The acuteness of conflicts raised in a literary work defines its value. Pride and Prejudice discussion questions extend from feminist criticism of women’s position in the XIX century to the analysis of the writing devices that Jane Austen employs. Every protagonist is symbolic here. They highlight such or another trait of character. The study of these allusions can be both fascinating and intellectually rewarding.
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💡 Pride and Prejudice: Essay Topics
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- The role of books in Pride & Prejudice. In her novel, Austen satirizes the literary works and the readers who represent the two kinds of excess: overly moralizing and overly romanticizing. What are the reading preferences of shallow and selfish Mr. Collins? What does Elizabeth prefer to read? Are characters who like reading better at understanding the background of other people’s actions?
- The meaning of marriage in Pride and Prejudice. The essay should draw the line between a good and a bad marriage as Austen’s contemporaries saw it. Why was a wedding the supreme purpose of life for most women? Was it only striving for love and companionship or an obligatory social construct?
- The theme of letters in Pride and Prejudice. The novel contains about 40 letters, cited or discussed, making them a significant part of the narrative. What role do they play? How do they supplement the dialogues between the protagonists? How do letters introduce the characters’ private thoughts to the reader?
- The role of setting in Pride & Prejudice. The novel takes place in several estates. These houses differ by their design, architecture, wealth, and atmosphere. What does Pemberley symbolize in Pride and Prejudice? Why is it placed in the center of the entire novel setting? What role does Longbourn play in the life of the Bennet family? What is the symbolism of Lady Catherine’s mansion?
- What is the key message of Pride and Prejudice? The critical essay should examine why Jane Austen was so concerned about the status of females in the XIX century. A woman’s life depended a lot on her social class. Still, her purposes in life were relatively the same, regardless of her fortune and pedigree.
- The meaning of the first line in Pride and Prejudice. The novel’s first line is saturated with irony: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Why is this quote ironic in the context of the novel?
- Characters’ descriptions in Pride and Prejudice. The book is poor in descriptions. How does Austen present her characters? How does the reader learn about their thoughts, weaknesses, appearance, and ways of conduct? Discuss the epithets describing the protagonists and analyze their meaning. How do the characters’ property and their opinion about it characterize them?
- The motif of journey in Pride and Prejudice. The motif of journey holds a valuable place in the destiny of Austen’s characters. During a trip, they can think over their relationships with other people, analyze their mistakes, and reconsider their conclusions. Make a summary of all journeys in the novel and show how they changed the protagonists.
- Whose views on marriage do you support: those of Charlotte Lucas or those of Elisabeth Bennet? Elizabeth is idealistic about marriage: she expects to be happy and marry for love. On the contrary, Charlotte says that “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.” She suggests that happiness is not more than a nice bonus. Whose position do you support? Can we say that Charlotte was happy in her marriage? Can we take for granted that Elizabeth will still be pleased after some years of couplehood?
- Elizabeth or Darcy: who is more prejudiced? The book title shows the reader what to focus on. Find out the manifestations of pride and prejudice in the words and actions of Elizabeth and Darcy. How did these traits complicate their lives? Is Darcy’s prejudice stronger than Elizabeth’s pride, or do both of them have these features in different proportions?
✒️ Pride & Prejudice: Essay Samples
Below you’ll find a collection of Pride & Prejudice essay examples. You are welcome to use them for inspiration!