Even though Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was written in 1813, it has quite a few things in common with modern romances and soap operas. The best explanation for this is the fact that passionate love, hatred and intrigue have always been interesting subject matters for everyone with no reference to social class or family background.
The surrounding the story happens to take place is very similar to the circumstances of any 21st century soap opera. The story of one or more families of the upper-middle class living in the country isolated from urban life may be very familiar to the reader. These housheholds are always the cradle of various gossips and intrigues in which the members of the families like to engage. It is also rather common that there is a relationship between the families that goes back to the ancient times, and due to the rivalry between the clans, hatred and confusion is easily born.
The roles of these family members is rather typical in most of the cases.
The vast majority of the family members would probably be characterized as "flat characters", because their behaviour and reactions are exactly what the reader would expect after the first few sentences of describing them. Mrs. Bennett is a typical mother figure whose only concern is the happiness of her five daughters which equals with a good marriage based on mutual understanding and a well-balanced financial background. Mr. Bennett is one of those very typical father figures who is down-to-earth and a bit cynical when it comes to the superficial chit-chat of the females. The girls around the neighbourhood carry the role of the average, easy-going young ladies whose main pleasure is to get lost in the latest rumours and the constant rivalry with each other. The atmosphere of the...