Discussion questions – Pride and Prejudice: Giving special attention to Wickham, Charlotte Lucas

  1. Giving special attention to Wickham, Charlotte Lucas, and Elizabeth, compare and contrast male and female attitudes toward marriage in the novel.
  2. Discuss the relationship between Mrs. Bennet and her children, especially Elizabeth and Lydia.
  3. Compare and contrast the Bingley-Darcy relationship with the Jane-Elizabeth relationship.
  4. Compare and contrast the roles of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs. Bennet.
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4 Answer(s)
  1. Giving special attention to Wickham, Charlotte Lucas, and Elizabeth, compare and contrast male and female attitudes toward marriage in the novel.

The attitude towards marriage depends entirely on the characters. At first, “marriage for money”- this attitude is presented through Mr. Collins and Charlotte. Both men and women of Austen’s society had internalized the idea that women were financially and socially dependent on men. Women of that time sought men above her station only for financial security. Men also understood it. Perhaps most importantly, Austen uses Elizabeth Bennet to show the contrast between marriage for love and marriage of the era. Elizabeth Bennet’s views were very much disregarded at that time. Jane Austen uses this contrast to show happiness is more often found in Elizabeth Bennet’s idealistic views than in taking a ‘chance’ with any man of ‘good fortune’ and she is rewarded at the end of the novel with her marriage and security with Mr Darcy.

Answered on 28.06.2017.
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2.Discuss the relationship between Mrs. Bennet and her children, especially Elizabeth and Lydia.

 

Mrs. Bennet is was not the best mother we can think of in literature. She had a tendency to whine and not fix, to demand and not support, and to complaint excessively in the hopes that her daughters would be have as she wanted them to, in order to land themselves a good husband. Like many mothers over the centuries, Mrs. Bennet failed to understand that her daughters’ world was a different world than the one she grew up in, and this problem was exacerbated by Elizabeth, who is more like her father than any of the other girls. As we see, Mrs. Bennet doesn’t understand Mr. Bennet at all.  Mrs. Bennet loves Lydia more than Elizy because she is a foolish and frivolous woman as her mother.

 

 

Answered on 28.06.2017.
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3. Compare and contrast the Bingley-Darcy relationship with the Jane-Elizabeth relationship.

Bingley and Jane are secondary while Darcy and Elizabeth are primary. The interesting paradox (seeming contradiction between truth and what is) is that the two secondary individuals teach the two primary ones lessons and are proven correct in situations where the primaries are proven incorrect. Bingley-Darcy relationship is more of a respect. I get the feeling that the shy, amiable Bingley is a little awed, if not scared sometimes, of Darcy, who is much more proud and haughty. I think this difference in personality balances the friendship. The Elizabeth-Jane relationship is more intimate because they’re sisters and they’re really close. They turn to each other for advice and confide in one another. Even though their personalities are also different, I think Jane and Elizabeth look to each other as equals, unlike the Bingley-Darcy relationship where I think Darcy holds more respect.

Answered on 28.06.2017.
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4. Compare and contrast the roles of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs. Bennet.

 Mrs Bennet and Lady Catherine De Bourgh have vastly different personalities. One of the most significant differences is each of the distinct social classes and how that influences other aspects of their characterizations.  Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine live in different spheres.  Lady Catherine presumes to be the master of all around her.  Mrs. Bennet only barely presumes to the master of her household. While both women have daughters to be concerned about, Mrs. Bennet has many more daughters and is much more worried about moving up in society for both her daughters and herself. Lady Catherine already comes from money so monitory/social pressures are not as great for L. Catherine’s survival.
Answered on 29.06.2017.
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