Pride and Prejudice Book Club Questions
By Jane Austen
Have you read this previously? Or was this your first experience with this book? Have you read any of Jane Austen’s books?
The works of Jane Austen have been the inspiration of numerous contemporary books and films, both adaptations and new original works. Why do you think that is? Have you seen any of the film adaptations? What did you think? Did they stay fairly close to the book? Have you read any of the written interpretations of Pride and Prejudice (i.e. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or any of the other retellings)? What did you like best?
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” This opening line has become among the most famous of literature. How does this line set the tone for the novel? Does it seem to be timeless or dated?
The original working title of the book was First Impressions. Which title do you like better? Why? In what ways are Darcy and Elizabeth guilty of both pride and prejudice and how does this drive the action of the story?
Marriage, an aspirational goal, is portrayed differently from the existing marriages in the book. What married couples do we see in the novel? How would you characterize these relationships?
For much of the novel, Austen seems to be offering a critique of marrying for social reasons. And she portrays the marriages for love quite favorably. Can you think of examples of each? In the end, both Elizabeth and Jane do marry “up.” Does this undermine the critique the book offers? Is it meant to be read ironically? Do you think that Austen is critiquing Elizabeth and Jane? Or do you think that because they ultimately marry for love, the critique remains valid?
The happy union between Darcy and Elizabeth is ultimately (and unwittingly) assured by Lady Catherine. How? Why is it feel so satisfying? Is this foreshadowed throughout the book?