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A Bennett Utopia my Dear... Pride & Prejudice Review
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Member Name: Silvertwig242
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Advantages: getting lost in the words..yet reminding ourselves that the story has humour and resonates today
Disadvantages: none. interpersonal communication and wit at its very best
It is indeed a truth universally acknowledged...so commences the first line of the book as famous as it is true?.. do i detect some sniggers in the background?.. is it a mans predisposition to be proud and arrogant and a woman's to be indifferent and prejudice? If these statements are no longer true, (?) then it certainly appeared to be that way in Jane's day. There are many complex and competing ideals to the whys and wherefores of Jane's writing. It could not be argued that Jane Austen must have lived to write.
Jane examines the close and sometimes fraught personal relationships Elizabeth has with her peers and with her parents, which is often envisaged as juxtaposed. Being one of the eldest sisters in the household, she takes the responsibility upon herself to guide and even educate her younger siblings, which is reflective of how Jane also lived her life. One has to remember that at the time of writing, it was frowned upon for a young woman to be educated beyond what was deemed strictly necessary and if seeking a husband was not her primary concern then not having an interest in gaining an advantageous marriage, she would have appeared somewhat radical. I for one, rather like that.
There have been many film and tv adaptions - each bring their own interpretation of the book and attempt to bring it back to life. The thing that stands out to me the most (which is the reason i return back to this book and read it all over again) is that, above all else, humour and a sense of the ironic shines through like a beacon of light. This is reflected most in the 1941 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, which to me will always be the best, despite the appalling costumes.
The book is a delight to read, unashamedly poking fun at all who come into her circle, whether they be friend or foe. But it is also genteel, defiant, again unashamedly speaks of her class and of her social standing in the community in which she lives. It is not difficult to draw parallels.
'Why..you would be the last person I would ever be prevailed upon to marry'... justifiably cross with her circumstances, social restraints and barriers and with no other way to fulfill her needs she fights against her feelings for Darcy, while also sensibly admitting to herself that to secure her financial future (for her family also) would be a wise thing to do.
I would argue that even in today's setting, the story still has resonance - which I believe is part of the reason why this novel is so deeply loved and engrained into our English culture. We all still crave success and happiness within relationships and social acceptance, we all still want to be loved for ourselves alone and have someone set us apart and to say that we are indeed special and in a household of sisters this could not be more pronounced and yet more fun.
This is why Pride & Prejudice will continue to hold a place in our hearts as each time we read it, we are mirroring a reflection of our own needs to love and be loved and not to be judged. to uphold the virtues in which we believe and to support and defend our societal nucleus, that thing we call 'family'.
Summary: Elizabeth & Darcy in a battle of wit and words..penned by the delightful Austen