Pride & Prejudice, chapters 1-12

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Chapters 1-12

Themes and Style

  1. In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen presents an interesting view of 19th century life in England. A key part of her presentation involves humor. Describe the presence of humor in the beginning of the novel. What examples of humor do you find? (e.g. in the dialogue between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet pp. 1-3.) What does this humor suggest about the tone of the novel?
  2. This novel addresses a variety of themes, including issues involving marriage, financial status, and social appearances.

Marriage – 

  • The novel begins with one of the most famous first sentences in all novels. What does this sentence mean? What is the view of marriage that it suggests? In what ways is the conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in chapter one a commentary on this sentence?
  • Do you think Mr. Bennet would agree with this sentence? Would Darcy agree? Would Elizabeth?
  • In chapter 6, Elizabeth and Charlotte Lucas are concerned about Jane and her relationship with Bingley. What do they think Jane should do? Elizabeth and Charlotte express different views of marriage. How do they think a person should prepare for marriage? What do they expect from marriage?
  • After reading chapter one, most of which is a dialogue between husband and wife, and chapter two, how would you describe the marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet? What is Mr. Bennet like as a husband and father? What is Mrs. Bennet like as a wife and mother? (e.g. Kitty’s coughing) Read more

The Importance of Being Earnest, Act III

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Questions are due Friday, Feb. 8 (or Monday, Feb. 11 if we have no school tomorrow)

  1. According to Cecily, what does eating muffins show?
  2. What does Gwendolen intend to crush?
  3. Why does Gwendolen say they cannot forgive the boys?
  4. Why are men “infinitely beyond” women?
  5. What lecture is Gwendolen allegedly attending?
  6. How did Bunbury die?
  7. According to Lady Brackness, what “always inspire(s) confidence”?
  8. What certificates for Cecily does Jack possess?
  9. What is Lady Bracknell not in favor of?
  10. What does Lady Bracknell say of Cecily’s profile?
  11. What didn’t Lady Bracknell allow to stand in her way?
  12. Why does Jack object to Cecily and Algy’s engagement?
  13. Why does Lady Bracknell oppose Algy’s christening?
  14. What information does Lady Bracknell demand of Miss Prism?
  15. What did Prism mix up?
  16. What does Jack forgive Prism for?
  17. What is a “terrible thing for a man to find out”?

The Importance of Being Earnest, Act II

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Reading and questions due Thursday, Feb. 7

Act II

  1. What “intellectual pleasure” does Miss Prism want Cecily to return to?
  2. Why doesn’t Cecily like novels that end happily?
  3. What would Chasuble do if he were Miss Prism’s student?
  4. Why is Cecily “frightened” of meeting “Ernest”?
  5. What would be hypocrisy, according to Cecily?
  6. Why doesn’t Cecily want to catch a sensible man?
  7. What news does Jack bring?
  8. What is one of the Rector’s most constant duties?
  9. Why does Jack finally agree to shake Ernest/Algy’s hand?
  10. What has Algy’s duty as a gentlemen never interfered with?
  11. When did Cecily fall in love with “Earnest”?
  12. Why is Gwendolyn sure she and Cecily are going to be friends?
  13. What would Gwendolyn like Cecily to be?
  14. What does Cecily do when Gwendolyn said she doesn’t take sugar in her tea or eat cake?
  15. Now what does Gwendolyn say her opinion of Cecily is?
  16. Why do the girls become friends again?

The Importance of Being Earnest – Act I

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The Importance of Being Earnest – Act I

Reading and questions due Wednesday, Feb. 6.

  1. Why is Algernon upset with Lane’s views on marriage?
  2. According to Jack, what is the difference between town and country?
  3. Who does Jack/Ernest wish to marry?
  4. What is Algernon’s condition for giving his consent?
  5. Why has Jack created “Ernest”?
  6. How has Lady Harbury been affect by her husband’s death?
  7. Why does Gwendolyn know she and “Ernest” are meant to be together?
  8. What is Lady Bracknell’s view on knowledge?
  9. What is Lady Bracknell’s primary objection to the engagement of Gwendolyn and “Ernest”?
  10. What is Algernon’s view on relations?
  11. What does Algernon say about men and women and their mothers?
  12. How is “Ernest” going to die?
  13. What is “awfully hard work” according to Algernon?
  14. What can infer is Algernon’s next step?