This GCSE English Literature quiz will challenge you on themes in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Any work of literature will contain multiple themes. These themes might range from the subtle to the obvious. Individual themes will not be presented in isolation, but will instead interact with and comment upon other key themes in the text. The essential components of fiction, such as setting, character, plot and dialogue, are the means through which an author develops the themes of the text. Explore the related ideas and concepts in the text, tracing the development of its different themes. Do you notice having developed or changed any opinions over the course of the text? Compare your thoughts at the end of the text with those you held as you began reading. Have your views on any key issues changed? If so, could you explain why?
See whether you can pinpoint the part in the text where you notice your personal views changing, or otherwise developing. Because you bring your individual thoughts, beliefs and experiences into consideration as you read, your response to the text will be deeply personal.
On the surface, Pride and Prejudice might appear simply to be about love, marriage, and the various obstacles these face in the world. At a push, you might decide that the novel must also be about the vices, the “pride” and “prejudice”, of its title. By looking deeper, you can see that the novel also concerns the relationship between appearance and reality, the role of the individual in society and the family, the difficulty of communication, the value of character and the personal cost of holding principles, amongst other themes. See if you can identify how the text asks you to respond to these themes. Are you meant to change or challenge yourself? If so, how?
While Pride and Prejudice focusses on an incredibly narrow social world, these themes are applicable more broadly. Money, most especially the unequal economic position of women in this society, plays a key role in the meaning of the novel. In order to understand this theme, you will need a good awareness of historical context.
Read the questions below and test your knowledge of the themes of Pride and Prejudice.