P&P character web: spiders not included

16 Nov

As a student of the Well-Educated Mind, I am required to keep a list of characters.  Author Susan Wise Bauer suggests that I not only list characters but give a brief description for each one.   I’ve tried a couple different ways of doing this. 

For Don Quixote I listed characters on index cards that I used as a book mark.  This got frustrating since there were so many characters and so few of them ever made a reappearance.  I think by the time I finished the book I had five index cards covered front and back with tiny script.  As an added insult, the cards continually fell out of my book, losing my place.

For Pilgrim’s Progress I used the same format with some of the same frustration.  Few characters return in later chapters.  At least in this book, the characters’ names are their descriptions, so that part was easier.

For Gulliver’s Travels I confess that I neglected to keep a list.  I was so wrapped up with end notes that I completely forgot about it.  Again, it wasn’t that big a deal because once Gulliver left a location, he never came back.

For Pride and Prejudice, the first character-based novel on our list, I planned to do a stupendous job.  SWB suggests when there are lots of related characters, one should make a family tree.  This sounded like a great way to maintain the list (and to gather blog post material!).  Sadly, I do not know anything about family trees, and it took me many chapters to figure out who was related to whom and how.  I abandoned that idea and created a list organized by family in my journal (the one I use for chapter summaries).

I finished the novel.  Still I dreamed of a P&P family tree.  Fortunately there’s google and Wikipedia

It’s not a family tree, but isn’t it beautiful?!  It’s more of a family web.  A family and friends web.

I love how it shows the relationships between the characters. 

Oh, what a tangled novel!  What a web!  Though I suppose it is a web without a spider… 


Unless you think of Lady Catherine as the spider, using her silken threads of wealth and power to compel others to do her bidding…

Maybe there was a spider after all.



Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice, Well-Educated Mind


Tags: , , , ,

13 responses to “P&P character web: spiders not included

  1. Christina

    November 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I love it! A good picture of the plot is exactly what my brain likes to see.

    But I do question one of their connections: Elizabeth Bennet attracted to Colonel Fitzwilliam?

    • Christine

      November 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

      I shall reread the chapters where Lizzy is visiting Charlotte. I shall use a microscope upon her emotions to see if any indications of “like” are given.

  2. Jeannette

    November 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I anxiously await the outcome of this question.

  3. Christina

    November 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    When looking for something else I just came across this quote from when Mr. Darcy comes over to propose:

    “She was suddenly roused by the sound of the door-bell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had once before called late in the evening, and might now come to inquire particularly after her. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very differently affected, when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the room.”

    Fluttering Spirits = Like

    Don’t you think? All goodness is now restored to the web.

    • Christine

      November 18, 2011 at 6:42 am

      Chapter 33 = more possible proof
      Col Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth are touring the park and talking about how Darcy can do whatever he likes due to his birth status and wealth. Col. Fitzwilliam says that he’s suffered because he’s a younger son and he may “suffer from the want of money.”

      Col F: “Our habits of expense make us too dependent, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.”
      E: “Is this,” thougth Elizabeth , “meant for me?” and she colored at the idea………”

      In chapt 32, Charlotte admits to having “kind schemes” where Lizzy and Col. Fitz marry.

      Maybe the attraction arrow is a little stronger in the Col F. towards Eliza direction, but there does indeed seem to be some attraction.

  4. Christine

    November 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

    And now I have to say that I’d much rather reread a story about pretty girls and handsome gents than dive into a book about a sad orphan in a workhouse. 😦

  5. Jeannette

    November 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Excellent research, by the way! 🙂

  6. Ruth

    May 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I’m borrowing this! This is very necessary.
    My kids and I are studying the Hundred Years’ War, and I feel like I need something like this P&P web for the kings of England and France.
    Nonetheless, this will come in handy for my reading of P&P. I’m going to print it out and post it up.

    • Christine

      May 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      I thought it was pretty nifty as well. Enjoy P&P!


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