Pride and Prejudice - Understanding the Text
Many episodes in Pride and Prejudice are related by letter.

Pride and Prejudice - Understanding the Text

This GCSE English Literature quiz sees how good you are at understanding the text in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Before you begin to analyse and to write about a text, you need to be sure you understand it as well as possible. It sounds a simple idea, but understanding a text is more difficult than it would seem. After all, if authors had a simple message to convey, would they need hundreds of pages and thousands of words to get that message across? Reading a text written long ago, or in another country, or perhaps with characters who speak in a strong dialect, takes more effort. Pride and Prejudice is written in a style and with a vocabulary quite unlike modern English, thus requiring modern readers to expend more effort on comprehension.

Authors have a variety of methods through which they are able to convey meaning. Usually they do not state what they mean directly, or simply, but instead communicate with their readers through the various aspects of fiction with which you are already familiar: including character, setting, plot, theme and dialogue. As you work on understanding the text you are reading, consider each of these elements separately. It is never a bad idea to re-read a text; this will help you understand more than you might if you only read a book once. If you find it necessary to read a text again, don’t worry! Most readers have this experience. And if you have to work a bit harder to understand a section or chapter which you find tricky, it only proves that you are paying close attention to the intricacies of the text!

How are the context, setting and events of the text related? Making a timeline of events can be useful and will certainly help develop your understanding of the text. Events in a novel are not always related chronologically, so your timeline will need to account for flashbacks or for earlier events which are discovered in later chapters. In Pride and Prejudice, characters often discover the truth about past events through letters, or have a chance to compare different versions of the same events which have been conveyed both through dialogue and through letters.

How do the actions of characters reveal their motivations? Examine the text for clues to explain the interactions of different characters. Can words be taken at face value, or should you examine the subtext of those words more closely? What is the role of the narrator? Think about your reasoning as you begin to answer these questions, asking yourself how you might justify your views by referring in detail to the text.

Beginnings and endings are important points in the text and provide material for analysis. Why might the text begin as it does? What do you learn at the very beginning of the novel about the setting and the characters? Are future events foreshadowed? Remember to consider the beginnings and the ends of significant chapters, too. By undertaking careful and detailed analysis of this sort, you will be able to dramatically improve your knowledge and understanding of the text.

Read the questions below on Pride and Prejudice and test your knowledge and understanding of the text.

What do Mr Gardiner and Mr Bennet hope to achieve by going to London?
To find and disown Lydia
To bring Lydia back to Longbourn
To find Lydia and persuade Mr Wickham to marry her
To have Mr Wickham arrested
Mrs Bennet expects her husband to fight Mr Wickham in order to make him marry Lydia
Many episodes in the novel are related by letter. Which of the following is NOT conveyed by letter?
Lady Catherine's threat that society will despise and exclude Elizabeth if she were to marry Mr Darcy
Mr Wickham's involvement with Georgiana Darcy
Mr Darcy's payments for Mr Wickham's Brighton debts
Lydia's elopement with Mr Wickham
During Lydia's time in London, the family wait desperately for letters to bring them news
What are Wickham's accusations against Mr Darcy?
That Mr Darcy prevented him from marrying his sister
That Mr Darcy has cheated him out of the "living" his godfather meant him to have
That Mr Darcy forced him to become a common soldier
That Mr Darcy had encouraged him to get married at too young an age
Mr Wickham enlists Elizabeth's sympathy, telling her that he should have become a clergyman and that he had been cheated by Mr Darcy of the church he had been promised
What does Mrs Bennet hope will occur when she sends Jane on horseback to Netherfield Park?
She hopes the exercise will improve Jane's health
She hopes Jane will be able to return home more quickly
She hopes that Jane will be delayed from returning home by rain
She hopes that Mr Bingley will invite Jane to go riding
Mrs Bennet wishes Jane to be able to stay the night at Netherfield Park, giving her greater opportunity to spend time with Mr Bingley. She is shamelessly transparent in her scheming
Why does Mr Collins visit Longbourn?
He hopes to impress Mr Darcy
He hopes to help Mr Bennet to challenge the legality of the entailment
He plans to marry one of his cousins
He plans to move to the neighbourhood to look after one of the churches
Mr Collins plans to compensate for the unfairness of the entail by marrying one of his cousins. He originally chooses Jane, but swiftly moves on to Elizabeth after hearing Mrs Bennet's plans for Jane
What is Mr Darcy's objection to Elizabeth?
Her family's "inferiority"
Her lack of education
The behaviour of Mr Collins
Her sharp nature
Mr Darcy tells Elizabeth that he loves her despite his disgust at the thought of being allied to her family
Why is Mrs Bennet excited to hear that someone is renting Netherfield Park?
She hopes that the new tenant will marry one of her daughters
She owns Netherfield Park and will be glad to have an income once again
She had been concerned that it would be rented out to soldiers
She had been worried that Mr Bennet would decide to rent Netherfield despite not being in a position to afford it
The narrator tells us that "the business of her life was to get her daughters married". Mr Bingley is wealthy and single. His arrival in the neighbourhood is an exciting event for Mrs Bennet
Who or what comes between Mr Bingley and Jane Bennet?
He is put off by the behaviour of her family
Jane persuades him that she is not interested
The influence of Miss Bingley
The influence of Mr Darcy
Mr Darcy tells Elizabeth that he did everything possible to separate the pair
For what reason is the future of the Bennet sisters insecure?
They will not inherit Longbourn after their father's death
They are not accustomed to supporting themselves financially
They are unmarried and have no brother to support them if their father were to die
All of the above
Their father's estate is "entailed", meaning that it must pass to the nearest male relative after his death. This leaves the five sisters and their mother in danger of homelessness if he were to die
How is Elizabeth's marriage a support for her family?
She is able to prevent Mr Collins from inheriting their home
She is able to improve her mother's character
She sets a good example for Lydia to follow
She is able to exert a positive influence over Kitty from a safe distance
Kitty is able to escape the influence of her mother and of Lydia during her regular extended visits to the homes of Jane and Elizabeth
Author:  Sheri Smith

© Copyright 2016-2023 - Education Quizzes
Work Innovate Ltd - Design | Development | Marketing

Valid HTML5

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

To comply with the new e-Privacy directive, we need to ask for your consent - I agree - No thanks - Find out more