Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

For almost 200 years, Pride And Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen herself called this brilliant work her "own darling child." Pride And Prejudice, the story of Mrs. Bennet's attempts to marry off her five daughters is one of the best-loved and most enduring classics in English literature. Excitement fizzes through the Bennet household at Longbourn in Hertfordshire when young, eligible Mr. Charles Bingley rents the fine house nearby. He may have sisters, but he also has male friends, and one of these, the haughty Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, irks the vivacious Elizabeth Bennet, the second of the Bennet girls. She annoys him. Which is how we know they must one day marry. The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and Darcy is a splendid rendition of civilized sparring. As the characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, Jane Austen's radiantly caustic wit and keen observation sparkle.

I'm going to come out and say that I LOVE Jane Austen! I never had been particularly fond of classic novels, especially British Literature, because reading them in school just drove me insane; I never knew what the characters were saying and reading Shakespeare gave me a headache. But one day I decided to give Jane Austen a try. I read Northanger Abbey and actually enjoyed it very much. I then realized I didn't have a problem with classic literature, I just had a problem reading books they assgined in school. See, I don't like being forced to read. I found when I gave classics a try outside of school, I liked them. So, since I had this miraculous epiphiny, I have read 3 Austen novels, P&P being my third.

Pretty much everyone has heard of this book so naturally, I had some basic knowledge going into this book, which was pretty much nothing really; I knew it was a love story about a Mr. Darcy and some girl names Elizabeth but that's it. I also knew people either loved this book, or hated it.

I loved it, as I previsouly stated. I find Jane Austen very comical. I guess you need to really understand what you're reading to see it. I actually read along with the audiobook for most of this book. I found it much more amusing listening to the audio. I also watched two different versions of the upon completing the novel. The Colin Firth version, and the recent one with Keira Knightly. Both were good and made me realize how weird Mr. Collins is, and how annoying Mrs. Bennett is.

There was so much going on in the book so I was always entertained. I loved the characters; they were all so different and had their own stories. I particularly liked Elizabeth, Jane, and Mr. Darcy (once it was established that he wasn't a jerk). Mr. Collins was annoying and such of cocky. He was all, "You're justing saying no to my proposal because that's what women do. They want men to ask a second time." Of course, that's paraphrasing, but same thing. I don't know why he would think that. Silly man.

And Mrs. Bennett. She was nuts! Haha. I loved how when she sent Jane over to Mr. Bingley's house on horse back, when she found out she was sick Mr. Bennett said something along the lines of, "Yes, when Jane dies, it'll be nice to know that she did all in pursuit of Mr. Bingley under your instruction." (so that's definitely not word for word, just off the top of my head :)). Reading the actual conversation between the two is more amusing than my little paraphrase. Lydia, she was also a tad annoying. I guess it was because she was so young and naive.

I loved when Elizabeth asks Mr. Darcy when he knew he loved her:
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” 
I also veyr much enjoyed these quotes:
“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”   
“Angry people are not always wise.” 
 “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.” 

Overall, P&P did not let me down. It just made me all the more eager to read more of Austen's works, which I now pretty much own the majority of thanks to my Kindle & used books stores.


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