Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

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  • Universal Truth #1 in nineteenth-century England: A rich, single man must want a wife. You have to leave the money to someone, after all.
  • When a single gentleman with a large fortune by the name of Bingley moves into a mansion called Netherfield Park, the news quickly spreads through the neighborhood via the neighborhood grapevine of gossipy women.
  • Mrs. Bennet badgers her husband about Mr. Bingley: He's so rich! He's so single! He'd make a great husband for one of our five daughters! Quick, go become best friends with him.
  • Mr. Bennet lets his wife do most of the talking, occasionally interjecting with some sarcastic wit such as: Well, gosh, you're so beautiful maybe Mr. Bingley will want you instead of our daughters.
  • Mrs. Bennet fails to realize the sarcasm.
  • We learn that Mrs. Bennet's only occupation in life is to get her daughters married.
  • We also get the impression that Mrs. Bennet is (how do we put this delicately?) really annoying.

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