Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen | Book Review
Pride and Prejudice, ‘darling child’ of Jane Austen has retianed its popularity with the reading public over the years. The novel examines the paradigm of courtship romance in the context of the social changes that overtook England following the French Revolution. Elizabeth’s Bennet’s wit and independence of mind attract Darcy, the proud master of Pemberly, and the novel unfolds their love-hate relationship in a style marked by irony and epigrammatic brilliance. In Elizabeth Bennet’s marriage to Darcy, the novel offers a romantic fantasy that captivated readers then and does so even today.
My Favourite Pride and Prejudice Quotes:
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
- I could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine.
- I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these.
- In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
- I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.
My Take on Pride and Prejudice:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in possession of Pride and Prejudice, must be in want of no other distraction. This tale is enough to pull you away from the lull of reality and into a beautiful world crafted by Jane Austen.
Pride and Prejudice happens to be one of my all-time favorite classics. Jane Austen bestowed it with iconic characters that weave an iconic tale. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are not like any other characters penned before them. It wasn’t love at first sight. Far from it. She didn’t care about his money and wasn’t impressed by his attitude. He didn’t fall for her looks (well looks alone, he found her expressive eyes beautiful; not that he admitted it at the time) and didn’t think much of her family.
So, as far as first impressions are concerned, things were more than a little rocky between them. Their interactions strained further when misunderstandings occurred. Their “ever so polite” interactions were a point of great entertainment for me. Thinly veiled insults and different worldviews did not stop them from seeking each other out time and time again. The head and the heart were never quite on the same page when it came to their opinion of the other.
Wit, humour, and irony are closely intertwined together in Pride and Prejudice. Our protagonists might be too stubborn to give in to each other but they never shy away from a battle of wits. It is battle they often win except when they are on opposing sides. We never know who wins then. But there is a lot of delicious tension that surrounds them by the end of every interaction. I don’t want to give any spoilers to those who haven’t read this classic but I would like to highlight that an ironic yet hilarious turn of events leads to the resolution of the conflict in the novel. And what a resolution it is.
The novel explores English society through Jane Austen’s lens. The characters are often used as her mouthpiece. She doesn’t shy away from representing the good, the bad, the ignorant, the wise, the beautiful, and the vain aspects of the world she constructs. No one is safe from scrutiny. Only those who acknowledge their shortcomings and are willing to grow are spared. This of course makes for wonderful character arcs. Her take on society, matrimony, and gender is relevant even today. I think that is why I keep going back to it. Even after 200 years of existence, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice manages to capture and keep the reader’s attention.
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