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Pride and Prejudice Book Summary

by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen


Set in rural England in the early 19th century, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ delves into the complexities of love and societal expectations. The story follows the Bennet sisters, particularly Elizabeth and Jane, as they navigate the marriage market and encounter the enigmatic Mr. Darcy. Through witty dialogue and social commentary, Austen explores themes of class, pride, prejudice, and ultimately, the triumph of love and self-discovery.

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Author & Writing Background

Jane Austen, born in 1775, was an English novelist known for her six major novels including ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Emma’, and ‘Persuasion’. Her works are celebrated for their realism, biting social commentary, and exploration of women’s lives in Georgian-era England. Austen’s sharp wit and keen observation of human nature continue to resonate with readers centuries later.

Key Takeaways

The Marriage Market

The novel revolves around the societal pressures and expectations surrounding marriage in 19th-century England. The Bennet sisters, especially Jane and Elizabeth, are expected to secure advantageous marriages to ensure their family’s financial security.

Pride and Prejudice

The central theme explores the destructive nature of pride and prejudice, as exemplified by Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s initial animosity towards each other based on their misconceptions and class differences.

Character Development

Austen masterfully crafts complex and well-developed characters, each with their own flaws and virtues. Elizabeth Bennet, in particular, is admired for her intelligence, wit, and independent spirit.

Social Commentary

The novel provides a satirical commentary on the rigid social hierarchy and class consciousness of the time, highlighting the absurdity of judging individuals solely on their wealth or social standing.

Love and Relationships

Through various romantic entanglements, Austen explores different forms of love, from the passionate and impulsive to the more mature and considered, ultimately emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and understanding in a successful relationship.

First Impressions

The story emphasizes the misleading nature of first impressions and the importance of looking beyond superficial judgments to truly understand a person’s character.


Elizabeth’s journey throughout the novel is one of self-discovery, as she learns to overcome her own prejudices and recognize her mistakes, ultimately leading to personal growth and a more mature perspective on love and life.

Wit and Dialogue

Austen’s writing is renowned for its wit and sparkling dialogue, which not only entertains but also reveals the characters’ personalities and motivations.

FAQ about Pride and Prejudice

Is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ a romance novel?

Yes, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is considered a classic romance novel, but it also offers social commentary and explores themes beyond romantic love.

Who is the main character in ‘Pride and Prejudice’?

Elizabeth Bennet is generally considered the main protagonist of the novel, though other characters like Mr. Darcy and Jane Bennet also play significant roles.

What is the main conflict in ‘Pride and Prejudice’?

The main conflict arises from the initial pride and prejudice between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, preventing them from recognizing their true feelings for each other.

Why is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ considered a classic?

‘Pride and Prejudice’ is considered a classic due to its enduring themes, well-developed characters, witty dialogue, and insightful social commentary that remain relevant even today.

Pride and Prejudice Quotes

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
  • I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
  • My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.