Pride and Prejudice Summary | Unraveling Romance and Society

Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel by Jane Austen that was published in 1813 and is available in three volumes.

Favorite Quote from Jane Austen:

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

― Jane Austen, “Pride and Prejudice”

This beautiful novel is a classic of English Literature written with an incisive wit and superb character delineation.

Pride and Prejudice Summary by Jane Austen

This novel centres on the fledgling relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Here, Elizabeth is the daughter of a country gentleman, and Fitzwilliam is a rich aristocratic landowner.

When this book was published, it was well received by critics and readers, and the first edition was sold out within the first year, which never went out of print. If you are in regret you also didn’t get a chance to the first edition then this Pride and Prejudice summary will take you to the real feel of the first edition.

So, sit back and be relaxed – take a long breath and start this short summary of pride and prejudice.

Characters in the story

Pride and Prejudice are set in rural England and follows the Benett family, which includes five very different sisters.

The eldest one, Jane, is modest and sweet-tempered and a confidant and friend of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, who is intelligent and high-spirited, is the centre of attraction in the novel, where it is shown that she shares her father’s distaste for the conventional views of society to let them know the importance of wealth and rank.

The third daughter is Mary, who is bookish and pompous, while the other two daughters, Lydia and Kitty, are the youngest and most immature.

Mr Bennet, the father of Elizabeth, is the family patriarch who is fond of his two eldest daughters as he fails to curb their childish instincts.

Being an intelligent but eccentric and sarcastic man, Mr Bennet does not care for society’s conventions and even mocks his wife’s obsession by finding suitable husbands for their loving daughters.

The modest family estate is to be inherited by William Collins, the nephew of Mr Bennet and the next male in line.

Throughout the novel, you will see how the Bennet sisters encounter several eligible bachelors, including Charles Bingley, Darcy, Lieutenant George Wickham, and Collins.

Here, Wickham’s attractive and charming personality makes him immediately popular among women.

In the story, it is seen that once Wickham’s father also managed the estates of Darcy. Collins is not a sensible man and is assisted by education and society.

He is a clergyman with a natural deficiency, and his controlling lady is Darcy’s aunt. Some other supporting characters in the novel include- Elizabeth’s friend, Charlotte Lucas, who is described as sensible.

Her parents are Sir William and Lady Lucas, Mr Benett’s brother, and Bingley’s sisters- Caroline and Louis Hurst.

Edward Gardiner and his wife, both of whom are generous and well-grounded, and Georgiana, Darcy’s 16-year-old sister, is good-humoured.

Story of the Bennet sisters

Austen has described the personalities of the Bennet sisters throughout the story.

He has portrayed in the book how Bennet’s sisters contend with their contemporary world in different ways.

The story opens with the most popular saying, “A single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

The novel also deals with the issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry.

This amazing book, set in the imaginary country of Longbourn in Hertfordshire, follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel’s central protagonist.

This novel revolves around the story of Mr Bennet’s family of five unmarried daughters and their hope for a better marriage.

Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of Mr. & Mrs Bennet. Mrs Bennet is always worried about marrying her daughters into a wealthy family, especially the elder ones, Jane, who is the most beautiful, and Lizzy (Elizabeth), who is the smartest; on the contrary, Elizabeth wants to marry only for love.

Thus, she deals with issues of manners, education, morality, upbringing, and marriage in the society of the early 19th century.

The arrival of Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy

The story starts with the arrival of Charles Bingley, a man of a large fortune. When he moves into the neighbourhood with his fashionable sisters.

Mrs Bennet finds him a perfect match for Jane as she hopes that Jane could make anyone fall in love with her beauty and good nature.

But unfortunately, the three younger sisters prove to be the hindrance with their appropriate and unguarded behavior.

Meanwhile, a friend of Bingley, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, arrives on the scene and is even richer but soon proves to be a proud, arrogant and disagreeable man who is eaten up with pride.

He brings his two sisters and Mr Darcy with him, who becomes the object of contempt for his proud and arrogant nature.

After a couple of days, Mr Bingley singles out Jane, and they form a visible attachment to each other.

