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The Settings of Pride and Prejudice

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  • 0:03 Settings in ''Pride…
  • 1:01 Longbourn
  • 2:16 Netherfield Park
  • 4:17 Rosings
  • 5:02 Pemberley
  • 6:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laura Foist

Laura has a Masters of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has taught college Science.

In this lesson, we'll learn about four of the main settings in ''Pride and Prejudice,'' and we'll go over the importance that Longbourn, Netherfield Park, Rosings, and Pemberley each play in the story.

Settings in Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen does not tend to spend much time describing the setting or what the setting looks like in Pride and Prejudice. Typically, her writing focuses more on conversation than description. The settings act as more of a backdrop to the witty conversations, developing romances, and social conventions on display in the novel. The exception to this is Mr. Darcy's home, Pemberley. Austen spends more time describing the grounds, rooms, and decorations at Pemberley than any other location.

The main settings in Pride and Prejudice are a series of homes and estates, including: Longbourn, Netherfield Park, Rosings, and Pemberley. Longbourn is the Bennets' home, Netherfield Park is the residence of Mr. Bingley, Rosings is Lady Catherine's estate, and Pemberley is Mr. Darcy's estate.

Longbourn

Since Longbourn is home to the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, there is a lot of time spent there. Longbourn is the backdrop not just to Lizzy and her sisters, but to their hopes, worries, and disappointments; the place also sees a good deal of goodbyes as well as proposals. Yet Longbourn is important to the plot of Pride and Prejudice as well, since the Bennet girls' home will go not to them, but to Mr. Collins after the death of Mr. Bennet.

This fact is what leads Mr. Collins to visit the Bennets and is why he feels he must marry one of the Bennet daughters. For then they will be taken care of even after their father's death. Even in his proposal to Elizabeth, Mr. Collins explains that he felt it necessary to marry one of the Bennet daughters. He says, ''But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honored father… I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters.''

Elizabeth very quickly shoots down Mr. Collins' proposal. She refuses to marry someone without love - not even if it will keep Longbourn for her sisters. Fortunately, Mr. Collins' proposal won't be the last Lizzy faces in the book.

Netherfield Park

As the residence of Mr. Bingley, Netherfield Park is where we see the budding romance between Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley. It is also where we learn that Mr. Darcy thinks highly of Elizabeth, but where she sees him as a very disagreeable and proud man. There are two main scenes where Netherfield Park is the setting: when Jane falls ill at Netherfield Park and needs to rest and heal there, and the Netherfield Ball.

When Jane falls ill at Netherfield Park, we get to see Mr. Bingley's kindness and gentleness, particularly towards Jane. He does everything that he can to make sure she is as comfortable as possible during her time there. Also at Netherfield Park during this time, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have many heated discussions. Mr. Darcy seems to enjoy the challenge of talking to Elizabeth, and while Elizabeth enjoys the challenge as well, it causes her to see him as a proud, arrogant jerk.

On the other hand, it is during this visit that Mr. Darcy realizes that he ''had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger.''

Later, at the Netherfield Ball, Mr. Darcy wishes to dance with Elizabeth. Although she accepts the dance, she quickly starts berating him for his ill treatment toward Mr. Wickham. Mr. Darcy had finally set his pride down long enough to ask Elizabeth for a dance, yet she makes sure to let him know of her dislike towards him.

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