Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and PrejudiceJane AustenRomancePenguin BooksJanuary 30, 2003Paperback435

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Perhaps the world’s most acclaimed love story, Pride & Prejudice continues to capture the hearts of readers. The headstrong protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, is faced with her biggest challenge yet: love. When two new gentlemen come to town, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth and her sisters’ lives are turned upside down.

Elizabeth is the second oldest of a middle class English family living in 19th Century England. She is very fond of her older sister Jane and will do anything to shield her from harm; this loyalty entangles both of the sisters in a conflict, with major repercussions. Elizabeth is her father’s favorite, but not her mother’s, as she is constantly disagreeing with her about ideas of marriage. She is often ashamed of her family’s bad manners, save her sister Jane.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy young man from an upper class family is the conceited and enigmatic principle male character. He is devoted to his confidant, Mr. Bingley, and thinks he has his best interests at heart, although the consequences of Darcy’s actions evoke harsh criticism. He presents an obnoxious character to strangers, but is praised and loved by those who know him well.

Riddled with lies, misunderstanding, social and economic status, and of course, pride and prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s story will always be remembered. In their first encounter Mr. Darcy insults Elizabeth, hurtling her down a path of antipathy and disdain for the arrogant man. After overhearing his insult she claims, “I could easily forgive his pride had he not wounded mine.” Curt comments, biting sarcasm, witty dialogue, and heartfelt emotions make this tale a pleasure to read.

Jane Austen’s satire, free indirect discourse, and wit set a new standard for novels during her time. It was no longer simply a story, but a reflection on society, a commentary on what society valued and the true treasures in life.

This is definitely one of my favorite novels of all time. I know that it definitely inspires my writing and most of the modern romances.

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