Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Violence

By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Violence

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead. (1.1)

Okay, so right in the very first lines of the book, we get a zombie attack. This is a lucky break for the Bennet sisters, though: since everyone at Netherfield Park has died, the house is up for rent, and Mr. Bingley gets to move in. Score.

From a corner of the room, Mr. Darcy watched Elizabeth and her sisters work their way outward, beheading zombie after zombie as they went. He knew of only one other woman in all of Great Britain who wielded a dagger with such skill, such grace, and deadly accuracy. (3.20)

When zombies attack the public ball, the Bennet sisters spring into action with the Pentagram of Death. Other than this, the night is really quite nice.

They looked up and let loose their terrible roars, which were cut short by a violent, fiery explosion as pipe and oil met. Suddenly engulfed, the zombies staggered about, flailing wildly and screaming as they cooked. Jane raised her Brown Bess, but Elizabeth pushed the barrel aside. 

"Let them burn," she said. "Let them have a taste of eternity."

Turning to her cousin, who had averted his eyes, she added, "You see, Mr. Collins…God has no mercy. And neither must we."

Though angered by her blasphemy, he thought better of saying anything on the matter, for he saw in Elizabeth's eyes a kind of darkness; a kind of absence—as if her soul had taken leave, so that compassion and warmth could not interfere. (62.14-17)

And Mr. Collins still wanted to marry Elizabeth after this. He really is very, very stupid, isn't he?

"I don't suppose," said Darcy, "that you would give me the honour of dispensing of this unhappy business alone. I should never forgive myself if your gown were soiled." 

"The honour is all yours, Mr. Darcy." 

Elizabeth thought she detected the slightest smile on his face. She watched as Darcy drew his blade and cut down the two zombies with savage yet dignified movements. He then made quick work of beheading the slaughtered staff, upon which Mr. Bingley politely vomited into his hands. There was no denying Darcy's talents as a warrior. (18.65-67)

See? Mr. Darcy isn't so bad—this is very gentlemanly. Elizabeth doesn't even have to soil her gown getting rid of these unmentionables. Why does she think he's so bad again? Oh, the thing with Jane and Mr. Wickham. That's right.

She kicked open the door and sprang atop the coach. From here Elizabeth could appreciate the full measure of their predicament, for rather than one hundred unmentionables, she now perceived no less than twice that number. The coachman's leg was in the possession of several zombies, who were quite close to getting their teeth on his ankle. Seeing no alternative, Elizabeth brought her sword down upon his thigh—amputating the leg, but saving the man. She picked him up with one arm and lowered him into the coach, where he fainted as blood poured forth from his new stump. Sadly, this action prevented her from saving the second musket man, who had been pulled from his perch. He screamed as the dreadfuls held him down and began to tear organs from his living belly and feast upon them. (27.5)

This is a bad day for the coachman and the musket man, but it's a good day for Elizabeth. Luckily, she's able to get the carriage to London in time for everyone to be welcomed by the Gardiners for dinner that evening. R.I.P., coachman and musket man. We hardly knew ye.

Elizabeth flung her Katana across the dojo, piercing the ninja's chest and pinning him against a wooden column. Elizabeth removed her blindfold and confronted her opponent, who presently clutched the sword handle, gasping for breath. She delivered a vicious blow, penetrating his rib cage, and withdrew her hand—with the ninja's still-beating heart in it. As all but Lady Catherine turned away in disgust, Elizabeth took a bite, letting the blood run down her chin and onto her sparring gown. 

"Curious," said Elizabeth, still chewing. "I have tasted many a heart, but I dare say, I find the Japanese ones a bit tender."

Her ladyship left the dojo without giving compliment to Elizabeth's skills. (30.12-14)

Is it rude to rip out the still-beating heart of a lady's ninja? We couldn't find an answer in any of the 19th-century etiquette books we've come across.

"Do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps forever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?" 

[…] 

One of her kicks found its mark, and Darcy was sent into the mantelpiece with such force as to shatter its edge. Wiping the blood from his mouth, he looked at her with a smile of affected incredulity. (34.10, 13)

Come on, part of you knows that this marriage proposal scene is at least 50% more awesome with bone-crunching violence. Mr. Darcy is being a bit of a jerk here, so we think he deserves to get a bit of a kick into the mantelpiece.

Elizabeth could not help but feel a sense of joy as she watched cage after cage of zombies burn—heard their terrible shrieks as the fire (which they feared above all else) licked at their feet, then ignited the whole of their putrid flesh and hastened them back to Hell. When the zombies were nothing more than bone and ash, the cages were lowered back onto their wagons, and carried away to be filled anew. (42.10)

We love the smell of zombies in the morning.

The zombies let forth a most unpleasant roar as they came within biting distance, and Elizabeth returned it in kind as she began her counterattack. But no sooner had she struck down the first five or six, than the cracking of gunpowder scattered the score that remained. […] On this she was again met with shock, though of a decidedly different nature—for upon a steed, holding a still-smoking Brown Bess, was none other than the owner of the grounds on which she stood. (43.46)

This is awkward. Elizabeth is just about to fight off a horde of zombies when, suddenly, Mr. Darcy appears. And, of course, he looks super handsome holding that musket. How's a girl supposed to resist him?

Elizabeth backed Lady Catherine against a wall, and held the tip of her sword to her wrinkled throat. "Well?" said Catherine, "Take my head then, but be quick about it." 

Elizabeth lowered her blade, and with a voice much affected by exercise, said, "To what end, your ladyship? That I might procure the condemnation of a man for whom I care so much? No. No, your ladyship—whether you shall live to see him married to your daughter, or married to me, I know not. But you shall live. And for the rest of your days, you shall know that you have been bested by a girl for whom you have no regard, and whose family and master you have insulted in the harshest possible manner." (56.76-77)

After an ultraviolent encounter, Elizabeth spares Lady Catherine's life. Maybe she doesn't have to run around killing everyone and everything, after all? Anyway, by showing mercy, Elizabeth gets her man. He knows it's love when Elizabeth refuses to behead his aunt. Swoon.