Friday, 26 July 2013

''Pride and Prejudice''- Book Review

Author: Jane Austen
Published: 1813

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5


I first read this novel a couple of years ago. To tell the truth, that time I didn't really appreciate this novel that much. Perhaps I was too young at that time to appreciate the beauty of this novel, this beautiful love story. This time I read it. And I loved it. I really, really, really loved it. Not as much as Austen's Emma though. Emma is my favorite Austen novel, and Pride and Prejudice has, undoubtedly, become my second favorite Austen novel.

Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughters: the mild, gentle Jane, who is so timid that she cannot find fault in anyone; the beautiful but headstrong Elizabeth; the intellectual Mary; and silly and insensible Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia. Jane and Elizabeth are the only members of the family having the values to mix with the upper class, elegant society. Mrs Bennet is silly, and Mr Bennet, though sensible, is unsocial. All the family estate and wealth are to be passed to a distant male cousin after Mr Bennet's death, and Mrs Bennet is eager to get all her five daughters married to wealthy men.

Mrs Bennet gets a wonderful scope for her goal when the rich Mr Bingley comes to live in the Netherfield Hall.  Mrs Bennet is eager to get Jane married to Mr Bingley. Mr Bingley arrives, and brings with him Mr Darcy, a close friend. Mr Darcy seems to be overly arrogant and haughty, and everybody takes a dislike in him. Both Elizabeth and Mr Darcy take a dislike on each other. On the other hand, Jane and Mr Bingley become close and it is evident that they are in love.

Elizabeth's dislike for Mr Darcy becomes stronger when Mr Wickham, a man belonging to the regiment that has come to the area, tells her how Mr Darcy had deceived him. Mr Bingley leaves Netherfield, and Elizabeth becomes suspicious that Mr Bingley's sisters and Mr Darcy was persuading him to break his relation with Jane, because of the low connections of the family. But the mutual dislike, between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, must turn into love, because of the incidences, misunderstandings, and revelations that follow. Impressions will change, love will be gained, trust would be lost and gained. Impressions, this word is an important theme in this novel.

The change of impressions, and the reasons for this change, are so intensely explored in this novel. The change of Elizabeth's feeling for Darcy, from resentment to gratitude to love, is so well developed, so well described, so well explored. The progress of love is so steadily described, that it made me really care for the characters, their feelings for each other. Jane Austen was really a genius author who knew how to create so deep, so lively characters.

The two protagonists, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, are both flawed characters. The pride and prejudice have great influences in them- influence that they will regret in future. However, the incidences that character come across in course of the novel will make them realize their mistakes,  that will slowly develop the love, the romance. While Darcy and Elizabeth share pride, prejudice and headstrong character,  the other pair of lovers, Jane and Bingley, also share the qualities of gentleness, calmness, timidity, and the quality of easily becoming influenced by somebody. I also admired the supporting characters. Mrs Bennet was funny. Lydia and Lady Catherine were irritating. Mr Collins was both funny and irritating. I also liked Mr and Mrs Gardner.

It is not that Mrs Bennet's intentions can always be blamed. Yes, she is irritating. But she only wants her daughters to be settled, because of their such small inheritance. If we think from this point, then it can be a little bit easier to appreciate the character. I didn't take her as an irritating character. Rather, I thought the character was humorous, I thought the character was really very funny.

Like other Austen novels, wealth and social status play an important role in this novel. The book is set in an era where social status were important for every single marriage to take place. And it affected and influenced so many loves, so many marriages. Likewise, this theme plays an important role in this book as well. I won't go into detail about how it played the role because that would be giving away too much.

There is a lot of humor. A great deal of humor. The response of Mr Bennet after Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Mrs Bennet is herself so very funny. Kitty and Lydia's actions were another source of humor.

 In short, I really loved this novel. Really. I loved the development of feelings, I loved the excellently-developed characters, I loved the humor, and on the whole, I loved this beautiful and touching love story.

5 out of 5!

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