Who’s Who in the novel?
Jane Austen created a large community of characters in her novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Here we will identify who is who and explain what part they play in the story.
There are a lot of names to get to know along the way, and you may have been surprised that they call each other "Mr." and "Mrs." even when they are married to each other! We just need to remember that it was how people spoke to each other when Jane Austen published the novel in 1813.
The main characters are the Bennet family, and the story arises from Mrs. Bennet’s wish to find good husbands for her five daughters.
An important part of studying characters in a novel is to see how they develop from the beginning to the end. It is often what happens in the story, and who they meet, that helps the characters to change.
In 'Pride and Prejudice' we can focus on Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy because their relationship the main love story in the novel. We can track how they change because they begin badly when they first meet, but their feelings change as the story progresses, and (spoiler alert...) they fall in love and marry at the end.
There are also some minor characters; friends and relatives, who play an important part in the plot, so it is helpful to be clear about who they are and what they do. Often this type of character doesn't really change much, but their actions help the story move along and affect the main characters too.
You should always refer to your own copy of the book when working through the activities. The quotations are for reference only.