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ENL 4122
English Novel

Spring 2006
Time: Monday and Wednesday
11:00-12:30 pm

Class 21

Reading Assignment:

Mar. 29 Pride and PrejudiceVolum Three, chs. 9-19, pp. 204-254
    Post #10 (Group B)
    Historical Annotation: Rachel Pina and Jennifer Davidson's presentations


Class Objectives:

  • To discuss the concluding marriages of the novel
  • To analyze the role of money and marriage in Pride and Prejudice


Notes and Discussion Questions:

1. Concluding marriages

This section begins with Mrs. Wickham taking precedence over Jane and ends with the marriages of Jane and Elizabeth. How does Lydia act when she returns to Longbourne? Why does this behavior disgust her sisters?

Elizabeth tells her "I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands" (206). What does this line suggest about the differences between Elizabeth and Lydia? What does it suggest about ways of getting husbands? How does the novel demonstrate the variety?

Examine Elizabeth's confrontation with Lady DeBourgh in III.XIV. What does Lady De Bourgh mean by "quitting one's sphere"? How does Elizabeth defend herself? What does it mean for her to be "a gentleman's daughter"? In what sense are Darcy and Elizabeth equals?

With the disregard of Lady DeBourgh's opinion, the novel departs from the older, kinship form of marriage decision. What motivates Elizabeth's decision to accept Darcy? What motivates Darcy's continued interest?


2. Marriage and Money

When Jane asks Elizabeth how long she has loved Darcy, Elizabeth replies: "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley" (244). How serious is she? To what extent might this be true and what does it mean?

Compare the relative responses to Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship in the Bennet family. How is this characteristic of the group? What does it suggest about their future?

Mr. Bennet asks her: "He is rich, to be sure, and you may have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. But will they make you happy?" Why is Mr. Bennet concerned? What does he want for Lizzie in marriage and how does this differ from other fathers we have seen?

Note who is invited to Pemberley and who is not. What is the significance of this home?

In what sense does the ending of Pride and Prejudice create the same fairy tale that Evelina did? In what sense is it different?

Return to the question of Austen's assessment of Pride and Prejudice as "light, bright and sparkling." Reevaluate in light of the conclusion.


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