavior and personality is very much like her mother, an awful role model who Lydia reflects on. Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet have very poor parenting skills. Mr. Bennet did not take much initiative to prepare for the girl s futures and failed to stop Lydia s elopement with Wickham. None of her parents bothered to tell her how wrong it was to elope with Wickham so Lydia will probably never recognize her mistakes. Mrs. Bennet even flaunted Lydia and Wickham when they came to visit despite Lydia very bad behavior of running away in the first place. Although Mr. Bennet cared, he didn t prevent Lydia from going to Brighton where she fell in love with Wickham, even though Elizabeth continued to tell him not to. Lydia s behavior is caused by her parent s parenting and herself, who should be responsible for her own behavior. Her behavior greatly affects her family when she nearly brings shame upon her entire family and how Kitty is always influenced by Lydia s behavior. When she runs off and elopes with Wickham, it is a disgrace for her family. Having one of their daughters running off secretly with a man is shameful for the family but Mrs. Bennet no longer cares about that when she realizes that Lydia is getting married.

2. The conflicting emotions that Elizabeth has when she visits Pemberley with the Gardiners are feelings of shame, embarrassment, and regret. She realizes that she had insulted Mr. Darcy wrongly after receiving his letter. She is ashamed of her own vanity, pride in her judgment abilities, and prejudice against Mr. Darcy. She was afraid of him because of her humiliation and does not want to see him again because of her accusations and misjudgments of him, as well as the harsh way she rejected his proposal. At Pemberley, she learns from his housekeeper that he is a generous and kind master and is devoted brother. She explains that he is a very kind, sweet-tempered, and generous man. Elizabeth learns that Mr. Darcy is very good to his servants and is a loving and committing brother. No, her change of opinion of him is not because of his wealth. Elizabeth is not oriented with wealth and social class but she was very impressed with the beauty and taste of his estate. She did realize his wealth and what she had missed out on from rejecting him. But if Mr. Darcy was not a kind and good man, Elizabeth would not marry him, regardless of his wealth. She and the Gardiners were very impressed with Mr. Darcy s propriety and agreeable behavior towards them. She had missed out on rejecting such a true gentleman.

3. The changes that Elizabeth makes about her pride and prejudice is that upon finding that her judgment of Mr. Darcy was very flawed, changes her prejudice against him and changes her vanity and pride of her discernment abilities. She realizes that her prejudice of Mr. Darcy caused her to be blinded by Wickham s true character. Her opinion of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham greatly changes after she learns the truth and her prejudice. At the end of the novel, she has removed all prejudices against Mr. Darcy and views Mr. Wickham in an unfavorable way. She realized her errors and began to change her prejudice and began to see that she also makes mistakes in her judgment, which changes pride. Lizzie has fixed her ill-formed impressions and prejudices against Mr. Darcy.

The changes of Mr. Darcy s pride and prejudice are very great when he is rejected by Elizabeth, causing him rethink everything he considered in order to understand why she rejected him. He starts to see that he had proposed to her in a very arrogant way. He realizes that he has been prideful and arrogant of his own class and prejudiced towards those of the lower social classes, such as his opinion of Elizabeth s family. He looked down on those of the lower gentry as inferior to himself.

The changes that they had that brought them to love on another are that Darcy tried to change his pride of social class, his prejudice of social differences, and his view and opinions on society and class differences while Elizabeth fixed her ill-formed impressions and prejudices against Mr. Darcy and her pride in her judgment abilities.

Yes, I think that it is true that a person must love themselves before they can love others. If a person doesn t love themselves, I think that they would not expect others to love them. Also, if a person cannot even bring themselves to love themselves, I don t think they would be able to truly love another person. After reading Mr. Darcy s letter, Elizabeth regretted her prejudice against him and her pride. She changed herself and her previous prejudice against him so she could bring herself to love him. For Mr. Darcy, if he could not change his prejudice and pride of social classes and wealth, he would not be able to love Elizabeth.

4. The pride and prejudice that caused the other characters to judge Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy s marriage is the differences in social class and insufficient knowledge and understanding. Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet, and Jane did not know much about Mr. Darcy besides what she has been told and seen. They had formed a prejudice of him, with little information and irrational feelings, viewing him as an arrogant and prideful man. Even though they did not have ill intentions, they had always knew that Elizabeth to have disliked him greatly and did not know much besides that. Mrs. Bennet, especially, had always continued to dislike Mr. Darcy after her first encounter with him and did not know that he was a true gentleman. Mr. Bennet still favors Mr. Wickham as a son-in-law most of all and is oblivious to Mr. Wickham s bad behaviors and Darcy s true character. For Lady Catherine, she had great pride in her high social class and was angry to see that her nephew would marry someone of a much lower class and low birth, instead of her own daughter. With little understanding of Elizabeth, Lady Catherine saw her as inferior and mediocre who was not suitable for her nephew, Mr. Darcy.


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