Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

by Savanah, Kellie, Alli, Taylor, Maddie and Hannah

The author's name and background information and a brief description of setting -Alli Slaten

  1. Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 1813. She was born in 1775 and grew up with her close family by her side. After being sent to Oxford to be educated she encountered a near death experience and then continued her education at home with her dad, brother, and her father’s library. She started writing poetry, short stories, and plays for her family and eventually put them all together in a collection known as Juvenilia. Into adulthood, Austen still lived at home writing and being a well recognized seamstress. She helped her family and sister. As she got older she published more and more. Unfortunately she fell ill from what was thought to be Addison’s Disease but has later been diagnosed as bovine tuberculosis which is caused from drinking unpasteurized milk.

  2. Pride and Prejudice takes place in the 19th century in a small town in England called Longbourn. Located just outside London, Longbourn is a small, quaint, town with lots of drama and excitement. The town is well organized and considered one of the nicer areas.

Issue: Not marrying for love

explanation and importance of issue -Hannah Tuggle

The novel Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, well represents the customary marriage arrangements that took place in the 19th century. This involved a woman marrying a man plainly for stability and a financially secure future. This is a problem each of the young women in the story came across, however some of the problems were resolved. What is unfortunate, is that these were the main reasons women married in this time frame. It rarely had anything to do with love. As an example, Mrs. Bennet nearly forced her daughter, Elizabeth, to marry Mr. Collins. Elizabeth was most certainly not in love with Mr. Collins and refused to accept his proposal. There was conflict therefore created between Mrs. Bennet and her daughter because Mrs. Bennet wanted nothing more than for her daughter to have a secure future life. The Bennets, though they are fictional, were not the only people to undergo the challenge of not marrying for love. In fact, this was common in this day and age, and women had little say in whom they married. It was all related to money and the financial security a potential spouse could offer them. Fortunately for Elizabeth, is she ultimately marries for love, along with her sister Jane. Most women, like Charlotte, were not so lucky.

How the culture of the text addresses the issue -Kellie Stanton

Back in the 19th century, the society was against marrying for love. It was more important to have money and prestige. Therefore, the culture pressured young men and women to marry for convenience rather than love. For example, in Pride and Prejudice, Darcy appears egotistical and rude to Elizabeth when they first meet. As the book progresses, Darcy falls in love with her but all odds of a future together are against them. Lady Catherine, Darcy’s aunt, desires for her daughter to marry Darcy so their estates could be joined, resulting in incredible wealth. Darcy even ends up proposing to Elizabeth and Lady Catherine is furious and demands that Lizzie agrees to never marry Darcy. Another example relating to the issue is how Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte ends up settling by marrying the Bennet’s cousin, Mr. Collins. In all these instances, the romance is much different than today’s culture. In the 1800’s, the issue of not marrying for love was prevalent and well addressed yet overcome in Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice.

How our culture would address the issue -Taylor Emanuelson

In the book, Pride and Prejudice, the character’s intentions for marriage were different from the intentions of people in present day society. People in our society today tend to not marry for money or for a better stature in society, for the most part our generation marries for love. An example from the book of someone who chooses the materialistic things in life would be Darcy. At the beginning of the book, he made his dear friend, Mr. Bingley, flee from the one he loved (Jane Bennet) because she was from a lower class in society and was not from a wealthy family. If that were to happen in our culture, Darcy would be laughed at and ridiculed for being so outrageous with his “out of date ways”.

Best possible solution to the issue -Maddie Thomas

To solve the issue of not marrying for love, society needs to come together and stop putting their opinions into other people’s lives. In the days of Pride and Prejudice, society only cared about people marrying for money because women couldn’t do anything for themselves. If society didn’t pressure people to do that, it wouldn’t have happened as often. Being disowned can affect someone’s life more than who they marry. People would rather be married to someone they don’t love than have no other family or friends. Society pressures people into so many things and who people marry is no exception.

How parts impact the whole -Savanah Heyden

Characters:

Elizabeth- She is the main character and she has 4 sisters that live in a lower class society. She gets to know Darcy and hates him at first, but then falls in love with him, not his money.

Darcy- Darcy is a rich man that is visiting with his friend Mr. Bingley. He falls in love with Elizabeth even though she is different than any other woman he has ever met.

