Pride and Prejudice This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 1, 2010
Prior to opening the hardcover of Pride and Prejudice, I wasn’t exactly excited about diving into an apparently stuffy classic by Jane Austen. This changed upon reading the first chapter-- a few pages. I love the way Austen subtly established the setting and characters drew me in. She starts off with, “[i]t is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” before telling the actual story. The time period this story takes place in drew my attention in even further; I always loved imagining myself with high hair, in a long dress with a tight empire waist.

Darcy and Elizabeth initially dislike each other; but I secretly felt they were made for each other and read on in suspense to see if the story would prove me right. Intellectually, Austen goes back and forth between the old 18th century mindset of Elizabeth’s mother who valued marriage for its social implication, and the relatively modern idea of marrying for love, as defined by the couple. I enjoyed the long journey from Darcy and Elizabeth’s prejudices against one another to when they realized their misconceptions and admitted their love. True love does go through a bumpy ride before it reaches its destination, with hints of romantic stops in between.

Humorous characters draw me into books; in this story Mr. Bennet was the one with sardonic comebacks, which I found hilarious. When Mrs. Bennet (a character I couldn’t stand) told Elizabeth she was going to disown her if she didn’t marry Mr. Collins, a selfish liar, Mr. Bennet told her he was going to disown her if she did marry him! His ability to see more clearly and modernly than his ignorant wife is what I like about him. I almost wanted to give him a round-of –applause for contradicting his wife. Mr. Collins wrote a letter, at the interest of Lady Catherine, tried to dissuade the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. Mr. Bennet replied by telling him to “stand by the nephew” because he has “more to give.” This remark made me laugh out loud because Mr. Bennet ridiculed his standing by whoever is wealthier. While reading this part, I imagined the countenance of Mr. Collins reading his response and feeling embarrassed!

This entertaining and romantic novel suited my taste. Although it was an assigned book, I read it on my free time (and I take this time to admit that I had read this book in my Math B class because as a fairly strong math student I felt I could get away with it, but my math teacher caught me anyway). Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has made me understand “the pleasure of surrender to the world of a book.”

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