Pride and Prejudice Questions Chapter 4-8

1. Often we misjudge character when we first meet individuals. Give examples of the first impressions that Elizabeth and Darcy form that are incorrect.

2. Mary is the forgotten character in this novel. What references can you find that define her character? How does she differ from Elizabeth or Jane?

3. Austen has an opinion on the difference between pride and vanity. How does it agree or disagree with yours? Cite examples.

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2. Mary is the forgotten character in this novel. What references can you find that define her character? How does she differ from Elizabeth or Jane?

Mary had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached.” wrote Austen.  Mary is a caricature of an overly-bookish young woman, who reads and memorizes a lot, but doesn’t really get the point of what she is reading and is totally unable to think critically about her books. Like, look at her incredibly boneheaded response to Lydia’s elopement: “Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.” (47.44). Mary is “plain,” in Pride and Prejudice’s arch estimation, not just in her appearance, but in every sense. She is “vain” in every sense, too. While Lizzy has Jane and Kitty has Lydia, Mary has … herself, and her books. She is lonely.

 

 

Answered on 03.07.2017.
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