Novel of Manners
Throughout the novel, the Bennets struggle to maintain their membership in the upper class. Their position is precarious because when Mr. Bennet dies, neither his wife nor his daughters will inherit the house or a sufficient income to maintain their status or live independently. Moreover, while the Bennets’ social position is secure within the sphere of families in the neighborhood (as long as they maintain possession of their house and estate), the Bennets (apart from Jane and Elizabeth) do not consistently display the refined behaviors that would ingratiate them with people of higher status than themselves, such as the Bingleys and Darcys.
Austen’s novel can also be classified as belonging to the genre of realism because it focuses on the everyday life of ordinary people and does not include any sensational or supernatural events. For most readers at the time, much of what was described in