Emily Sferra

"Sisters, Sisters": Historical Context for Sororal Relationships in Pride and Prejudice

Teaching Notes


"'Sisters, Sisters': Historical Context for Sororal Relationships in Pride and Prejudice" was first presented at the Jane Austen Summer program of 2019, entitled "Pride and Prejudice and Its Afterlives." Emily Sferra explores a multitude of sisterly relationships in Austen's life and the public sphere to shed light upon Austen's depiction of the Bennet sisters.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Do the pairs of sisters remain stable throughout Pride and Prejudice? Are there any instances where the Jane-Lizzy and Kitty-Lydia pairings don’t apply? What prompts these instances?

  2. How do the Bennet sisters compete with one another?

  3. How do the Bennet sisters’ different personalities reflect their birth order and the Bennet parents’ changing relationship?

"Sisters, Sisters: Historical Context for Sororal Relationships" handout 
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