This is the only Austen book I read before I signed up for the Austen class. I actually read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies first and enjoyed it, so I decided to pick up the original book. I struggled through it a bit, but I found Mr. Bennet amusing and enjoyed the writing style and the sarcasm present throughout.
So when it came time to pick a novel from the class to do a presentation on, I volunteered for P&P because A) I’d read it before and B) it’s Austen’s most famous novel. I figured I could find far more about it on the internet than anything else, and I wanted something I was relatively familiar with so I didn’t end up drowning in Austenian prose.
Just like last time, I’m going to be discussing plot points as we go through this post, so if you don’t want a 200-year-old novel spoiled for you, skip this and come back to it once you’ve read it.
WHAT I WANTED MORE OF: In S&S, I said I wanted to see more of the younger sister because she never popped up. Luckily, in this novel, I don’t have the same feelings towards the younger Bennets. They’re your stereotypical silly young teen girls, fawning over soldiers and hoping desperately for someone to come and take them away from their world.
This, however, is your wholesale Cinderella-esque story. There’s nothing to miss here. It’s rich people meeting other, richer people and everyone (mostly) ending up with their happily ever after. These don’t seem to be any consequences for anyone, and even Charlotte has a good reason as to why she marries Mr. Collins (she’s an old maid at 27, and all she wants is financial security, which Collins can give her).
LEAST FAVORITE CHARACTER: We all know who the collective most-hated is, and that’s Mr. Collins. I can’t bring myself to feel a shred of sympathy for Collins, and yet I understand why Charlotte Lucas married him.
FAVORITE CHARACTER: In the beginning, I would have gone with Mr. Bennet being my favorite character. He’s sarcastic and witty, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his parts. Dr. Wear ruined him by saying, “Just think how jaded a person has to be in order to think like this, etc.” when referring to Mr. Bennet.
And how, if Lizzie isn’t careful, she’s going to end up just. like. him.
As for Darcy, he’s become the stereotypical “Everyman” that every girl wants to marry (trust me, I suffered through Austenland; I know this), but he’s a huge jerk who has very little connection to reality.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this one so much more than I did S&S. The plot was easier to follow, the characters were far more likeable, and the love interests were actually interesting. There’s a reason this has become a classic that everybody has either read or seen over the years, and why it’s been adapted into a zombie action thriller (wait…actually I’m not sure as to the reason for the last one).
What’s your opinion on Pride & Prejudice? Did you like it? Love it? Hated it? Let me know in the comments, and be back here in two weeks as I take on my next Austen novel!
And as always, keep reading.