Kat's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Feb 18, 10

bookshelves: book-to-film, borrowed-from-library, classics, jane-austen, read-in-2010, chick-lit
Read from February 09 to 18, 2010, read count: 4

Is it possible to tire of reading a masterpiece? Perhaps. But that's not the case with Pride and Prejudice, which I only come to enjoy even more with each reread.

Last week when I couldn't decide what to read next from my lengthy to-read list, I turned to Jane Austen's classic in audio form. What a delightful way to spend my long commute to and from work — in the company of the Bennets, Lucases, Bingleys and Darcys. I've listened to several audiobooks read by Kate Reading. I enjoy the way she gives each character a distinct voice so you can tell who's speaking. Whenever I look at audiobooks at the library, I check to see who the readers are for each novel and always look for Ms. Reading's name.

While Pride and Prejudice is heralded as one of the greatest love stories of all time, what I love about this book is not so much the romance that blossoms between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Austen was a keen observer of society, and her novel shows just how sharp her observations are. Her novel is a commentary on the social situations that young women of no fortune faced during her time. Today we can say, "If the Bennet sisters don't have money, why don't they just get jobs?" But in Austen's time, that was not really an option for a landed gentleman's daughter.

It bothers me when people say Elizabeth is a "gold digger" because her feelings toward Darcy tend to soften upon seeing his grounds at Pemberley. What many readers fail to see is that it is not his grand estate that raises her opinion of him, but rather the general admiration his servants have for him and the care with which he manages his estate. Only a respectable, admirable man can garner such praise from his employees.

I think when people look beyond the romance of this novel, they'll see that there is so much more beneath the surface of trying to marry off one's daughters (as seems to be the theme of many of Austen's novels).

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