-These characters impact the book by not following the rules or the culture of that century. Elizabeth and Darcy fell in love and Elizabeth didn’t marry Darcy for his money. She despised Darcy and thought he was a prideful man and he didn’t care about anyone but himself. She fell in love with the way he loved her and how much Darcy was a gentleman when he chose to be. These characters impacted the book by being who they are and falling in love to create the theme of the book which is two people that are complete opposites, fall in love and go against norms in that century.

Themes:

Love- Love is a big aspect in the book and it impacts a lot in the entire book. Bingley and Darcy wouldn’t have visited Longbourn if they weren’t looking for love or any type of romance in a sense. Since Bingley found Jane and fell in love with Jane at basically first sight, he stayed longer and had more parties to see her and enjoy her presence. Since Darcy started falling in love with Elizabeth, he worked hard to see her and do what he could to show his love for her.

Class- This ties into the main aspect of this book which is marrying and falling in love with someone in a different class. This impacts the book by the different classes that are present throughout the book and this creates the drama and question of if people even marry for love or just for money if they are in different classes.

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Essential Questions

Kellie Stanton-

  1. Working in a lit circle group was helpful because I was able to see other students’ perspectives and understand the book in different ways, which made it more effective. An example of how the circles helped us think deeper is we had to agree on what we thought the main issue of the book was and we all had contrasting opinions but then we were able to find one we agreed on. Another way the lit circles were effective was through understanding the book. Even though the older fashioned and more proper language was difficult to understand at times, we were able to help each other understand what the passage meant.

  2. In certain discussions, we were able to talk about each other’s opinions on the characters. For example, I have watched the movie and knew what happened in the end. Therefore, I had a different perspective on Darcy from the beginning whereas, Savanah, who hadn’t read it or watched the movie thought he was extremely stuck-up. Each of us interpreted the description of the characters differently and we formed separate opinions and were able to create a good discussion.

  3. Reading Brit Lit has helped me understand older culture better. For example, I am thankful for the generation I am in because women are seen more equally, technology is extremely advanced, and language and society is more laxed. Yet, in reading Pride and Prejudice, I have a greater appreciation for their time period and how important it is to learn from their mistakes and their strengths. It has also awakened me to how much our culture has changed and in such a short time span, too.

  4. I think this book should be included in Brit Lit curriculum because there are many observations that can be made through reading it. Also, there are many situations that our society and culture today can be compared and contrasted to which could be a great learning opportunity for many. It is also an intriguing book which might encourage students to read it.


Savanah Heyden-

  1. Working in a group allows me to collaborate and discuss the themes and problems and important aspects of the book. At the beginning of the book when we all read together, the book was difficult to understand because of the language and since some of my group members had already read the book or even seen the movie, it was understood a bit better and they helped me understand the characters and how they related to each other.

  2. Collaboration allows multiple perspectives which creates different opinions. This allows everyone in the group to discuss opinions from the book just like how there are different opinions in the book. My group and I discussed the main issue of the book and we all agreed that one big issue in the book is not marrying for love which we collaborated about and this allowed us to come to a conclusion for the main issue.

  3. British literature can be difficult to understand because of the language barrier, but this means that reading british literature requires a deeper understanding of the language collaboration to understand what is going on in the book. This would also allow the readers to get an understanding of the culture and what the differences between the centuries are.

  4. This book was really good and it was different which I really liked. I think it should be in the British literature curriculum because it creates an understanding of the culture of that time period and the difference of classes. It also shows what it is like to love someone and especially to love someone that you don’t like at first.


Alli Slaten-

  1. Being in a lit group was very helpful to my learning and growth as a student because I was able to collaborate and get other opinions to help enhance my own. While reading this book Hannah was very helpful in clarifying some of the language that I didn’t understand and helping me understand why they were doing what they were doing. This helped me become a more effective thinker because I was able to take what she said and apply it to what I was already thinking a draw new conclusions.

  2. Collaboration with different group members allows our minds to draw different conclusions because we are incorporating different opinions. This helps create meaning because we are able to use each others perspectives to view the situations within the book and create a new meaning through that. In our lit circles, almost everyone else has seen the movie which gave them a different view on the characters and the situations that I didn’t necessarily have.

  3. Reading british literature has helped me realize how different the cultures are from then and now. Especially the idea of women and how they are apart of society. Reading from this era helps me realize how helpful our technology is in our society today.

  4. Yes, I do think that this book should be included in British Literature curriculum because it gives you an insight into the way life was back then and what was important to them as to what is important to us now. It gives a real insight into the idea of love and how different it is from today. It really just gives you a different side of things to influence your opinions.


