Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The opening chapter of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen accurately
introduces some of the main characters in the novel, and adds a little
humour to the introductions. The first sentence, “It is a truth
universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large
fortune must be in want of a wife”, introduces all the single males in
the novel that are in search of finding a wife. Almost every single
male in the novel is a rich man who is looking for a wife. The Bennet
family is then introduced throughout the rest of the chapter.
Mrs. Bennet opens up the conversation in the novel by informing Mr.
Bennet that Bingley, a rich single male, is coming to their town,
Netherfield Park. Mr. Bennet, who does not seem interested in his
wife’s rant about Bingley, continues to listen to her. When asked if
he will go visit Bingley and try to get a head start on getting one of
his daughters to marry him, he declines. He doesn’t think his visit
will give his daughters that upper hand and he does not seem to care
about getting them married. His quick witty responses convince Mrs.
Bennet that only the women should go see Bingley. These responses show
Mr. Bennet’s wittiness and Mrs. Bennet’s gullibility. The first
chapter also shows how much the women care about finding a rich
husband for their daughters, possibly because they want their
daughters to live more comfortably and easily than the lives they are
living with their husbands.
We are also briefly introduced to the Bennet daughters. We learn that
Mr. Bennet’s favourite daughter is Lizzy, because she has “more of a
quickness than her sisters”, while Mr. Bennet sees the rest of his
girls as “silly and ignorant like other girls.” We also learn from
Mrs. Bennet that Jane is the pretty daughter and Lydia is the good
humoured daughter. Mrs. Bennet does not see why her husband loves
Lizzy more than the other girls. The other two daughters are rarely
mentioned throughout the rest of the book.
However, usually, the real path to happiness is through settlement.
This is the case in the early nineteenth century England setting of
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. In the novel, Miss Elizabeth
Bennet is a lively, independent woman, whose family's financial
situation and whose strong mindedness suggests that she may never
marry. Mr. Darcy is a firm and proper man, who falls in love with
Elizabeth, despite their differences. By the end of the novel,
Elizabeth and Darcy learn to compromise, and, in doing so, become
truly happy. In marrying, they not only realise themselves as a
person, but also confirm the principle values of society. As in many
of her novels, this marriage at the end of the novel shows us Jane
Austen's ideal view of marriage as a social organization.
The novel Pride and Prejudice, by...