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Shvoong Home>Books>Pride and Prejudice Review

Pride and Prejudice

Book Review   by:trivikramajamwal     Original Author: Jane Austen
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'Pride and Prejudice', originally entitled 'First

Impressions', first made its appearance in 1813. Its

writer, Jane Austen, considered it her finest work.

Indeed, the novel's scenes and characters have become

household words. The opening line itself:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that
a single man in possession of a good fortune, must
be in want of a wife.
establishes the writer's dexterity, sets the tone, puts the
motivation and plot into motion and continues after almost
two centuries to be an oft-quoted sentence.

The plot is fairly simple: a mother desparate to find
suitable matches for her five daughters throws them in the
paths of suitors, leading to soft blushes of romance,
tears, misunderstandings, explanations, anger, elopement
and scandal. Needless to say, everything gets sorted out
to general satisfaction.

The greater attraction of the novel lies in its characters,
theme and some memorable scenes like the 'proposal scene'
as a pompous and incredulous Mr. Collins just cannot come
to terms with Elizabeth's rejection. Collins, Mr. Benett
and Mrs. Benett are masterpieces of characterization. She -
and Collins whom Elizabeth's friend Charlotte eventually
marries - are hilarious in their stupidity. He, indolent,
cynical, testimony to Austen's satiric tone. Their
daughter Elizabeth, the heroine, and the hero Darcy are
more true to life than contemporary ideals of perfection
and provide delightful scenes of wittiness, archness,
romance as they play out the novel's title at an overt as
well as a deeper level. The novel unfolds to reveal that
pride and prejudice can be found even - or more so - in
those who consider themselves level-headed. Indeed, at
significant points the plot unravels because of Elizabeth's
bias against Darcy and towards the unscrupulous Wickham who
seems a good match for her giddy-headed younger sister
Lydia. Lydia, in turn, is a far cry from the placid good-
hearted eldest Jane, a perfect companion for Bingley- much
softer than his friend Darcy.

In the play of these major characters come and go the minor
ones - the duller of the five sisters Mary and Kitty, the
practical Charlotte, the unbearable Lady Catherine, aunts
and uncles and Bingley's sisters - as their presence and
actions add to Austen's comment on the world and its
foibles.
Published: July 30, 2005   
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