Taylor Emanuelson-

  1. Working in literature circles was very effective, because as a group we would learn and build off of each other. If one person did not understand a part of the book, my group would discuss the topic until everyone understood. Reading Pride and Prejudice, the older text was often hard to decode so as a group, we would all collaborate in order to understand the text and what the author was trying to say. Personally for me, working with others tends to be more helpful and I can see different perspectives on the same issues in the novel.

  2. Collaborating with your group members gives you an opportunity to create new perspectives or opinions on issues within your book. As a team, my literature circle would discuss the underlying issues in the story and picked opinions on them. The main problem my group discussed from the book was not marrying for love. Nowadays, in our society you do not seem to be faced with whether or not you can marry the person you care for based off of their wealth or if they are in your social ranking.

  3. When reading British literature, I have personally discovered that time truly changes things. These novels have taught me that people lived their lives completely differently from us today. Cultures have changed, we have transformed and learned from our past as humans.

  4. Pride and Prejudice should be a part of British literature curriculum because it takes you back to a time in the human life where culture and their way of living seems almost odd to us in modern society because life has changed so rapidly from those times. The novel gives the reader a chance to create new perspectives on how far we have come from this time period.


Hannah Tuggle-

  1. Collaborating in a group made reading Pride and Prejudice more effective, and more interesting! Being an all girl group, we all are interested in romantic genres and Pride and Prejudice has to be one of the most romantic novels of all time. We all had different opinions of the characters initially due to the fact that Kellie and I were aware of how the story ended and the others were not. I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s opinion, on Darcy in particular, because we had different perspectives. Differing perspectives is what really made rereading the book a new experience. While I generally don’t like working in groups, I very much enjoyed working in a literature circle group.

  2. While reading the book, everyone had different opinions about the characters. However, by the end of the book, I think all the girls and myself agreed on our opinions for each of the characters. It was interesting having different perspectives on the people within the novel, because most of the characters’ true personalities aren’t revealed until later in the story. As the story progressed, we all started agreeing more and more. For example, most everyone originally thought Wickham was a fine man, who could be a worthy husband for Elizabeth. Even I thought this when I first read the book. It wasn’t until Darcey revealed his true character that we all hated him.

  3. Reading British Literature has opened up differing traditions from my own, which is quite interesting. While there is a time change, the way in which the world has evolved through culture and traditions is what makes my world different from Elizabeth Bennet’s. I got to learn not only the literature aspect of this society, but the historical aspect, and the combination of the two is what made British literature more intriguing.

  4. I absolutely think Pride and Prejudice should be read in all British Literature classrooms. It introduces “social norms” we are not accustomed to, and for me , I like comparing my life with the events in a novel. Pride and Prejudice is not only a “girl” book too. It is romantic, but boy also get the chance to relate their lives to the life of a young bachelor in the 19th century. The book is certainly a British Literature classic, and is a good opportunity to watch the movie afterwards.


Maddie Thomas-
1. Reading old books can sometimes be hard to understand. Reading Pride and Prejudice in a group was easier than reading it by myself because if I didn’t understand something, I could ask someone in my group and they might understand. Hannah was especially helpful because she loves Pride and Prejudice. She has read it and seen different versions of the movie so anytime I didn’t understand something, I knew I could count on her. Reading in a group also made me realize that other people don’t understand all the time too. Sometime it can be discouraging reading a book that I don’t understand. I heard is

2. Sometimes while reading I assume everyone has the same opinions on events and characters as I do. I liked talking to my group about how they viewed different thing because it gave me a whole new perspective. For example, some members in my group loved Darcy, but I thought he was a jerk. The members from my group who had already had some experience with the book had hindsight that I didn’t have. My group members were also able to point things out to me that I hadn’t noticed.

3. Reading British literature helps me to better understand the human experience because the characters have a problem that they have already figured out. I can see what they did to solve the problem. It also is like the old saying that if you don’t learn history, it will repeat itself. We as a society can learn how important marrying for love is because of Pride and Prejudice. It showed me how sad that is and made me thankful that we have the freedom to marry who we love without getting judged, for the most part at least.

4. I think Pride and Prejudice should be included in the British literature curriculum. Today a big issue is feminism. I think this book brings a lot of awareness to women’s rights. I think it shows us how far women have come and how good we have it now. Although, many people argue women don’t have equal rights today, at least we are able to get a job and don’t have to marry a rich man to support us. Pride and Prejudice brings a lot of perspective.