The novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen is centred on the Bennet family, a family consisting of Mrs Bennet, a rather silly, flighty woman, Mr Bennet, a man with a dry sense of humour, and their five daughters. The recurring themes of this novel are, as the title says, pride and prejudice. Through the characters that Austen has created, she reveals to us little by little how everyone is prone to these character flaws. .
The plot of the novel is simple, the Bennet girls have to be married off, as their father's estate is entailed and will pass on his death to a distant cousin. Knowing this, their mother is most excited when she hears that an eligible young gentleman has rented a nearby house. This young man falls in love with the oldest Bennet girl, but has a friend who looks down on all the Bennets, and tries his best to separate the couple.
The opening words of this novel, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." offer up to us the possibility that the opposite is also true, that a single woman, without fortune, must be in want of a husband. Austin is already warning us that her novel is going to deal with courtship.
Austen shows her main characters in this novel to suffer from both pride and prejudice. Jane Austen rarely describes a character's physical attributes, allowing the reader to visualise as they like, but uses dialogue to allow us to make our minds up about the various characters. .
Elizabeth is intelligent, honest and quick-witted. She has also the tendency to make quick judgements, and has a sharp tongue when roused. On first meeting Darcy at a dance, she perceived him to be proud, as he would not dance with anyone, and appeared to be looking down his nose at everyone there, "your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with".