Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Women & Femininity

By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Women & Femininity

Girls, girls, girls—that's what our story is about. Oh, and zombies, too. But mostly, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is about women trying to figure out their place in a society that has very specific rules for what they can and can't do. They can't get jobs. They can't marry whoever they like. They also probably shouldn't carry muskets with them when they go for walks—it's not ladylike.

What's a gal in a zombie-infested wasteland to do? Elizabeth Bennet may not totally break the rules, but she sure bends them as much as she can.

Questions About Women & Femininity

  1. Why would a lady ever need to learn to fight zombies? Wouldn't killing zombies always be seen as totally unladylike?
  2. Lady Catherine is the only woman in the novel who's independently rich and well protected, and yet she's a total mean girl. What do you think the authors are trying to say about women in power?
  3. Does Mr. Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth because she's not like other girls? Does he love her because she's a warrior and not traditionally girly?

Chew on This

Elizabeth has a point when she says, "a woman is either highly trained or highly refined." If you're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, it's more important to excel as a warrior than to excel as a lady.

Elizabeth considers her feminine emotions a weakness, but it's not until she puts down her sword and figures out what she's feeling that she can become truly happy.