So here we go, I get the chance to write about another book, seeing as I found it so hard to choose just one before. Today I’ve chosen a book I studied in Year 11 Literature. When first presented with it, I was apprehensive as it was the first real ‘classic’ I had ever had to read. The language was different and challenging, the time setting was difficult to relate to and the views and values of the characters initially seemed drastically different to my own. On some level, I was also reluctant to like it because it was so broadly talked about and touted as ‘one of the greatest love stories of all time’, and romance was never one of my favourite genres.
In a matter of weeks, however, I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice. One of the most famous works from Jane Austen, it tells the story of Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Bennet in her ill-fated romance with the mysterious Mr Darcy. For those who have been living under a rock for several years, Lizzie and Mr Darcy’s first meeting does not go smoothly, and her opinion of him worsens as the novel progresses, but as most would know, their story develops into the quintessential “don’t judge a book by its cover” fable.
Lizzie has higher desires than the simple life of a housewife, and the main drama of the book revolves around the various courtships, proposals, engagements and marriages involving her and her sisters, especially the painfully slow but ever-so-sweet relationship between her beautiful elder sister Jane and the charming Mr Charles Bingley.
There is not really much more I can say about this beautiful novel without simply relating the story or digressing into a Literature-student analysis of the key themes and motifs, but needless to say if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, I would recommend it.
Oh, and if you want to watch a performance of it, I suggest doing so after reading it, as in reality nothing does complete justice to the original. The older BBC mini-series version of the novel is quite good and, being longer than a feature film, also relatively accurate (and of course, contains the famous scene of Colin Firth in a fountain). Personally, I’m not a fan of the Keira Knightley adaptation, but sometimes half the fun is watching a few different versions and making your own choice.