Monday, 1 July 2013
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Age Group: Adult/ YA
Genre: Classic, romance
This was really the best classic romantic novel I have ever read. It is witty, is is romantic, and it has excellent characters, and I thoroughly understand why it has survived for 200 years, and has inspired romantic literature as a whole.
I only had a vague idea of what the plot is about, having managed to avoid most adaptations of it. I have to say, for a book which I thought I knew what was going to happen, it remained surprisingly unpredictable. The book starts off when Mr Bingley moves nearby to the Bennet household, and he immediately hits it off with Elizabeth's sister. Soon the infamous Mr Darcy arrives, and Elizabeth immediately hates him. You can see where that was going to go. However, what I wasn't prepared for was all the side plots and twists which kept the book entertaining and moving along.
The characters really makes the book. Elizabeth Bennet is everything I would want from a modern day female heroine, let alone a 21st century one. She is sharp, funny, and headstrong. She would not bow down to pressure, and was easy to sympathise with. I found her family to be full of character, and even liked the annoying ones, such as Collins, as they were so well written. Each character had their own quirks and motives, from Bingley's sisters to Lady Catherine.
Pride and Prejudice may be a love story, but I found it to be an examination of class and character, one which is relevant even today. Austen's themes are clear, don't judge people on their first impression, and there are more to them than you think. That can be seen from Elizabeth's impressions on Darcy, and his on Jane. It is also a fascinating historical account on the importance of marriage, and the rigorous rules imposed around it.
All in all, I really loved Pride and Prejudice. It didn't matter to me how it was written, or the time it was set in, all I really cared about was the story. And if that isn't the mark of a good story, I don't know what is.
Sum It Up: By far, one of the best classic books I've read. It was funny, relatable, and had a brilliant story. It's easy to see why it's a classic book.