Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ok, so frankly this is cheating, but I've never actually reviewed any of JA's books in my blog, so I think I can get away with it this time.

Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favourite books. It really shouldn't be. I don't care much for romance, but this one is so well done that even I melt. I remember reading this for the first time and being so caught up in all the emotions of the book that I wasn't bothered about thinking about the book itself. Jane really did know how to get you going. She manipulates your feelings by drawing you into the story with her likeable characters. It's almost as if you're friends with Lizzy and Jane so you're indignant on their part when they are injured and you cringe when their family exposes themselves to such ridicule.

I think part of what makes them attractive is that they are realistic, even if some would argue that the situation might not be. Elizabeth, the heroine of P&P seems to be very sensible, practical and intelligent to the point of perfection. However, as the story progresses, you realize that she too has her failings. She judges situations much too quickly, leading to misjudgements that make her whole family's life difficult in the end. She also tends to count her chickens too quickly and is possibly too obstinate for her own good. Had JA left these failings out, Jane would have been too perfect, but as such, she feels like someone you would like to meet. The same goes for the hero, Darcy; any more perfect and he would have been odious. As it is, they make good role models, which was, I believe, ultimately her purpose.

Austen was looking to guide young women by pointing out folly and its consequences, while those who behaved properly and with honour suffered in the beginning, but were much better off in the long run. Granted, P&P is a bit heavy handed with this lesson and idealistic in the end, but it's such a good story, that it's easy to forgive any unrealisms (Ok, so it's not a word, let's just pretend it is, you know what I mean). Had it not been such a good read, it might have become pedantic and boorish with the those lessons. As it is, it's made it into one of the best loved books of all times. Re-reading it is like coming home to friends, so I'll never tire of it.

5/5 for Pride and Prejudice. Love it.


Laura's Reviews said...

P&P is one of my all time favorite novels as well. Great review!

Lula O said...

I totally agree! This and Jane Eyre are my favorites as well. I try to re-read them both once a year, usually in the winter, and I do feel just like you, like I've come home again. Sappy I know, but who cares I say! Jane rocks!

Excellent thoughts.

Lawanda said...

I have lost count how many times I have read P&P. :)

It is a really good story. I like it as much now as I did when I was young and felt I could relate to the heroine :)

Nina said...

My favourite book! I loved it. Thank you for your review.