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Pride and Prejudice Lesson Plan
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Teachers and professors: Get the most out of your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for Jane Austen's timeless novel Pride and Prejudice. This lesson plan will help you and your class explore the motivations of Lizzy and Darcy, as well as Austen's themes of class issues, tolerance, and the ability to change. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- In Pride and Prejudice, why does Charlotte say that Jane is too guarded in her feelings? She asks Elizabeth how Mr. Bingley is ever to know of Jane's attachment to him if she conducts herself with so much composure. Charlotte argues that Mr. Bingley cannot see deeply into someone he has only just met, and that Jane had better make it plain that she is attracted to him, or he may think her indifferent.
- What does Wickham relate to Elizabeth about his relationship with Darcy? He says that they were boyhood friends but that Darcy grew to hate him because Wickham was a favorite of Mr. Darcy, Darcy's father. When it was Darcy's responsibility to ensure that Wickham was given a living, Darcy refused. So it is that Wickham has sought a commission instead of receiving his rightful inheritance.
- Identify the speaker, and explain Austen's inference: "A young man too, like you, whose very countenance may vouch for your being amiable." Elizabeth considers how unfairly and cruelly Darcy has treated the handsome Wickham. Austen suggests with this line that Elizabeth is putting more weight on Wickham's looks than his word. This is one example of Elizabeth's inability to properly judge situations in which she is involved. She is usually very perceptive about everyone's business but her own.
- Why does Mr. Collins disregard Elizabeth's rejection of his marriage proposal? First of all, it is beyond his comprehension that any woman, particularly one of Elizabeth's social standing, would reject his proposal. Secondly, he believes it is the practice of young ladies to reject proposals only as a flirtation, a method of keeping their intendeds in a state of suspense.
- Why does Mrs. Gardiner warn Elizabeth not to fall in love with Wickham? Wickham has no money, and although he is charming and handsome, Mrs. Gardiner advises Elizabeth to be more prudent and responsible than to fall for an appealing picture. She reminds Elizabeth that a woman must use her good sense as well as her heart when considering a husband.
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