BOOK REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice
One of the most popular novels in English literature, Pride and Prejudice is unarguably the best work of Jane Austen. Published in the 19th century, this classic continues to capture the fascination of modern readers.
The story revolves around protagonist Elizabeth and her Bennet family. Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughters (their second daughter is Elizabeth), but none of them can inherit his property (at that time, only a male member could inherit the property). Thus, in order to support the family after Mr Bennet, it is important that one of the daughters marries a rich person. Hence, getting her daughters married becomes the only business of Mrs Bennet’s life.
The book begins with Mrs Bennet trying to persuade her husband to visit a new entrant in their neighbourhood, an eligible bachelor Mr Bingley. The visit leads to an invitation to a ball where the daughters are introduced to his equally eligible bachelor friend, Mr Darcy. However, the rich, handsome and proud Darcy fails to create any positive impression on their minds. Further, he insults Elizabeth by refusing to dance with her as he doesn’t find her “handsome enough to tempt” him. This rudeness lays the foundation upon which Elizabeth begins to judge Darcy. While her knowledge about him breeds contempt for the man, this isn’t the case with Darcy who falls in love with her. But such is the dislike that Elizabeth develops for Darcy that when he proposes her hand, she flatly refuses. The story traces the ups and downs of their life, their prejudices, arrogance, love and regrets.
The book is often described as one of the most satisfying love stories ever written. Try reading it and you will realise why it is simply unputdownable.