Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

8) What role do letters play in the novel?

In addition to face-to-face conversation, letters are the means that characters use to convey their intentions and wishes and one of the ways readers learn important information about characters and critical plot developments. A few examples of the role letters play include the following: Elizabeth writes to her mother to summon a carriage to Netherfield; Mr. Collins sends a letter to Mr. Bennet announcing his upcoming visit; Mr. Darcy sends a long letter of explanation to Elizabeth, which marks the beginning of her change of heart toward him; Mr. Gardiner communicates with his brother-in-law about Lydia by letter; Mr. Gardiner sends a letter to Elizabeth in which he confirms Mr. Darcy’s generosity to her family; Lydia sends letters to her family before her marriage, assuring them of her health and happiness; and Mr. Bennet’s brief letter to Mr. Collins announcing Elizabeth’s marriage to Mr. Darcy slyly suggests that Mr. Bennet will have to console Lady Catherine.