April 4, 2016

Classic of the Month


I love Jane Austen. And so far Pride and Prejudice is my favorite one of her books. I had to pick it for a classic sometime, and today was that sometime.

Pride and Prejudice

Our heroine is one of the most famous in classic literature. Her name is Elizabeth Bennet (she goes by Lizzie) and she lives in early 19th century England. She has four sisters- Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Her family is not exactly what you would call well-to-do, but they aren't exactly poor either.

The girl's mother, Mrs. Bennet, wants the girls to marry into rich families so that their family will be better off. A rich young man by the name of Bingley (what sort of name is that?) and his friend Mr. Darcy move in next door. Mrs. Bennet instantly decides she must marry at least one of her daughters to one of them. At the next ball, Lizzie and Mr. Darcy meet and immediately dislike each other. She overhears him criticizing her and takes great offence. From there she swears to never like him. However, her sister Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley. His sisters effectively keep them apart. Lizzie's dislike for Mr. Darcy only grows after an old friend of his, Wickham, tells a terrible story of how he was bad to him. As the story proceeds, Mr. Darcy and Lizzie are thrown together time and time again and both start to soften, a tiny bit. He tells her a different story of how Wickham tried to run off with his little sister. He proposes to her and she refuses, quite viciously. Both regret their actions afterwards. Wickham and Lydia run off together and finally Lizzie realizes Mr. Darcy is better than he seems. He even convinces Wickham to marry Lydia so the Bennets can keep up appearances. He proposes to her again and she accepts. It ends as all Jane Austen's do, with everyone married and living happily ever after.

What I Like About It

Allow me to say it again, I love Pride and Prejudice. I read through it very quickly because I liked it so much. I would definitely say it's one of my favorite classics.

First, the sisters. Not many books have large families in them, even if they are in a historical setting when it was more common. Even fewer have a whole family of 3-D characters. But this does. Jane is the sensible oldest, always ready with a kind word and ear to listen. Lizzie, of course, is the hotheaded, quick tongued one. That's why she's my favorite. Mary is the boring, religious sort of girl (I don't think anyone likes her). Kitty is flighty and follows Lydia too much, but she's really a good girl. Lydia is the trouble maker, always willing to do things that she shouldn't. Mrs. Bennet is the over-concerned mother prone to fits and breakdowns when she doesn't get her way. Mr Bennet is a sensible father who just wants his girls to be happy. I love the relationship between the sisters and how real it feels.

And of course, Mr. Darcy and Lizzie. Every scene they are in is a witty battle of quick exchanges and stubbornness. You almost want to cheer when one makes a good point. Then Jane beautifully brings the two of them together, which you would say was impossible if you only saw their first scene together.

Book and Movie Adaptions

If you keep up with movies, you probably know about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It is an adaption of the original, except now the girls are all zombie killers. It started off as a book and was only turned into a movie in the past year. I have never watched or read it, and have no intentions to.

Then there's the Kira Knightly version, which I haven't seen either, though I'd like to. I'm sure it's a fine movie but I'm more partial to the next version.

The BBC Pride and Prejudice TV series, all on disc. This is the first one I ever saw, before I even read the book, and I love it. The costumes and sets are beautiful, and the script is basically taken from the book. You read the book and you can hear the voices of the actors, that's how good it is. This will probably remain my favorite forever. The casting was excellent, especially Mr. Darcy and Lizzie. They play off each other well. And if you've never seen it, look up Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. To end this post, I'll give you picture of him. You can sigh now.



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