Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Pages [paperback] : 375
Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.
favorite characters: mr. bennet & mr. darcy
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Thus memorably begins Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice—Austen’s own ‘darling child’—tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.
Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale. In the words of Eudora Welty, Pride and Prejudice is as ‘irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.’
I’ve been meaning to read this book for years and when I finally went and bought myself a copy I knew I’d have to buckle down and get to it. Sometimes trudging through the sentence structures and word usage of a book like this can intimidate a person enough to make them put it down immediately. But I suppose if school’s been good for anything it’s taught me at least that things as daunting as this can get better as time goes on. So I persisted, and so I loved it. And came to love the wonderful, quirky word choices as well.
The first part of the book as well as the last went by in gigantic chunks taken all at once for me. I was incredibly interested by the introduction of the characters, as I immediately found most of them hilarious. From Mr. Bennet, laughing at the expense of his own family, to Mrs. Bennet, outrageously silly and ignorant, to all of the sisters and their exaggerated personalities, to Mr. Darcy himself. I didn’t know much about the entire novel, or the premise, or how it was supposed to end . . . Only that for some reason many people are obsessed with this Darcy fellow. As a result, I spent the majority of my time wondering what on earth everyone and their mother saw in him that was so wonderful. Then I finished the novel, and well, okay, I might love him a little bit, now.
The middle was the hardest to pull through, consisting of a lot of nothing. I knew some of it was important, though the rest seemed just like a dull waste of time. Until some sentence or other would pull me back in again. I still can’t get over reading about someone staying over at someone’s house for only 10 days and how ‘short a stay it would be’! Um. Ten days is not very short. I understand carriage rides aren’t exactly the same as driving along in nice comfortable cars, but that doesn’t mean I want all of my relatives to come live with me for months on end.
I can see why this book has been recommended to me by friends, teachers, and enemies. (Alright, maybe that was a lie, but I’m assuming they’d like it, too.) Yes, I did like the entire romance aspect of it. (What girl can resist that? Seriously? Seriously.) I could perfectly picture all of the settings, and the strict social rules as well as the ideals of each social class.
This book made me laugh so much! The little insights on everything were delightful. Many of them were still relevent to today, and I could easily see connections to people like Elizabeth and Darcy to those living now. One of my favorite quotes from the book has to be, “As soon as they were gone, Elizabeth walked out to recover her spirits; or, in other words, to dwell without interruption on those subjects that must deaden them more.” Okay, so who doesn’t do that? I know that I do, and most of the people I know do this as well. See? Still relevent! And people say they can get nothing out of classic literature. By ‘people, I here mean my fellow classmates.
If you’ve been tentatively considering reading this, or been intimidated by it, give it a go! You might just enjoy it as much as I did. (:
TIMELESS. 4/5 stars