Pride and Prejudice

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"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." From that statement the reader is indicated that the intrigue of the book will be about love/marriage, courtship and definately irony. The sentence can both be interpreted as it is read, as well as "A single man in possession of a good fortune must be aware of that he will one day be snared into marriage." This is the second novel, after Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen and it was first published in 1813. Pride and prejudice is a charming book and Austen´s ability to create and describe her characters is remarkable. I have both read and seen the film “Pride and Prejudice and my analysis will mostly be an analysis of the book. I found this more interesting since the director of the film astoundingly has managed to make a realistic visual landscape and characters that gives you a feeling that not much was left out from the book.

The satire in the book is typical 19th century criticism attacking the ignorance of people. The characters who personify the criticism are: Mrs Bennet, the mother of the five Bennet daughters, who is completely foolish and whose life is devoted to getting her daughters well married. The second one is Mr Collins, the Bennets’ cousin. He is so impressed by the noble lady Catherine de Bourgh that he becomes ridiculous of awe. The third one: Lydia, the youngest daughter of the Bennet family, is a self-absorbed young lady who is mainly concentrated on attracting officers at a nearby town. Another example of Jane Austen’s critiscism against the stature of nobles is Lady de Bourgh, a proud and patronizing lady who demands attention of everyone belowher rank.

In the beginning of the book I found the language somewhat heard to understand and the plot tiresome. Even though the beginning was tiresome the book improved after about seventy pages. The reason for that opinion is not really because of the book. It is there where the very typical british romance-drama ideas of the era which definately effects the dialogues ie. They feel pointless and less cultivated.
The story is told through Elizabeth Bennet, but in third form, which in a way spoils the vividness of the novel. Furthermore the very few descriptions of the setting demands creativeness and imagination from the reader. The atmosphere in Pride and Prejudice is quite cold and intellectual and compared to modern literature the book is monotone. Though with the brutalisation of today´s literature, it is certainly tasteful. To explain the usage of the word “brutilisation” I mean recently published books that are provocative and extreme and in desperate need of media’s attention. It is not that I prefer censuring, and political correctness, but I would like to be spared from nasty conflicts of life at some occasions. I find it rather uncommon for modern literature not to include a strong conflict that in someway is provocative and emotionally affecting. Perhaps less creativeness is needed from the writer nowadays because the reader will most likely go on reading if it affects the very core of you. Certainly the incident with Lydia´s elopement with the snakelike Mr. Wickham was a disaster to the family at that time. But compared to events that are possible to take place today, this is nothing but a drop of water in the sea.
The main characters described in the book are:
The Bennet Family
Elizabeth an independent, strong willed and somewhat suspicious woman. She is the one with most prejudices in this book. I estimate that about half of her prejudices are correct, but with Mr Wickham and Mr Darcy she finds herself totally wrong. Mr Darcy who appears to be a proud and awful person turns out to be a rightous man of honor.
Jane is the oldest of the Bennet daughters. She is a blue-eyed, very loving and good-hearted person. Jane never talks ill of anyone.
Lydia is, as mentioned, the youngest of the daughters - a silly teenager who is self-absorbed, ignorant and immature. She is her mother´s favourite and implications are that the way that Mr Wickham and Lydia were married was similar to what happened between Mr and Mrs Bennet. Mr Bennet found his wife attractive at the time but when time passed, he received very little stimulation from their conversations. This is also sublimely implied when Mr Bennet tells Elizabeth that Mr Wickham is his favourite son-in-law. He probably knows what Mr Wickham soon shall be suffering.
Kitty, the sister that is closest to Lydia, is envious of her sister and has little own will. She also possesses the same immaturity as Lydia. But once her sister has married Mr Wickham Kitty matures and grows as a person. Her character has a very small part in the book.
Mary, the intellectual sister, is just as Kitty, not very well described in the book but her part is larger in film. She suffers from the "ugly sister”-syndrome and no one seems to enjoy her company. I find the way that the family treats Mary totally unacceptable and the situation adds to the satire in Pride and Prejudice. Since Mary was not pretty enough, she was not accepted by the family or by society because she would presumably never be married.
Mrs Bennet is, as described earlier in the text, ignorant and devoted to trivial things. I found her even more annoying and abominable after watching the film. Her voice is detestable and she takes credit for everyone elses work. Mrs Bennet is a self-centred woman both in the book as well as in the film.
Mr Bennet is a cynical man who finds everyone in his family silly except for Jane and Elizabeth. It is interesting that, uncommonly for books, a father has better contact with his daughters.
Other characters

Mr Darcy is a much too proud man with great intellect and large fortune

Mr Bingley is a well-mannered man of good fortune. He is, just as Jane, sweet and very agreeable.
The friendship of Elizabeth and Jane and the friendship between Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley are both based on differences and the appreciation of the other part’s way of reasoning. Elizabeth is suspicious and Jane finds people worthy of loving and trusting very easily. Mr Darcy’s and Mr Bingley’s friendship is also one of differences and opposites. I did not find it hard to understand why Mr Darcy and Elizabeth became a married couple at last. The have the equal stubbornness and cautioness towards other people and were in need of someone trustworthy and loyal. As their relationship develops throughout the book Mr Darcy’s wall of pride lowers and Elizabeth’s prejudices are less fast established. Elizabeth learns the lesson to look beyond rumours and ill talk, while Jane learns to be more sensitive with loving and caring for...

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  • Inactive member 2004-10-04

    det är skita bra att du skrive

  • Inactive member 2008-01-27

    Väldigt bra skrivet!


Inactive member [2004-02-26]   Pride and Prejudice
Mimers Brunn [Online]. [2019-12-09]

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