Let’s chat about books: Pride and Prejudice

Mia+Bolyard

A copy of Pride and Prejudice from the book room between Hillman and Ganiere.

In high school you will have to read some classic texts. It’s unavoidable. Sometimes you love the story you were tasked with reading. Not always, but sometimes. Which is why I must talk about this story that I genuinely love and reread over and over again. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice everyone. One of the original enemies-to-lovers stories. 

Pride and Prejudice, for those unaware, is a story that follows protagonist Elizabeth Bennet who is the second oldest of five Bennet daughters. Mrs. Bennet is desperately trying to marry off her daughters so that when Mr. Bennet dies, they won’t be left in the street. A young new bachelor, Charles Bingley, arrives at the Netherfield estate near Longburn estate where the Bennets live. Mrs. Bennet practically foams at the mouth at the prospect of marrying off one of her daughter’s to the wealthy gentleman. At the local dance, the girls meet Mr. Bingley and the posse he brought with him, including a very proud man named Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy offends Elizabeth by saying she isn’t all that attractive and refusing to dance with any of the ladies at the dance that he doesn’t already know. From there on Elizabeth refuses to like the man, despite his budding feelings for her. After a series of events the two end up realizing they are in love with each other and get married.

Obviously the biggest themes of the story are the ones present in the title: Darcy’s pride and Lizzie’s prejudice and how the two learn to love each other despite these flaws in personality. Of course, as was stated previously, Pride and Prejudice is one of the original enemies-to-lovers stories. A trope that in all honesty is a literary favorite. Although if I were to critique the way the story was laid out, Lizzie’s feelings for Darcy feel sudden. One chapter she despises the man, and the next she doesn’t. I understand that the reason for this switch was because of a letter Darcy wrote explaining himself to her, which opened up her mind to finding him to have a rather appealing countenance. But the transition still feels off to me. 

All the characters are well written and given good character growth for the time period it was written in. They all feel very real and I can imagine different versions of them in real life. Especially the character Mr. Collins. Lizzie was a refreshing woman character for her time that paved the way for other female protagonists, and has a way of handling the stressful situations that occur to her and her family which I find very dignified. Austen also did a fantastic job at writing Lydia and ensuring that the character is as irritating and insufferable as possible. 

Occasionally the writing is hard to understand due to how old the text is, but for the most part is easy to understand. At times I do have questions on how social interactions were structured back in Austen’s day as this is a big part of the story. Other than that, it’s written quite eloquently and has a super interesting story. When you take away the time period, it sounds like events from a reality TV show. 

I like Pride and Prejudice a lot and in fact have read it four times since my first time my freshman year. So I feel no hesitation giving it a 5/5. If you need to read a classic text, read this one. It’s a good read. 

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