Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

December 8, 2009
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (pg. 2). This is the statement Jane Austen starts out with in the book Pride and Prejudice. This story is about a girl named Elizabeth in a family of seven. From oldest to youngest, her siblings are Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty (Catherine) and Lydia. The family’s life turns upside down when Mr. Bingly comes into town with his friend Mr. Darcy, and his sister Miss Bingly. Mr. Bingly and Mr. Darcy have large fortune. Mr. Bingly is amiable, lively, cheerful, and rarely thinks bad of anybody. Mr. Darcy on the other hand, was seen as a proud, disagreeable man. Mr. Bingly and Jane, Elizabeth’s older sister, soon fall in love. But Mr. Bingly and his friend and sister leave the town. Before this disaster, Elizabeth meets a militia man named Mr. Wickham. He claims that he lived with Mr. Darcy since he was born, and that Mr. Darcy’s father gave him the living of a pastor. Mr. Darcy denied Wickham the living when late Mr. Darcy died. Mr. Bennet’s cousin, Mr. Collins, comes into town. Mr. Collins is a ridiculous man who looks and does silly things while droning on about his neighbor Lady Catherine De Bourgh. Mr. Collins soon proposes to Elizabeth. Elizabeth turns down Collins, so he goes off and marries her best friend, Charlotte. While visiting Charlotte, she meets Lady Catherine’s nephew, who happens to be Mr. Darcy. Soon after, Elizabeth finds out that Mr. Bingly’s leaving town was all Mr. Darcy’s idea. Mr. Darcy later asks Elizabeth to marry him. Elizabeth refuses and she tells him about Mr. Wickham and her sister’s separation from Bingly. Mr. Darcy, enraged with Elizabeth’s insults, writes her a letter explaining the offenses she laid against him. He explains that he thought Jane indifferent to Bingly, and that’s why he separated them. He also explains that Wickham only wanted the value of the living, and soon gambled it away. He also planned to elope with his sister Ms. Darcy, only after the 30,000 pounds she would inherit. Elizabeth goes home and her sister, Lydia, goes off to Brighton invited by general’s wife. Elizabeth then goes to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle. They visit Pemberly, which happens to be Mr. Darcy’s home. They unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy there, and he introduces Elizabeth to his sister, and displays kind behavior that Elizabeth had never seen. Near the end of the trip, Elizabeth gets a disturbing letter from Jane saying that Lydia ran off with Mr. Wickham, planning to elope. Elizabeth’s uncle finds Lydia and Wickham in London, Wickham not even planning to marry Lydia. Wickham and Lydia end up getting married. Lydia told Elizabeth surprising information that Mr. Darcy actually discovered her and Wickham, and paid for all of Wickham’s debts. Soon after, Mr. Bingly comes back to the town with Mr. Darcy and proposes to Jane. Elizabeth talks to Mr. Darcy and they decide to get married. Elizabeth ends up getting married the same day, time, and place as her sister, Jane. Jane Austen obviously wrote this novel very well, which shows through the plot development and character development.
Plot development was a key point for the book’s success. Jane Austen fits in as much drama as possible to keep the reader interested. An example of this is when Mr. Darcy says Elizabeth is “not handsome enough to tempt” (pg.18) and he suddenly proposes to her, which leads to Elizabeth finding out about Wickham. Another example is when Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, gets turned down, which leads to him marrying Charlotte, Elizabeth’s best friend. These actions of the characters are unexpected and lead into another complication, which keeps the reader reading. The characters also develop along with the plot.

Another important component in the story is the character development. Examples of this are Elizabeth’s growing affection for Mr. Darcy. At the beginning of the story, Elizabeth swears to loathe Mr. Darcy, and ends up marrying him. The change of character from proud and disagreeable to kind and amiable is also an example of character development. Darcy’s behavior at first was that he didn’t dance, and wouldn’t talk outside anyone outside his own party, but later, Mr. Darcy is kind to Elizabeth’s aunt and uncle, whom he never met before. Character development gives the storyline to the book. If there wasn’t any character development, Elizabeth would still hate Darcy, and Darcy would still be proud and disagreeable. Not much would change from the beginning.

In the end, Pride and Prejudice is a great book that everyone should read. It has great character and plot development and tons of drama. These components keep readers reading from cover to cover nonstop. Another reason why people should read it is because it gives them a taste of the 1700-1800s and how people wrote and lived back then. It gives the reader drama, history, and laughter. What will it give you?

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