Pride and Prejudicee - by Bryce Courtenay
Pride and Prejudice

"the elegance of a more genteel time with the hilarity of mix-ups too"

          With five daughters and an unconcerned husband, Mrs. Bennet can think of nothing else but to marry her daughters off as quickly as possible and to anyone who asks. For her, love is not a necessity when it comes to marrying well, only money is. Her daughters, however, have different ideas. Thus begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic story of money, marriage, love, and deception. 

            As one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice centers around the many blunders and mix-ups that frequently evolve in relationships. Austen’s witty and often sarcastic characters turn these potential disasters into amusing and exciting situations. 

            The book’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet cannot stand the seemingly arrogant and prideful Mr. Darcy and views him as “the last man in the world [she] could ever be prevailed upon to marry.” This would have upset Mrs. Bennet greatly, had she known about her daughter’s refusal of a man whose salary was quite large. Elizabeth tells of the proposal to no one but her sister, Jane.  However, Elizabeth’s views Darcy begin to soften and change over the course of the novel. 

            Misunderstandings and mix-ups bring both affection and heartbreak throughout the novel, especially in the relationship between the beautiful but shy Miss Jane Bennet and Mr. Charles Bingley. It is love at first sight when the two meet at the Meryton ball.  Mrs. Bennet is elated and talks of a wedding even before Mr. Bingley has proposed, but problems arise and the two are separated.  Austen’s love for hilarity is evident in the awkward conversations that occur when Jane and Charles run into each other. 

         The multifaceted characters and situations are just two reasons why I love this novel. Jane Austen brings the elegance of the time period to life; yet, at the same time she shows that not everything was straight-laced and proper. Through her characters, Jane Austen shows the often funny, complex situations that come with love and marriage and growing up. I would recommend Pride and Prejudice to anyone who loves a good love story and this time period!

   - Stephanie G.

"I loved the movie, but I loved the book even more."

          The plot of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen revolves around, well, pride and prejudice. This novel tells the tale of the convoluted romance of Mister Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Bennet. Basically, Darcy’s pride prevents him from showing his true feelings for Elizabeth, and Lizzy’s prejudice against men keeps her from truly falling in love. Many people have often speculated that Austen’s inspiration for this story came from one of her own experiences.

            I decided to read Pride and Prejudice after seeing the 2005 version of the movie in eighth grade. I loved the movie, but I loved the book even more. It has become one of my favorites! I would definitely recommend it to my friends. However, men might not be particularly enthralled by it because it is mostly a romance. Also, I don’t recommend it to people who don’t like slow or wordy books. I personally don’t like books that are incredibly fast-paced, and one of the things that appeals to me about Pride and Prejudice is the fact that it moves fairly slowly. Still, this is not a boring book by any means. So much happens in its 61 chapters!

            This story may also appeal to anyone who has ever been in an awkward or uncomfortable situation with someone that they are somewhat attracted to. Readers can practically feel the uncomfortable atmosphere in several of Elizabeth and Darcy’s early encounters. For example, while at a ball, Lizzy remarks, “It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy. I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some kind of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples”. Darcy responds by saying that they can talk about whatever she chooses, but he makes no effort to stimulate the conversation, so they remain silent.

            The story's Bennet family is made up of the rational Mr. Bennet and the foolish Mrs. Bennet, who thinks only of finding wealthy men for her daughters to marry. This is the tale of the courtships of the Bennet girls: beautiful and gentle Jane, clever Lizzy, reclusive Mary, silly Kitty, and headstrong Lydia. The story begins with the incorrigible Mrs. Bennet demanding that her husband introduce the family to wealthy Mr. Bingley, who has just moved to Netherfield Park, in the village of Longbourn, where the Bennet residence can also be found. Mrs. Bennet hopes that Bingley will marry one of her daughters. The Bennet family forms a friendship with Mr. Bingley, his sister Caroline, and their friend, Mr. Darcy. In the mean time, the Bennets also become acquainted with one George Wickham, Darcy’s estranged childhood friend. The novel is filled with twisting and turning courtships, and deceitful schemes to both separate and unite various couples.

            Personally, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is one of my absolute favorite books. I know that few teenagers share my taste in literature, but I recommend it to everyone. I would rather you at least give it a try and put it down because you hate it than not try it at all. Who knows, you just might like it, and it could become one of your favorite books!

   - Caroline B.