There is a sharp contrast if one is reading classic literature from the popular best-seller books today. I always believe that anyone should put a mind set before picking up a good classic like Jane Austen novels. I must admit that I was hesitant to pick up Austen books for the mere reason that the type of writing is totally different in comparison to how authors write now. Take for example this quote:
“If a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.”
Pride & Prejudice
I am used to reading simple verses if I may say. So if this quote is written today it would be:
“If a woman likes a man and she is not hesitant to show him her interest, he must obviously know and oblige her.”
Hahahaha! Or something like that. Close to that if I am not mistaken.
You see it is quite a challenge to read classics because for obvious reasons that the plot of classical literature is base on the “pop culture” at that time on what was considered to be “IN”.
So I was up for a challenge as I ran out of reading a good book and “Pride & Prejudice" was lounging for too long in our bookshelf so finally I decided to flip its pages. Now before you read any Jane Austen novel one must consider that women those days are expected to marry within their class, or even marry their relatives for the sake of succession and wealth. If not one must marry for convenience, security was more important than love. Love was trivial!
And so “Pride and Prejudice” starts with this quote:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”
And so when a handsome and handsomely wealthy gentleman moved into a quiet English town of Meryton the Bennets were up for a surprise especially because the Bennets is comprised of the Mr. & Mrs. and five daughters which can only mean that all five are in search and in need of a suitable husband. Wealth was the top priority that Mrs. Bennet needed for any future husbands to be for her five daughters and comically stubborn as she is Mrs. Bennet is not taking NO for an answer. He needs to have at least 4000 pounds a year for him to be considered as appealing. 4000 a year was indeed a vast amount of money which this handsomely wealthy gentlemen have and so the Mrs. was keen, indeed very keen to “auction” her daughters to the new comer in town, and so our story begins.
Mr. Bingley settles in Meryton with him he brings the upper class air of London society but more importantly he brought with him the ever indignant and full of pride and infamous Mr. Darcy. So will these gentlemen ever find a suitable match enough for their wealth and stature? Or will they find that country girls are too drab or even uncompromising, as uncompromising as our protagonist Elizabeth.
I find the whole novel very interesting! Comical and romantic at the same time. How people change their views of someone simple because they have wealth and status in society. Some marry for love but when the tides get rough will they end up having regrets of marrying for sentiment, and preferring to marry for security sake instead? Will our protagonist marry for love? Or will Elizabeth marry for security? Which weighs in better?
After reading the novel I obviously went into “youtube research” and luckily found films/series dedicated to “Pride & Prejudice” and so it put more definition into the book. I think it has become rewarding to read “Pride & Prejudice” simply because it gave me a good contrast of how authors write then and now. I must admit I prefer classical authors they are so refined in their work and they take so much pride in their stories.
This would not be my last Jane Austen read, because of “Pride & Prejudice” I am now in a quest for more classical read.
I give this book a 4 out of 5.
Enjoy the indulgence of reading a book for not a lot us now have the luxury to do so.