Bret James Stewart's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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it was amazing

Pride and Prejudice is the tale of five sisters, the Bennetts. The story is largely told through the primary protagonist, the second-oldest, Elizabeth. The story is predominantly about an on-and-off love affair between her and the ultra-wealthy Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. This is a satirical novel of manners told largely through conversation and letters. It is set during the British Regency. It reminds me of War and Peace, with the rich forced through an endless round of balls and dinners, with the purpose of life to marry well, act and dress appropriately, set a good table, and possess suitable manners. The book displays the rigid class system of the time, which does not resonate especially well with modern readers (particularly Americans), but it is this feeling of otherness in the setting that helps to make the book as enjoyable as it is.

I have no idea how I made it through high school without reading this book. Jane Austen has remained popular for a couple of centuries, and this book indicates why. This is a wonderful read—the characters are memorable, their interactions realistic for their class, and the plot has some twists even if the two lovers end up together as we knew they would.

Elizabeth Barrett is feisty, and I think you’ll like her. She is slightly impulsive and tends to judge things according to her first impression (the “prejudice” of the title). Fitzwilliam Darcy seems standoffish, but this is due to his discomfort in certain social situations. It is often misjudged, specifically and most importantly by Elizabeth, as ego (the “pride” of the title). All, however, is reconciled in the end, with all the characters living happily ever after.

Austen’s book is a classic. Anyone enjoying romance, history, social issues of various sorts, class and caste in England, and jolly fine writing in general should read this book. After all, it hasn’t been as popular for so long for no reason.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 24, 2016 – Shelved

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