Pride and Predjudice


Written on Sunday, February 22, 2009 by haleigh

Sunday, February 22, 2009

As part of my requirements for school, I must read selected texts within the genre, and critically examine them. One of the texts I chose for this semester is Pride and Prejudice because (gasp!) I haven't read it before and I thought the whole "requirement" thing might give me the necessary motivation.

In fact, it did, and of course, I loved every word. Though I must say, by the time Mr. Darcy got around to proposing (again) to Elizabeth, it was subtly buried in a paragraph, and I missed it. When she announced to Jane she was engaged, I had to go back and figure out when that had happened. lol.

So P&P is, of course, classic literature, and reads like classic literature. There was the omniscient narrator, a ton of telling, and adverbs everything. Fortunately, unlike Frederica there was no one ejaculating their words. Thank god.

The thing that really stood out to me the most in the novel is the character arcs. Both characters went through major changes from over the course of the book. Mr. Darcy was as proud and haughty as Elizabeth was accusing him of being, and by the end of the book, he had seen the error of his ways. He told Elizabeth about his change of heart, but even more importantly, it was shown through his subsequent actions. He put up with her mother, who he had previously dismissed as a liability, he spoke to her "trade class" aunt and uncle with the utmost manners. And most importantly for Elizabeth, he ended his interference between Jane and Mr. Bingly.

And Elizabeth changes as well, though it wasn't quite the complete reversal of Mr. Darcy's change. Elizabeth made snap judgments, and believed Mr. Wickham's account of Mr. Darcy's behavior, all of which she was forced to read after Mr. Darcy explained all in his letter. Not only did she have to change her own mind, she then had to admit her bad judgment to Jane, whom Elizabeth had previously convinced of Mr. Darcy's wicked ways.

Even though there were other characters in and out of the story - Lydia with Mr. Wickham; Jane and Mr. Bingly - but it's Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy who have such wonderful changes throughout the story.

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  1. Kelly Krysten |

    Oh, I'm so glad you finally got to read it!! Everything you said was right on the money. I love that the differences in style to today's don't affect the fact that this is, imo, one of the greatest stories ever told.
    I read it for fun in the tenth grade- my BFF and I actually read it at the same time(though it was ME who recommended we read it so I can hang that over her head along with the North and South/Richard Armitage definitely gushed over P&P like the little girls that we were.
    Now, I don't think it's a bad thing that it took you so long to come to the book-no gasping from this direction. But this probably has somethng to do with the cardinal sin of romance I have perpetrated! I've never read an Heyer book.
    Too bad about the I can't recall but were there any erections present?LOL!

  2. haleigh |

    Hi Kelly! LMAO!!

    I agree - it's a very different style than you read today, but I'm loving the differences. Clearly, I don't want to write like Austen, but if I could tell a story like her....well, that would be something!

    I'm having so much fun reading different things. I'm onto Jane Eyre now (again one that I should have read in high school like everyone else - damn Baptists, making us read the Scarlet Letter instead - lol). And next up is the Divinci Code. Talk about mixing up my styles!

  3. Melissa |

    You're definitely inspiring me to read the classics again - - although watching the classics on PBS Masterpiece Theatre is wonderful too. :) And you have me wondering again about titles; the hero always seems to be a 'Mr.' and I'm also thinking about 'Mr. Rochester.' Do they not have a title? I guess not, but I just can't remember. Thanks for sharing your view Haleigh!

  4. terrio |

    I will confess. I have never read an Austen book. A Heyer either for that matter. But I did have to read Jane Eyre and Scarlet Letter in school many moons ago. And that was Catholic school. LOL!

    I do think we can take a lot from Jane when it comes to telling a great story and creating lasting characters. But as Hellion points out all the time, Jane was writing contemporaries. These were not Historical romances, they were set in her contemporary time. Isn't that the strangest concept?

    I loved The DiVinci Code. I bet you'll read it in record time. That book is incredibly fast paced.

  5. haleigh |

    Hey Melissa! You know, I got the impression Mr. Darcy was a Lord, yet you're right, they never called him that. Hmm. Maybe he was just wealthy.

    This is my first time reading through the classics, and I'm loving it so far. Watching the PBS or BBC versions is next on my list :)

  6. haleigh |

    Ter - the fact that P&P is a contemp kept blowing my mind. I just kept thinking "this is actually the world she lived in." Of course, now I desperately want to see "Becoming Jane" just to see more about what her actual life was like.

    The pacing factor is exactly why I'm reading the DiVinci Code - I've heard the same thing, and since I write romantic suspense, I wanted to read a straight suspense to see how those are paced, so I can get a better handle on how to pace an RS (hopefully!)

  7. terrio |

    Hal - Have a box of Kleenex with you when you watch Becoming Jane. But you'll totally fall in love with James McAvoy. If you aren't already. :)

    Two things about Brown's book are a)I'd heard enough about it beforehand that I could figure things out before they happened and b)being raised Catholic also gives you an inside scoop.

  8. Melissa |

    I know the idea is to promote reading, but I can't stress enough to see Masterpiece Theatre's "Jane Eyre." It had me captivated.

    As a quote says on the web site,

    Ruth Wilson's Jane is what really lifts this production to exceptional...

    She was perfect. Here's a link:

  9. haleigh |

    Ter - kleenex, check! Thanks for the head's up. I don't know much about Brown's book, and I'm a fairly gullible reader (I never figure it out early!) so I'll probably be one person left who's taken by surprise with this book! LOL

    Melissa - I'll definitely watch it! But since I haven't read it, I want to make it through first. I generally like books over movie, so I always read the book first ;)


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