Suggested Essay Topics

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1038

Volume One
Chapter 1
1. The first title Jane Austen chose for this work was First Impressions. What are your first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet? Compare and contrast them. Illustrate this with dialogue that gives insight into their characters.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Pride and Prejudice Study Guide

Subscribe Now

2. What examples of humor can be found in the first chapter?

Chapters 2–3
1. How does Austen go against the grain of traditional romance stories of the period?

2. What is the biggest stumbling block in the future development of a romance between Jane and Bingley?

3. What is Lizzy’s first impression of Mr. Darcy?

4. Quote some samples of dialogue that give you insight into Darcy’s character.

Chapters 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.

Chapters 9–12
1. Why is Darcy afraid of liking Elizabeth too much? What is his concept of what a wife should be?

2. Elizabeth has an “attitude,” which her sisters lack. How would you describe it? Is it beneficial to her or does it harm her interactions with others?

3. What other examples of excessive pride or prejudice have you seen? Explain.

Chapters 13–18
1. Locate lines in Austen’s prose that describe and reflect the character of Collins. What descriptive phrases does she use that show negative qualities?

2. Why does Elizabeth believe Wickham when she carefully analyzes everyone else?

3. More is discussed about Pride and Prejudice at the ball. Quote these lines and comment on them.

4. What social blunders are committed by the Bennet family at the Netherfield ball?

Chapters 19–23
1. How do Elizabeth and Charlotte’s views on marriage contrast? Which was more common in the society presented in this novel? Which do you agree with?

2. What devious type of plan prompted the whole Bingley entourage to leave for the winter? Who do you presume is behind this intrigue? Why?

3. Elizabeth, though intelligent, is fallible in her judgments of character. Show by examples where she has been wrong.

4. At this point in the novel, if you had to select a character that you would prefer to have as a friend, who would it be? Explain your choice.

Volume Two
Chapters 1-3
1. Elizabeth once again changes her views on the true character of an individual. Who is it this time and why does she have a change of opinion?

2. Why does Jane begin to see faults in Miss Bingley? What incidents alter Jane’s opinion of her?

3. How does the introduction of the Gardiners inject new life into the novel?

4. What are the similarities between Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner? How do they differ in personality?

Chapters 4-8
1. How is Elizabeth’s prejudgment of Lady de Bourgh confirmed by their first meeting?

2. How does Darcy again present a wrong impression to Elizabeth?

3. How does Mr. Collins show Elizabeth what she has foregone with her refusal to marry him?

4. Upon meeting Miss de Bourgh, what are your first impressions?

5. How does Darcy’s aunt portray as much ill-breeding as Elizabeth’s mother? Cite examples.

Chapters 9-12
1. Explain the circumstances leading up to this declaration by Elizabeth. “Vanity, not love, has been my foll . . . till this moment I never knew myself.”

2. During the proposal scene, Darcy accuses Elizabeth of pride. She accuses him of prejudice. How is this an ironic reversal of their usual reaction to each other?

3. What did Elizabeth accuse Darcy of that made him write the letter to explain his actions?

Chapters 13-19
1. What is the denouement that takes place in Volume Two? Describe three main events leading up to it.

2. Elizabeth gains some knowledge of herself. Explain.

3. How does Darcy answer Elizabeth’s doubts?

4. What actions of Elizabeth’s younger sisters justify some of Darcy’s accusations?

Volume Three
Chapters 1-5
1. How does Darcy treat the Gardiners? Is this unlike how he treated Elizabeth’s immediate family?

2. Why do you think Darcy brought Bingley with him when he introduced Georgiana to Elizabeth?

3. How does Miss Bingley’s reaction to Elizabeth’s visit give us more insight into these characters?

4. Why was Lydia’s current predicament predictable? What hints did you have this might happen?

5. How are the Bennet parents ineffectual in handling this current situation?

Chapters 6-10
1. What are the conditions set for Wickham to marry Lydia?

2. How does Mr. Collins’ letter reveal his true nature? Is he justified in his appraisal of the situation or merely being vindictive?

3. Why did Mr. Darcy become involved in such a messy family affair? What do you believe his true motivations to be?

4. How do you think Elizabeth will react when she next sees Darcy? How would you react?

5. How has Mrs. Bennet again shown her vulgarity?

6. Letter writing is one of the basic forms of communication in the novel. Why is this literacy technique so effective? How would the novel be different if the characters had telephones?

Chapters 11-15
1. Mr. Collins and Lady de Bourgh are not nice people. Compare and contrast the ways in which they show this.

2. Who best describes the advantages of a match between Jane and Bingley? Why is this a suitable match?

3. How does Mrs. Bennet again show poor taste and bad
manners?

4. How was Darcy instrumental in settling the Wickham affair? Who does Elizabeth learn this from?

5. What does Collins say in this new letter to Mr. Bennet? What does Mr. Bennet mean when he states “For what do we live, but make sport of our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”

Chapters 16-19
1. How do Darcy and Elizabeth show they have overcome their feelings of pride and prejudice?

2. What is revealing about Mr. Bennet’s comment on his own marriage? How does this revelation help explain his character?

3. If you were able to place a microphone in a secluded spot, which conversation would you have liked to record? Why?

4. Good sense brings characters together. How does this affect five of the minor and major characters in this novel?

5. What techniques does Austen use to tie up all loose ends at the climax of the novel?

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Ideas for Reports and Papers

Next

Topics for Discussion

Explore Study Guides