Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice is set in 18th century England. A foolish mother, a patient father, and a mixture of five lively, intelligent, silly and good natured girls make up the family around which the story revolves.
Each line in the delightful novel can be studied to reveal great insights and truths. Lets take for example the description of Darcy's admiration for Elizabeth slowly awakening. Or his revealing his admiration for Elizabeth's eyes, and Caroline's reaction. Each line could be analysed in this way.
Elizabeth was oblivious of Darcy’s interest in his, observing Jane and Bingley.
What attracts is not necessarily a pretty face.
Shallow persons fall for a face.
Strong characters are attracted by character not by beauty.
Eyes express strength of character.
Darcy’s haste to criticise is the inversion of strong attraction.
Dark eyes are of deep characters.
Not having one good feature, Elizabeth is still powerfully attractive.
Handsome face prevents seeing the character.
Each positive factor is balanced by a negative trait.
Lightness of figure indicates a free soul.
A pleasing figure is that of a happy personality.
Fashionable world gives a countenance.
Easy playfulness is of inner freedom and is strikingly charming.
Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness.
Actually Eliza’s refusal sends Darcy into a reverie of her fine eyes.
In love, a rival can never escape.
Dullness tries to attract by offence.
No one, not even the lover, can know another man’s thoughts.
A lover hastens to endorse the thoughts of his beloved.
The cultured do not resent the uncultured.
Sensitivity is the index of the unripe culture.
Caroline’s self-importance is offended by the self-importance of the Assembly.
In a weak position life responds with the opposite.
Man describes himself in describing others.
While in love, one cannot miss a single small opportunity.
What attracts Miss Bingley is Darcy’s focus on Elizabeth.
Caroline was the only person to whom Darcy speaks of Eliza. It was because she was in love with him.
Lovers are sensitive about their love; still they itch to talk of them.
Eyes express the soul.
Serious Romance defies one’s strength if he has to speak.
"My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow."
Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face, and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity --
"Miss Elizabeth Bennet."
Following is the complete text of P&P presented chapter-wise with line-by-line commentary highlighting and providing original insights into the characters and events. Contributors are invited to raise questions and/or add their own comments on the text.