REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

pride and prejudicePride and Prejudice follows the Bennett family as five sister’s struggle with love and their place in society. Sparks fly when Elizabeth Bennett, the second oldest daughter, meets the proud Mr Darcy, their personalities and values clash but will they come to understanding?

Pride and Prejudice is one of the many classics I’d never read before and I knew very little about the story going into it. It wasn’t a classic I read at school and I have never actually watched any of the TV or film adaptations so all I knew was the general popular culture awareness of it.

I was surprised how easy Pride and Prejudice is to read, I’m sure like many people do I think that classics are going to be stuffy and boring and full of old-style language so they’re tough books to read but that wasn’t the case with Pride and Prejudice. It’s fast-paced, fun and easy to read. Many chapters were pretty much entirely dialogue, which automatically makes it easier to read and the way that Elizabeth often ends up in a verbal battle with someone made it fun and compelling.

Elizabeth is a great heroine. She loves her older sister Jane completely and will do anything to make her happy but that won’t stop her speaking her mind or standing up for what she thinks is right. Every time she clashes with Mr Darcy it’s great to see as they are both smart and quick witted but their personalities clash so it’s hard for them to understand each other to begin with. Also I was greatly misled by the general opinion of Mr Darcy. He isn’t that charming, in fact he’s a bit of an awkward loser who can’t express his feelings very well and thinks that Elizabeth’s family is poor and embarrassing. His attitude is sometimes laughable and his and Elizabeth’s relationship is great to watch unfold.

The way the whole Bennett family is fleshed out is to be admired. All their mother wants is for her daughters to be married to well-respected and wealthy men and her attitude about it is sometimes very funny as she does overreact a bit. Jane is said to be the most pleasant and attractive of the sisters and she is fond of their new neighbour Mr Bingley but there relationship doesn’t always go to plan. The youngest daughters Kitty and Lydia are flirty and love hanging around with the military personnel posted at the nearby village. Mr Bennett is a kind and understanding father though sometimes he thinks his wife’s overexcited-ness about marriages is a bit silly. The only daughter you don’t see much about is the middle child Mary, she’s very bookish and doesn’t really care for parties like the rest of her family does.

I’m glad I’ve finally read Pride and Prejudice, it’s a great feminist book (Elizabeth is definitely a girl ahead of her time with her attitude towards men and marriage) with funny and touching moments. It’s definitely an accessible classic that’s worth a read. 4/5.

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