My Personal Challenge – Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen


Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen


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 supurbely evokes the friendships, gossip, and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.


My Thoughts

As I began reading the book, my first impression was that it was entirely silly, almost verging on ridiculous. About 50 pages in (and after a friendly consultation), I realize that that was the entire point! I found this to be quite the comical, and often hysterical read. I quite enjoyed the satire that Austen exhibits in this writing.

The exaggeration of propriety and civility is absolutely exquisite. I absolutely loved how the exaggerations portrayed precisely how ridiculous the “noble class” really is. For me, the most refreshing part was making the heroine so headstrong. At the time this book was written, it was very uncommon for women to be headstrong, opinionated, and to actually discuss these things in the open.

The scene where Elizabeth puts Lady Catherine in her place made me giggle like a school girl! I was overjoyed that such boldness was an attribute found to be attractive to the character of Elizabeth. She makes it very clear that she will not be bullied, nor intimidated by the insinuation of nobility and family ties. Elizabeth very much so has her own thoughts and ideas as to what she wants, and what will make her happy. If Lady Catherine doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to, it doesn’t affect Elizabeth any at all.

Watching her grow as a character – as a person – is one of the best reading experiences I’ve gone through. Though headstrong and stubborn, her ignorance and vanity soon are broken down and refurbished into more mature qualities. These allow her to open her mind, and in turn open her heart. This change allows her to acknowledge her real feelings for Darcy, and decide she wants to marry him.

Over all, reading this book started rocky, and then turned into a funny adventure in love, gossip, friendship, and relations. I loved the ridiculousness of some situations, and the earnest seriousness of others. It was a great adventure, and one I’m inclined to go on again with Austen’s other novels.


~ by Aubrey Smith on August 15, 2011.

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