Book Review – Pride and Prejudice

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When pride, prejudice, stigma and behavior make a salad, the result is a well plotted novel. Pride is associated with hierarchy and power, whose role in the novel is played by William Darcy, a dashing young man who reigned in the hearts of the Victorian women, and prejudice is played by Elizabeth Bennet in whom Darcy finds his true love. While the envelope of morality, upbringing, education and marriage wax and wane the society, young star make gazers still make room for passionate love and courtship held in low regard by society. While the society’s is suffocating itself with creed, young William Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet make the novel come alive with charm and passion for each other.

Set in the backdrop of 19thcentury Victorian society, this book pretty well gives insights into the Victorian society. This book has been featured as a text in many literature courses all along, thus have been loved, hated, over rated and under rated by many literary scholars. I too happened to read this book when I was in my degree years as a literature student, to me, the book has been in the good ranks for a classic. Jane Austen’s remarkable story telling and character crafting, make the characters so alive that you almost feel as if you are rubbing shoulders during the read. Most of the people reading this review already know about the story I assume, all thanks to the movie version of the book. I am still glad I am reviewing this incredible classic which has been reviewed, retold and adopted so many times. For example: The novel has inspired certain books by Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie and Helen Fielding.

Darcy, the potential prince, was culturally stung, nose-up-in-the air, Mr. Wickham a good looking soldier who is later found out to have deceived Mr. Darcy and his sister and Mr. Collins, a warm but boring person. The pattern is remodeled to win Miss Bennert’s heart, or so was the supreme motto of the novel. The novel revolves around the complexities of courtship and marriage in the ancient England. Austen derived her inspiration from the people she knew; the novel reflects the wear and tear of their daily chores with a dose of wit, whereby making it an interesting read.

Austen portrays Elizabeth Bennet’s character as a stronger and smart, if not beautiful to look at, she is a die-hard romantic person. She, above all the money of Mr. Collins deserved a family home and when Lizzie (Miss Elizabeth Bennet) pulled that ditch on Mr. Collins to marry Darcy, Jane Austen proved that the need of the novel lay in the characters, not the superlative romance with class and rank at good play.

Lizzie and Darcy being a perfect couple proved that though being the bang opposite of each other things can go well. Like Mr. Bingley and Jane who were smitten with each other or Mr. Collins and Charlotte whose marriage was a nothing beyond a business arrangement, Lizzie and Darcy’s love wasn’t a piece from the same cloak. While there is no respect for each other in love, love’s existence itself is jeopardized. I should point out that all the characters in the novel are drawn as if to glorify Lizzie and Darcy, or simply portray the caricatures of the actual society.

The style of writing drawn from the epistolary novel which was written as a series of letters before may be the reason for the weak character descriptions. With regard to the wit, Jane Austen has passed with flying colours.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Austen’s ironical hits lay on the dialogues from the characters. For example: The Bingley and Darcy episode where they have women lined up for them to marry but they seemed not to be too keen to choose which hints at the society that allows men with fortune to do whatever they please but all hell breaks loose when a woman denies. No matter how many times you analyze this book, you will always have something new to discover under its folds.

The subtly surfaced dramatic irony may be missed by a shallow reader, but a scholar can’t deny its distinctness of irony besides being a great romance. The sarcastic dig on love and marriage and courtship, fortunate and middle class, deserves hands down.

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