Review: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Pride and PrejudiceTitle: Pride and Prejudice
Author:
 Jane Austen
Publication Date: 28 January 1813
ISBN: 0679783261
Pages: 279
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Softcover
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository

What’s a girl to do?

Scatterbrained, social climbing Mrs. Bennet makes one demand of her five daughters.

Marry. Marry well. Marry RICH.

But sweet Jane is hopelessly in love with Mr. Bingley, who doesn’t seem to notice. Flighty Lydia wants a man–any man–preferably one in uniform. Kitty just wants to have fun. Shy Mary has her nose in a book. And Elizabeth–brilliant, stubborn, independent Lizzy–refuses the advances of the most “marriageable” man in town–haughty, handsome, wealthy Mr. Darcy.

Mrs. Bennet’s in hysterics, Mr. Bennet’s in his study, Lydia’s eloped with a soldier and Jane’s heart may well be broken. Will any of the Bennet girls find true love and fortune?

Review

As you guys know by now, I’ve been reading this book for literal months and it’s given me a lot of stress. So I’m honestly so incredibly grateful to be done with this novel.

Let’s start with what I actually joined. The plot of about 60 pages towards the middle/end of the book was truly incredible. It was fast paced, in comparison to everything else, there was character development that hadn’t been present throughout the rest of the book. It was fascinating and is one of the reasons I didn’t give up.

The other reason I actually enjoyed this book was because of Elizabeth. She was actually interesting and very realistic. She was aware of her limitations in society because of her womanhood and yet remained wholly her own character. Vastly different from her younger, more foolish sisters, she was a great change of pace. Moreover, she reminded me a lot of myself – outspoken and quick to judge. She had flaws and wasn’t a completely flat character, even though her development doesn’t come until far to late in the book to truly be able to enjoy it.

And that’s it. Those are the two main things I liked  Everything else I was not a fan of.

Jane Austen’s descriptions were boring and lack luster for a novel that had so little dialogue. Although I hadn’t been expecting significant amounts of dialogue, I had been looking forward to beautiful prose that would make a grown man weep. And instead I got writing that was overly descriptive in unnecessary areas and lacking when it was most necessary. Like honestly, I do not need a detailed description every time there’s a ball and someone starts dancing. I’m sorry (not really), but I just don’t want to read that.

Jane and Bingley. Where do I begin? Why were they attracted to one another? There was no explanation to it and yet this entire novel hinged on their relationship. Yes, yes I know that the book is really about Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (who I’ll get to in a minute) but their relationship wouldn’t exist without Jane and Bingley’s relationship. Yet, there was no serious time spent discovering their relationship.

And I’m going to leave you with my criticism of Mr. Darcy. More accurately, my criticism with the love of Mr. Darcy. I get it, he looks beyond Elizabeth’s physical beauty and he treats her like an equal. And as a feminist I applaud him for it, I really, genuinely do. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that he treated her like crap. It doesn’t detract from the fact that he had this ridiculous superiority complex that he couldn’t overcome. And more importantly, the reason he begins to fall for Elizabeth is because he thinks she’s pretty. Gentleman is one of the farthest words I’d use to talk to describe Mr. Darcy simply for the reason that gentlemen act with decorum and respect regardless of whether said person is attractive or not.

So Mr. Darcy was a let down on two fronts: one, as a character I found him to be irritating and childish for a grown man who claimed decorum and two, he didn’t live up to the hype. I do have to give credit where credit is due and say that his actions towards Jane and Bingley’s relationship were realistic and even, to an extent, understandable. However, they were still – nonetheless – childish.

All in all, I’ve never been more glad to never have to look at a book. Unless you’re into romance novels with a slow plot and lack-luster, one-dimensional characters, I really can’t recommend this one. It’s a classic and I can understand and appreciate it from that perspective, but as a for-pleasure-read it’s not my cup of tea.

Rating

1.5 star


I apologize for taking the past two weeks off but I was way too busy to take the time to write a good review. I also apologize for the very negative tone of this review but I wanted to be upfront with you guys on my extreme dislike of this novel.

I’m glad to be back to writing but April marks the beginnings of finals and the million and one tests I’ll be taking so uploads may not be 100% consistent. Again, my apologize but I’m doing the best I can right now. 

Let me know what you thought of Pride and Prejudice. Is it one of your faves?

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2 thoughts on “Review: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  1. I… disagree with a lot of your points but I do understand where you’re coming from. Starting with the description, I actually really like all the detailed dances and description of dresses because it highlights the Georgian/Victorian era traditions. More time should’ve been spent on developing Jane and Bingley’s relationship but I love those two because of how similar their personalities are. I’m not going to say that the fact Mr. Bingley chose to dance with Jane first because she was the “prettiest” girl in the room doesn’t bother me, but I think they fit really well together.

    Okay, Mr. Darcy. I disagree that he starts falling for her because of her “beauty” because he does say when he first sees her that she has “pretty eyes” but she isn’t nearly pretty enough to tempt him. What actually attracts him is her spunk and her wit; he knows she isn’t like the other girls there. He likes talking to her and she isn’t afraid to tell him off. Mr. Darcy is not a gentleman and he doesn’t know how to be nice but he starts to change. Yes he kind of treated her like crap but she did the exact same thing to him. He starts being more kind and he starts to change and that’s when Lizzy starts falling for him.

    I also don’t think his actions towards Bingley was childish because he was just trying to look out for his friend and he made a bad judgment call. Was it the right thing to do? No. Why didn’t he just leave his grown-up adult friend to take care of his love life alone? I don’t know. I can only assume it’s because Bingley is probably pretty easy to trick since he’s so open hearted and there probably have been women in the past who have taken advantage of his money so Darcy truly just wanted what was best for him.

    Calling these characters one-dimensional is hardly fair. Some of them maybe but Lizzie and Darcy at-least go through enough change and development.

    Applause to you for trying though Stellah 😀 This was a long response 🙂

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    1. I know it’s been several weeks, but I wanted to respond to this when I was a bit more level-headed.

      I have to say, I was definitely more harsh in my review than I felt I needed to be. I will concede that I came into this book expecting it to be awful and I didn’t give it a fair chance.
      Detailed descriptions are a truly reader preference so I respect and completely understand your love for the descriptions. I won’t deny that they were beautifully written however, I felt that there was more description than there was actual plot. That was my biggest fault with the description.

      Now Mr. Darcy. His initial appeal to her was the fact that she was dismissive towards him after he was a jerk to her. However, his attraction to her definitely begins with him noticing the fact that she is in fact very people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this fact; in fact I think it’s perfectly normal. My problem came from everyone’s deep love for Mr. Darcy because he’s *so* different from other men when that simply isn’t the case. I was expecting a more progressive character and was more let down by the reality of Mr. Darcy in comparison to the hype that surrounds him, not the man himself.

      His actions towards Bingley felt childish to me because grown-ups talk to one another about their problems. I do agree that he was looking out for his friend and that what he did was extremely understandable. It’s something that I would honestly consider if I was ever in that position. However, the grown-up, adult thing to do would be to talk to your friend and tell them what was going on. I think it’s possible to have your friend’s best interest at heart – which, I agree, he did – but to also make childish decisions.

      And on one-dimensional characters, I have to agree. I was very harsh here. I should have been a lot more clear. Darcy and Lizzie are both multi- dimensional. And, truthfully, Lizzie’s growth is the only reason I got through this book. Austen did a great job of creating two dynamic and strong characters.

      Thank you for the response, it definitely forced me to view the book through a different lens. I think I might write a follow up review now that I’m a little more level-headed, hehe.

      Like

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