Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Set in 1812 in Longbourn (Hertfordshire), the story follows the Bennet family’s life. Mr Bennet has five daughters – Jane, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary and Lydia. The one issue that the family is facing is the fact that Mr Bennet’s property is entailed and can be only passed down to a male heir. Mrs Bennet doesn’t have any inheritance herself which pushes her to want her daughters to marry the rich and that it would be done as soon as possible. This sets off an occurrence of events – Mr Bennet’s cousin Mr Collins coming to stay and proposing marriage to one of the 5 daughters since he is the next Longbourn estate’s male heir. Before Mr Collins’ appearance, Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy arrive to the Netherfield – a neighbour estate. Mr Bingley is instantly attracted to the eldest Miss Bennet – Jane while Mr Darcy comes off as a proud and a highly disagreeable man. Following their first meeting, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy don’t have the best start. Elizabeth is prejudiced and Mr Darcy is proud. The rest of the book focuses on a series of events where Elizabeth and Darcy meet a number of times and the readers can see the change of characters’ opinions and formation of love.
Pride and Prejudice is the first Jane Austen’s novel that I’ve read, and I was not disappointed. Even though it was written a long time ago, I found Austen’s work witty and interesting. It was fascinating to learn more about the English society a few hundred years ago in such a fun way. Rather than learning hard facts, I love learning history through reading fiction that was set at that specific time. I gave it 4/5 stars because as much as I enjoyed it, sometimes it was difficult to pick it up and continue reading. This was due to the fact that I’m not used to the writing style and found it a very slow read. When I finished the book, I felt a little bit drained and was craving an easy read as soon as possible. I definitely want to read many more classics but they will have to be spread across other books as my head can’t handle so many different writing styles!
A few thoughts that I picked up from the book:
Elizabeth and her relationship with her mother. As much as I hated Mrs Bennet’s character, I found it absolutely hilarious to read her nonsense and especially her relationship with Elizabeth. I absolutely loved that Lizzy had her own mind about everything and no matter what anyone said or did, she did whatever she wanted. That obviously drove her mother crazy, but I can probably say that it was the most fun part of the book!
Elizabeth’s dad’s character was GREAT. I am not exaggerating this. He might even be my favourite character. Quiet but fair and strict when needed, he was the perfect picture of a father. But what I loved about him was his relationship with Lizzy. I know that her being his favourite may not be fair to other daughters but I guess every parent has a favourite child, no? Anyways, he was always on her side and all he wanted was for her to be happy. Which was kind of the opposite to Mrs Bennet’s wishes – who didn’t really care about her daughter’s happiness, just that she would marry a rich man (hence Mr Collins’ proposal and trying to make Elizabeth marry him).
Elizabeth’s relationship with her sister with Jane was absolutely heart-warming. I bet Jane is the most delicate and lovely character I have ever read about and again, she falls into my favourites characters’ category. Lizzy and Jane’s constant conversations, whether in person or in letters, showed how close they were and it was just pure sisterly love which you couldn’t have with anyone else.
Elizabeth’s relationship with Mr Darcy was complicated. Not having the best start, Elizabeth was highly convinced that everything bad that happened in a matter of months was the fault of Mr Darcy (which hey, was kind of true) and would not give him a fair chance. Consequently, when he proposes marriage to her, Elizabeth is shocked and dismisses it instantly. However, after that she gets a chance to learn more about Mr Darcy and her strong opinion starts crumbling. The whole book they go back and forth and only in the very last chapters, does she accept the proposal. Of course, we have a happy ending. Even I started falling in love with Mr Darcy towards the end!
Have you read Pride and Prejudice? Do you have a favourite classic? I’d love to know, let me know in the comments below!