Pride and Prejudice Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''Pride and Prejudice'' is essential reading, but there's a lot to unpack in this novel. These discussion questions can help your students work through the tones, themes, and characters of the story as well as develop an appreciation for its impact on our modern world.

Pride and Prejudice

Perhaps the most famous of Jane Austen's novels, Pride and Prejudice continues to rank as one of the most beloved novels in the English language. From its plot to its themes to its characters, this story established new archetypes and ideas that are still found in literature (and film) today. The following discussion questions are designed to be easily adaptable to students of different grade levels and can help establish greater appreciation for the structure, themes, characters, and significance of Pride and Prejudice.

Questions about Characters

  • Who is the main protagonist of Pride and Prejudice? How is Elizabeth Bennet introduced to the reader? How is her character and personality defined?
  • Who are the other characters of Pride and Prejudice? What do each of them represent in regards to this time period and the overall themes of the novel?
  • When does Pride and Prejudice take place? What do we know about English culture in this time? What role do class and gender play in defining people in this time? In what ways do the characters enforce or reject (intentionally or accidentally) these social expectations?
  • Many literary scholars consider Elizabeth Bennet to be one of the greatest female characters in all of English literature. Why do you think that is? Why do you think Jane Austen focused on Elizabeth Bennet as the main protagonist, and not Mr. Darcy?

Questions about Plot and Setting

  • What is the main conflict at the center of Pride and Prejudice? How is this conflict introduced? How is it resolved?
  • What role does the setting play in this novel? How do the changes in setting represent changes in the attitudes of the characters or their goals in resolving the tension? How is each different house depicted and represented? What happens in each of these settings?
  • What makes this plot and conflict relatable? Most of us are not part of the British aristocracy, so how do we connect with this plot? How does Jane Austen present the struggles of these characters and the overall plot of the story in a way that is human and universal?

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