Pride & Prejudice


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Plot Summary

Though she knows that 18th-century women must — above all else — marry well, Elizabeth Bennet is a spirited thinker put off by social conventions. She’s happy when her sister Jane falls for the wealthy Mr. Bingley, but Elizabeth and Bingley’s prideful friend, Darcy, clash. As the tale unfolds, several of Elizabeth’s other sisters experience the highs and lows of relationships. Meanwhile, debates and misunderstandings fuel Elizabeth’s distain for Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. When she finally learns the truth about Darcy’s character and discovers that his actions have restored her family’s honor, Elizabeth overcomes her prejudice against his pride and realizes she loves him.

Christian Beliefs

Mr. Collins, a cousin who will inherit the Bennet estate after Mr. Bennet’s death, is a self-important clergyman, clueless about the way he presents himself to others. Noblewoman Lady Catherine de Bourgh is his patron. After Lydia Bennet scandalously runs off with Mr. Wickham, Mr. Collins advises Mr. Bennet to forgive his daughter but never to see or speak of the couple. Mr. Bennet scoffs at Collins’ view of “Christian forgiveness.” Aside from the mention of some characters attending church, little is said about religion — though critics note that Pride and Prejudice focuses on issues important to Christians, including love and family relationships.

Other Belief Systems

Most of the characters believe that nothing matters more than social class. Characters threaten, criticize, ostracize, flatter, marry, venerate and despise other characters, all for the sake of maintaining or elevating their status in society.

Authority Roles

Mr. Bennet remains fairly detached from his family’s goings-on. Some critics attribute Lydia’s family-disgracing relationship with Mr. Wickham to Mr. Bennet’s lack of attention to his daughters’ activities. Mrs. Bennet is single-minded — she wants to see that her daughters marry well. In her efforts to accomplish this, she makes foolish remarks at every turn, frequently putting off the people she means to impress. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Mrs. Bennet’s brother and sister-in-law, offer wisdom, comfort and companionship to the girls, playing the role of surrogate parents in many instances. Lady Catherine de Bourgh demonstrates her contempt for the lower-class Bennets by first criticizing the girls’ upbringing and, later, hatefully confronting Elizabeth about marrying Darcy.

Profanity & Violence

The Lord’s name is used in vain several times.

Sexual Content

When Lydia Bennet runs off with Mr. Wickham, she and her entire family face dishonor unless the couple are married. (Her indiscretion is assumed but never mentioned outright.)

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at

Additional Comments

In a 2003 BBC Big Read poll of the “UK’s Best-loved Books,” Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, was ranked No. 2 behind The Lord of the Rings.

Producers often use a book as a springboard for a movie idea or to earn a specific rating. Because of this, a movie may differ from the novel. To better understand how this book and movie differ, compare the book review with Plugged In’s movie review.

You can request a review of a title you can’t find at [email protected].

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email