Classics Corner: Pride and Prejudice

P&P cover

I picked up Pride and Prejudice to impress a girl. By the end of it, I couldn’t put it down. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, follows the story of the Bennet sisters. The five sisters star in the story, but the main focus is on Eliza Bennet and her adventures, though the story also interweaves several other storylines, including Miss Bennet’s courtship of Mr. Bingley and Charlotte’s ‘romantic’ adventure. Set in England at around 1800, the story exudes a culture long since changed by modern ideas. Marriage is the primary focus of the story and the writing effectively portrays attitudes that are alien in our modern culture.

The characters are the core of the story and are very well written and defined. The primary two characters are Eliza and Jane, the eldest two Bennet sisters. They are well fleshed out and, just like the rest of the cast, feel absolutely believable. Characters act with clear motives and development happens with a reason and through action. Interaction between characters is the core of the book and they really get a chance to shine. The lack of action could seem boring, but Austen keeps the story interesting and dramatic.

The language employed by Austen is also excellent, and several moments in the story caused me to laugh aloud at the displayed wit. Austen is clever in her language and utilizes descriptive and varying terms for everything in the story, which, though initially disorienting, adds depth to the writing once you get used to the various titles and names used for characters. To help you along in reading, here are some useful tips: Miss Bennet can refer to any of the five sisters, Kitty and Catherine are the same person, Miss Lucas and Charlotte are the same person, Eliza, Lizzy, and Elizabeth are the same person and Mr. Darcy’s first name is Fitzwilliam.

In summary, this book is excellent on many levels and Austen presents a wonderful, character driven novel. The story has twists, turns, and so much more. I highly recommend it, whether you’re looking for a new romance novel to sink your teeth into, a peek into the past and its culture, or just a good book, Pride and Prejudice is for you. Pick it up today from the library or as a free ebook from Project Gutenberg. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.