Elizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she.
‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’ ‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.’
While most feel reading classics to be a drag, Jane Austen romances can keep you quite captivated right until the end. Many are familiar with the storyline of Pride and Prejudice. However, reading this classic can transport you to nineteenth-century England, where the Bennet sisters’ lives give us an insight into the Regency society.
“Is not general incivility the very essence of love?”
The story follows the life of the second eldest Bennet daughter Elizabeth. Her life changes dramatically when Mr. Bingley, along with his 2 sisters and his friend Mr. Darcy, moves into Netherfield, an estate close to the Bennet home. Elizabeth deals with her own pride and prejudices along with those of the people around her. She unexpectedly finds herself amid unwanted marriage proposals and drama.
“The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.”
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters and the main concern of Mrs. Bennet is to see that all her daughters are married off to men of high society with preferably large fortunes. She sees a marriage prospect for her elder daughter, Jane, in the neighbor Mr. Bingley. Mr. Darcy, however, who is very different from Mr. Bingley, views himself as superior to the Bennet family causing Elizabeth to be prejudiced toward him. Against his will, he finds himself attracted to Elizabeth.
“Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility; it is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”
As the story progresses and both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy begin to see that there is more in each other than what meets the eye, their feelings of pride and prejudice give way to attraction and genuine love. This love manifests itself when Mr. Darcy goes out of his way to track down Mr. Wickham and forces him to marry Elizabeth’s younger sister whom he had taken advantage of.
“Love has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began.”
Through the examples of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, Jane Austen has demonstrated that true love blossoms when two people give up on their pride and prejudice (and thus the title!). The protagonists’ is not a love-at-first-sight affair; it is, in fact, a love that stems from their careful observation of each other. More than a cheesy romantic tale, it serves as a reminder that while outer appearances and manners can be quite captivating, it is the character of a person that determines his/her ability to love and be loved.
Ameya would like to rate this novel a 5/5 as it is a vintage tale of love, but with deeply embedded life lessons. Impeccable English combined with a sense of humor make this classic read a must have for your bookshelf!