For any story, the audience’s connection to it is of upmost importance. If the reader feels no relation to the characters or plot within, then the writer might as well stop, go back to the drawing board, and try again. How do you relate to the characters within Pride and Prejudice? How do they help you to connect with the story? For instance, do you identify with Jane’s shyness, or do you feel in opposition to Mr. Darcy’s apparent pride? Feel free to focus on a single character if that helps.
i agree, the reader's connection to the story's characters is one of the most important aspects when considering a novel. i mean, just look at J.D. Salinger's work. His pieces would just seem like a bunch of crazy people in the same room if there was no character traits the reader couldn't identify with; identifying with characters make them believable.
so reading pride + prejudice is going pretty well so far. i feel like i can see myself as numerous characters, especially in the qualities of the bennet sisters. jane is a nice, quiet soul who goes about things at her own pace. though i don't think i'm quite as humble, relating to her is easy. elizabeth speaks her mind, and if placed in society today, would probably be labeled a free spirit. i like to think i have her qualities, if only on a minute level. i'm certainly not as outspoken with strangers, but feel comfortable enough with friends to be elizabeth-esque. There are times also when i feel as giddy as kitty and lydia and others when i find a relaxing solace in mary, that she is content to spend her time doing things she enjoys, even if no one else does (i always feel terrible at the part when she is performing at the party and everyone wishes she would stop, how sad!). seeing myself in the characters, if only partially, creates a real world, not just words on a page.
conversely, having both similarities and differences when relating yourself to a character helps you see a different perspective of life. sure i feel shy like jane most of the time, but i don't think i would react to situations in the same ways as she does. it is interesting to see how differences in character effect so much of how one's life plays out.