In Pride and Prejudice how closely do the characters reflect the culture of community?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pride and Prejudice is a great novel to exemplify how communities can be a driving force in the decisions and actions of people's lives.  The famous opening scene, for example, centers around the Bennett family speculating that a new family would be moving into the community, one that had a wealthy young man.  Immediately, every family in the community begins scheming the future marriage of one of their daughters--a huge event, surely.  They speculate about this person's income, handsomeness and agreeableness, and piece together information based on what differing people in their community have said.

The community continues, throughout the book, to play a large role in the lives of the characters. Take for example Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins.  He tries Elizabeth first, but that didn't work, so he moves on to one of Elizabeth's good friends.  It's all about connections---families, friends, and who you are staying with or visiting in the community.  It was the community connections that aided in that engagement.

The culture of community is one of close-knit connections that work together to form a cohesive whole; it is like a very large family.  Those communities even extend themselves outside of their home towns.  When Jane goes to London, she fully expects Bingley to visit, and continues to associate with people she knows, even in the large city of London.  They congregate together based on former associations and family ties.  Elizabeth's visit with her aunt and uncle to Darcy's community further solidifies Liz's ties with Darcy, and Darcy, through the time that he spent in her town and with her, decides to help out with the entire Lydia situation.  Because of Liz's friendship with Charlotte, she visits the Collins home and runs into Darcy even more.

I hope that those examples are sufficient; good luck!

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Pride and Prejudice

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