But Jane does not alter her conduct for him which turns out to be a mistake and leads to a heartbreaking separation.

On one side, Jane and her family are overjoyed with Bingley’s preference, but on the other side, Elizabeth is mortified by Darcy’s arrogance.

Although she laughs at his attitude, a slight resentment formed in her heart is undeniable.

During her visit to Netherfield, Jane falls sick and is forced to stay there for several days, and when Elizabeth rushes to be with her, she often meets and enjoys the company of Mr Darcy.

The arrival of Wickham and Mr Bingly makes the story more complex.

Then the story progresses with Elizabeth and Darcy continuing to cross paths and challenging his contempt with impertinence.

Elizabeth’s Prejudice over Darcy

Mr Collins, a clergyman who is the legal heir of Mr Bennet, pays a visit to their house, and it becomes evident that he must have visited there to choose Ms Bennet as his wife.

But Mrs Bennet, who was hoping for a prospective marriage between Bingley and Jane, suggests Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth becomes acquainted with Mr Wickham, who tells her how Mr Darcy mistreated him despite his being treated as a son by Darcy’s father.

By all this, Elizabeth’s Prejudice over Darcy and her attraction to Mr Wickham further fuels her dislike of Mr Darcy.

Elizabeth rejects the proposal of Mr Collin, and Darcy becomes aware of the general expectation that Mr Bingley and Jane will marry soon.

Visit to Darcy’s aunt’s home: Increased hatred for Darcy.

During the next spring season, Elizabeth visits Charlotte and Mr Collins, who is living in the home that turned out to be Darcy’s aunt.

Then Elizabeth comes to know the influence of Darcy in separating Bingley and Jane, which further increases her hatred for Darcy and makes her reject her proposal.

Apart from rejecting his proposal, Elizabeth accuses him of spoiling her sister’s happiness, disgracefully treating Mr Wickham, behaving arrogant and being too ungentle.

Mr Darcy is shocked to hear all these accusations and leaves her a letter of explanation where he explains how Wickham had exchanged his legacies for cash payment and then gambled away with the money.

He also explains Wickham’s attempt to run away with his young sister Georgiana to inherit her share of fortune, and he claims to have not found any reciprocation in Jane for Bingley and added that Jane was interested only in Bengley’s wealth and nothing else.

Elizabeth, who has observed this herself, then realises that she has misjudged him.

After a few months, Elizabeth visited Darcy’s estate along with her Uncle and Aunt but decided not to meet him, but he returned unexpectedly and also introduced Elizabeth to his sister.

That was the time when Elizabeth became aware of her attraction to Darcy.

But unfortunately, their reacquaintance was a shortcut by the news of Lydia eloping with Mr Wickham.

Elizabeth then grieves that her renewed relationship with Mr Darcy will end because of Lydia’s mindless act.

Soon, the family receives the news that Lydia and Wickham are found and married by the clergy.

After some time, Lydia slips out of the role of Mr Darcy in finding and negotiating their marriage at great personal and monetary expense.

Among all this, Mr Bingley subsequently proposes to Jane, who immediately accepts, and their life story begins.

The major twist: The arrival of Lady Catherine de Bourgh

The major and most important twist of this amazing novel happened with the arrival of Lady Catherine de Bourgh at Loungbourn, who turned out to be Darcy’s aunt.

As the local humour takes over Darcy’s aunt, she appears unwarned to stop Elizabeth from marrying Darcy, but shocked by her impertinence, Elizabeth refuses her demands.

Lady Catherine being disgusted informs Darcy about this abominable behaviour of Elizabeth, but Darcy, on the other hand, renders his hope, travels to Longbourn and proposes to her again, which he happily accepts by Elizabeth.

So, this part’s narrative is that they have been relieved of their pride and Prejudice.

Wrapping up

Learning from the summary of Pride and Prejudice book is don’t just make rapid judgments without thinking a bit.

You Shouldn’t judge a proverbial book by its cover, this book has the essence of human nature.

I hope this Pride and Prejudice short summary has given you the adrenaline rush we get with any other fiction book.

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