“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Chapter 34
This story follows Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters whose only purpose is to marry a wealthy man, at least in their mother’s eyes. When a wealthy bachelor moves into a mansion nearby, the Bennet household is abuzz with excitement. This exciting change allows the Bennet sisters the opportunity to mingle with a new social circle of the wealthy, and thus find good matches. But when Elizabeth Bennet meets a friend of the bachelor’s, the battle between pride and prejudice begins.
A Timeless Classic
This novel has become a beloved story for many. One of the great aspects of this story is that it is a window into the era that Jane Austen lived through. This time period strongly held the mindset that women had to marry and marry for status, as well as the idea that social status determines a person’s worth. Jane Austen used that mindset to create a unique plot that relies on this concept but shifts it slightly. Instead of marriage coming before personal interest, she flipped the two, allowing Elizabeth Bennet to say no to a marriage with a snobbish man rather than yes to a man because he was wealthy.
Unique in Plot
Jane Austen does something unique with her female characters. In most stories, the female character is only needed in relation to the male. Without the male characters, the females have nothing to do with the story or plot. Austen twists this writing norm and instead makes the female character the important one. Without the females, the males have nothing to contribute to the story. In fact, without the females, there is no story at all.
Teaches Valuable Lessons
The themes in the story, as said in the title, are pride and prejudice. The characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are these themes personified as they struggle to deal with their own pride or their prejudices against each other. The story unfolds and reveals that people get ahead of themselves and judge before they have the necessary information and in the process can damage relationships because of their own lack of understanding. This novel shows how knowing the whole story is better than assuming what’s going on.
A Good Read with Few Negatives
Pride and Prejudice is probably one of the hallmark love stories of all time, right up there with Romeo and Juliet. The story is engaging and entertaining, Mrs. Bennet’s dialogue is amusing, and the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is unforgettable.
It is so hard to find the negatives in a story that has become a literary classic. One of the most difficult things about reading any of Jane Austen’s works is understanding the language and setting of the story, but those two things come with the territory of this being a novel from the late 1700’s to early 1800’s. However, this means that it is a relatively clean read, besides a situation in which a young man runs off with a girl and then blackmails the family for money, something that was scandalous to the highest degree back then.