I’ve had two more sessions of my book club that looks exclusively at Jane Austen’s novels. I’m including my talking points for the first of them, Pride and Prejudice. As an aside, no controversy arose over the overall perception of the novel. Everyone liked it.
Here are the talking points I gave to the participants before we met:
1) Elizabeth changed after learning the truth about Darcy and Wickham. Was this a fundamental change in character or simply a revision of her opinions about the two men?
2) Was Mr. Bennet a good person?
3) What do you think of Mr. Bennet’s behavior toward his wife? Was it justified?
4) If possible, give instances of good or bad judgments made by these characters. Example: Darcy judged badly in hiring Mrs. Younge.
- Mrs. Bennet
- Charlotte Lucas Collins
- Mr. Bennet
5) Each of the following characters caused Elizabeth some grief. For each one, were they deliberately malicious, acting in their perceived self-interest, or behaving as they believed to be right?
- Miss Bingley
- Mr. Wickham
- Mr. Collins
- Lady Catherine de Bourgh
- Lydia Bennet
- Mrs. Bennet
6) Should Elizabeth have accepted Darcy’s first proposal to save her family from poverty?
7) Darcy’s character flaws are obvious. Does Elizabeth have character flaws? What are they?
8) How did a novel about two flawed people become one of the most popular romance novels ever?
Can you answer any or all of the questions? Answering some of the above questions may cause you to view Pride and Prejudice characters or situations in a new light. Do your answers change your perception in any way? After all, forming a different opinion based on new information is a theme of the book.