Title: Pride and Prejudice
Writer: Jane Austen
Publishing House: Penguin Clothbound Classics
Date of Publication: November 6th 2008 (first published January 28th 1813)
Rating: 5 stars
‘’There is a stubbornness in me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others.’’
The greatness of what I consider to be Jane Austen’s finest work can be found beyond the elegant prose, the intelligent irony, the complexity of the characters, the romance that melts even the coldest of hearts. Similar to the most significant writers in History, Jane Austen’s insight on the human soul reflected the quality of her pen along with her acute understanding of the idiosyncrasy of our feelings.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Elizabeth Bennett is the woman we should all aspire to be. Intelligent, independent, caring, polite, standing her ground regardless of the consequences and the external factors, unafraid to acknowledge her feelings. Armed with subtle irony and caustic honesty, she faces the coldness of the ones belonging in the ‘’upper class’’ and puts them in their proper place. Bookish, a lover of nature, deeply faithful to her principles and a true daughter of her father, her first impressions is a justified rebellion towards Darcy’s rugged, almost vicious remarks. And it is exactly her influence on him that elevates Pride and Prejudice to the realms of the novels that reflect our souls.
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
I always felt a strange kind of sympathy for Darcy. I think he is exhausted by the hypocrisy of the young ladies and the vultures that their mothers represent, his abrupt manner becomes a shield to hide his disappointment with the world. He is absolutely done and I don’t blame him. But Elizabeth represents a challenge and the truth she mercilessly and rightfully throws on his face prompts him to search deeper and discover that the world he perceives as rotten can be seen differently at the side of Elizabeth.
I don’t care about feministic pseudo-reflections, I’ve never been one to follow the flow or to bow down to fashionable labels. For me, it is simple. Elizabeth is grace, intelligence, integrity, passion personified. She is the brightest example of Jane Austen’s immense talent to expose every vice and highlight every virtue of ours. This is not a rollicking romance. If you bother, you will find that it is actually a precise study of our tendency to fear and then accept the unknown.
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”