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Pride and Prejudice Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Famous first line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Is this still true? What about single women in possession of a good fortune?
  2. How would the novel be different if it ended at Chapter 50, with Lydia and Wickham being married? In other words, what if Elizabeth/Darcy and Jane/Bingley never got together? How would the net effect of the novel change?
  3. What would the novel look like if written from Mr. Darcy's point of view? Would any of the fundamental messages change?
  4. How plausible is this love story? Are we supposed to believe that Darcy is now A-OK with being related to Wickham? Are we supposed to swallow that Darcy got over his aversion to the lower classes after a few months?
  5. Compare the novel's different houses—the Bennets', Netherfield, Pemberley, Rosings, the Gardiners' house in London, the Collinses'. What do we learn about each family based on the way their house is described? Are the houses natural extensions of the owners' personalities, or do the owners put their stamp on the places where they live? Why?
  6. There are basically no effective parents in the novel, or at least none that we see. How would the novel change if there were? Who would benefit from a parent's intervention? Who wouldn't?
  7. There are a lot of siblings in the novel. What do the minor-character siblings reveal about the more major character they are related to? What do the sibling relationships tell us about families in the novel?
  8. Many of the important plot turns happen through letters. A letter from Miss Bingley tells Jane that Bingley is gone for good and is supposed to marry Miss Darcy; a letter from Darcy fills Elizabeth and the reader in on the truth about wicked Wickham and lets her draw some new conclusions about him. Why does this information travel through letters? Could it have been revealed face-to-face? Why or why not?

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