Reading With Posh – Jane Austen's "Pride And Prejudice"
I don't remember where I first heard of Jane Austen but what I do know is that I heard of her often at literature class, sometimes she was mentioned in movies and other times books refered to her or her work. And she was always praised. There were hardly ever anything bad to say about Austen. In fact, it seemed she was well loved and adored by everyone who had any knowledge or experience of her writing or life. Even Virginia Woolf compared her talent to that of Shakespare. So one thing was definetly clear from the beginning, Austen's writing was still very much alive evoking conversation, astonishment and new fans decade after decade.
However, dispite Austen's ever occuring name and reassurance that she was great it wasn't until now that I got my hands on one of Austen's most famous works, "Pride And Prejudice". A book that I had heard so often about and to me appealed most exciting of her works. Also needless to say that after seeing sevelar times the film version of the book where Kiera Knightley is Elizabeth I was already sold to the love story of Liz and Mr. Darcy. Therefore, I did have a picture in my mind of what the book might be like but as always it's never quite the same. That being said, in my opinion the film does justice to the book and I really enjoyed it.
"PRIDE AND PREJUDICE" BY JANE AUSTEN
Shortly, "Pride And Prejudice" is a story about a Bennet family and their struggles in life, love, marriage and relationships. Because Mr. Bennet has no male heir his country home and inheritance will pass on to the family's cousin Mr. Collins. Therefore, the stress of securing the Bennet daughters' futures weights heavily on Mrs. Bennet's shoulders causing an obsession to get her five daughters Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia and Kitty wed as soon as possible. Fortunately, on one summer a rich, unmarried getleman Mr. Bingley rents a coutnry house, Netherfield Park, next door to the Bennets. This excites the whole village but nobody more than Mrs. Bennet. As the villagers get to know charming Mr. Bingley, his proud sister and his magically rich but rude friend Mr. Darcy which everybody, especially, Elizabeth loathes the scene is set for all kinds of affairs of the heart and heartache.
Even thought, the book portraits many different love stories within and without the Bennet family the one that centers it all is Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's slowly awaking love through Darcy's overwhelming pride and Elizabeth's adament prejudice towards the man. The subject of love is anyways one of the most noticeable themes in the book alongside with marriage which is discoursed through fates of different characters: there's the realistic marriage, the scandalous union, the love at first sight, the slowly advancing attachment, the tiresome other half and the balanced match. What's more, while the story's lighthearted and humorous plot goes on betweent the pages, or should I say marriages, Austen manages to also shed a light on women's position in society during the end of the 18th century when marriage, family life and relationships were the centerpiece of a woman's life.
But what I liked most about "Pride And Prejudice" was the broad set of brilliantly executed characters in all their imperfect, silly human glory. You could just spend hours on analysing each and everyone of their lifes wondering why they made decisions that they did, said what they said and how loveable or unloveable they are. Therefore it's really hard to say which of them was my favorit but I loved the ever dramatic, fussy and at times tiring Mrs. Bennet, as well as, Mr. Collins whose formal and clumsy behavior with his grand way of talking cannot strike as anything else but absolutely hilarious. I also loved how different the Bennet sister where from each other from witty and sharp Elizabeth to sweet and optimistic Jane and wiseacre, bookworm Mary to wild and careless Lydia whom her sister cheerful and gigling Kitty followed in everything. I also have to mention Mr. Bennet whose dry, ironic humour adds a whole other level to any conversation between him and his wife.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
However, little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the mind of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters."
– Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice
On the whole, "Pride And Prejudice" was a delightful observation of life and love in the 18th century England with humor, drama, sweetness of a happy ending as well as a touch of healty foolishness with, of course, its villains and heroes. Needless to say that Austen proves to be the master of pen everyone was promising her to be. Particularly her thorough attention on details of relationships seems overwhelmingly sharp and together with her lively characters creates a universally loveable story.
"In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feeling will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
– Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice
Have you read "Pride And Prejudice"?
Are you familiar with the works of Austen and if you are what would you suggest I read next?
Thank you so much for reading!