Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most revered books ever written in the English language and for good reason.
I must admit that when I started this review blog that I never intended on reviewing classic literature. However, the more I read this year the more I realized that there was a vast catalog of books that I was basically ignoring. I want to challenge myself in my reading and to read a diversity of great books. I want to be a well read individual. So I decided to challenge myself to read a classic literature or a modern classic once a month. I want to grow as an individual, open myself up to new experiences, and to develop a strong sense of who I am as an individual. I feel that these books will help me do just those things.
Pride and Prejudice is a book that focuses on the courting of young men and women in the hopes of marriage. Written in the early 1800’s, Jane Austen, focused on plots dealing with women’s dependence on marriage to secure their spot in society. Within these plots there are a lot of social commentary and irony that shows Austen’s thoughts on the roll of women in society. Pride and Prejudice was her second book after Sense and Sensibility and is regarded as the easiest book to get into reading Jane Austen.
At first I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy this because I struggled at the beginning. For a guy that is used to sword battles, magic being used, and treacherous characters, Pride and Prejudice seemed boring and trite. I realized relatively soon that I was reading the basis for every single romantic comedy ever created, which is guy and girl don’t get along, have witty banter with each other, one falls in love, and then has to pursue the other. So I kept reading and focusing on the material because millions of people can’t be wrong about the love of a book. After writing the character’s names down and their relation to each and reading a piece about Austen’s humor in Pride and Prejudice, everything snapped together. Things that I was taking serious were never really suppose to be taken serious and was suppose to be humorous. With those revelations I ended up enjoying the book greatly. There were then times when I was like, “No way Darcy did not just say that to Elizabeth, zomg!”
The prose, vocabulary, and structure of Pride and Prejudice is absolutely wonderful. I wanted to be challenged and I was because I used my dictionary at lease 15 times while reading Pride and Prejudice. Once I started to read faster and stopped thinking of it as poetry it also became much easier for me because most similar prose I have only encountered in poetry. This is a beautifully written book by a woman 200 years ago that shows how beautiful the English language can be.
Austen set the framework for all female authors and set the bar high. She is held as the greatest female author of all time. I am looking forward to reading some more of her work in the future. I watched many video book blogs on youtube that talked about classical literature and so many recommend starting their classical literature journey with this book. I am glad I did and will probably read this book again a few years down the line. I liked it a lot but I did not love it. Maybe with time I will learn to love it.