Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Review 4/5

Overall Impression: There’s a reason this book is a classic. pride_and_prejudice_cover

When Elizabeth Bennett meets Mr Darcy, it’s fair to say he doesn’t make the best first impression. Arrogant, condescending and aloof, he’s everything the spirited and clever Elizabeth despises – and that’s before he breaks her sisters heart.
But why, then, do her thoughts turn to him again and again? Slowly, Elizabeth starts to realize that her first impression may have been wrong. But by then it may just be too late…

Expanding on the blurb, Elizabeth Bennet and her five sisters live in a period of time where the main aim of a lady’s life is to marry. To marry for money, to marry for estate, to marry for the sake of your family; but rarely, to marry for love. So when the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives at Netherfield Park along with his sisters and his friend Mr Darcy, Mrs Bennet begins to hear wedding bells.  A ball is held, as they often are in these stories, which gives the Bennett’s a chance to meet their new neighbours. Mr Bingley begins to show an interest in Jane Bennet, and she is all too flattered by the attention. Meanwhile Elizabeth Bennett has the pleasure of meeting Mr Darcy, an arrogant, and rude man, that insults Elizabeth at their first meeting.
One day, when Jane visits the Netherfield estate she is caught in the rain and falls ill. Elizabeth, stubborn as she is, marches straight over to tend to her sister, allowing for further encounters with Mr Darcy, which lead to her becoming even further confused by his sense of character, and his obvious attraction to her.
Upon meeting the soldier Mr Wickham, who is well acquainted with Mr Darcy, Elizabeth tries to get him to fill in the blanks for her. He describes his negative relationship with Mr Darcy and how he was mistreated, and in some respects conned by him. This leaves Elizabeth outraged and even more certain that he’s a wicked man.
However, a turn of events means that Mr Bingley, his sisters and Mr Darcy leave Netherfield Park, leaving Jane behind confused, heartbroken and without a proposal. Elizabeth is adamant that Mr Bingley did not leave of his own accord but was influenced by his sisters and the arrogant Mr Darcy.
Throughout the book Elizabeth continues to have run ins with Mr Darcy, and tries to find the truth behind why Mr Bingley left Netherfield Park. But the more she talks to him, the more her first accounts of him, and others impressions of him don’t add up, and soon Elizabeth begins to realize that maybe first appearances aren’t always what they seem…

So I was somewhat stumped about how to go about reviewing this book. After all, how do you review a classic that’s every inch has been reviewed and analyzed by intelligent people all over the world? The only answer I came up with, was honestly; in my traditional Becky way. So I’ll try to ignore the fact that this book is a classic and review it objectively. 🙂

This book is first and foremost a romance, and secondly an observation of early 19th century society and the role that pride and prejudice plays within it. I thought the plot was structured well, it slowly builds throughout the book and the affection between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth slowly builds with it. However, at points I did find myself getting a bit bored. There were some sections that seemed unnecessarily drawn out, without much actually happening in the scene.
My favorite thing about Pride and Prejudice is the witty banter between Elizabeth and Darcy, I found it extremely entertaining, and superior to the banter you get in more current books.
I thought that the character development was also extremely good. I could picture exactly what Elizabeth Bennett looked like as well as a really strong sense of her personality. She was also realistic, which is something that personally, I find very important with characters in a book. (I know it’s fiction, but no one really wants to read about a perfect individual who has nothing to learn and no flaws.) Equally, Mr Darcy, Jane, Lydia and Mr and Mrs Bennet were also well very well developed characters. That being said, they weren’t particularly characters I liked, could relate to, or looked up to, and I disliked quite a few of Elizabeth’s characteristics; she was too quick to judge people, and often quite ignorant. That being said, I found her character fascinating for these very reasons.
I do like Jane Austen’s writing style. I was surprised actually by how easy I found it to follow the story compared to books such as Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë which left me feeling quite confused in places. However I tended to lose the plot of what was going on if I was trying to read in the noisy school library, or with music in the background. I did notice while reading this book, that certain aspects of her writing have become a little dated. At times, she tells you how the character feels, rather than showing you how the character feels. I found this slightly annoying but as a reader/observer it was also quite interesting to see how writing has developed since 1813, and lets face it, the use of old language is what makes classics, classics!

One more thing I would like to say, is don’t be put off reading the book Pride and Prejudice because you weren’t really bothered by the film version/s or TV dramas. This is what I did. I’ve always quite liked classics such as Sense and Sensibility or Jane Eyre on-screen, but was never really that bothered by Pride and Prejudice. As per usual, the book is much better than the film. The saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ should definitely be changed to ‘never judge a book by it’s movie’.

Writing Style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Entertainment: 3/5
Character Development: 5/5
Would I recommend this book? Yes

Overall: 4/5

16 thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Review 4/5

    • Ahh well I hope you enjoy it once you get around to read it, it’s worth the wait!
      Wow, thank you so much! I will go check it out straight away 🙂

  1. Awesome review, I especially like the way you ended it. It definitely makes me want to read it. I’m planning another book buying spree soon so might have to include this on my list 😀

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 Ahhh I love a good book buying spree, even if my piggy bank disagree’s :S You should definitely get it, that way whenever people go “hey have you read that pride and prejudice classic?” you can go “yes” and sit there in your smugness at being a bookworm 😛

  2. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was a student in high school, so I can’t say I recall too much of it. I was wondering what more you had to say about the character construction/development. I’ve started writing an article (still not complete) about how to build a main character. What other elements of Elizabeth Bennett do you think makes her such a real character? What makes her a strong main character that helps the plot progress well?

    • Hey Myron, thanks for stopping by! I would be happy to expand further, I’m no expert but I do definitely have an opinion 🙂
      The first thing I liked about Elizabeth Bennett was her strength and defiance, the fact that she wouldn’t sit around like many other 19th century girls doing exactly as she was told and being politically correct. If she had a view she felt strongly about, she would say it, even if she knew that the consequences would not necessarily be good. A further point on her character construction is that she has strong family values, even though she doesn’t necessarily get on with her mother or Lydia she still feels the strong need to protect them, and her close relationship with her sister Jane works well as a window into the softer side of Elizabeth’s character.
      Her character helps the plot progress because Elizabeths views on the world and the other characters around her progresses and therefore you are really taken on an emotional journey with her. She starts off very close minded about Mr Darcy seeing only what is on the surface; arrogance and his aloofness (if thats a word?)and very open minded about Mr Wickam seeing only what is on the surfance; quick wit and charm. However as the book continues these views are eventually flipped as Elizabeth begins to understand her flaws and recognise she is too quick to judge people. I think as a reader, being able to see a change in her personality from the beginning of the book to the end is what really makes her a strong main character because we get to see more layers of her personality.
      Haha, wow that was pretty long, but I hope it helps! Come back to me if you have any more questions 🙂

  3. Pingback: [review] Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen | coffeeandwizards

  4. I really enjoyed this book! and I love your review writing style, I’m still trying to find mine 😀 I completely agree with Wuthering heights and it’s confused writing style, I sometimes got a bit lost too haha, much preferred this classic to that one, but I’d definitely recommend Anne Bronte’s the tenant of Wildfell Hall for another good classic 🙂 x

    • I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it and awwh thank you. 😀 I’m sure you will find yours in no time, just think about what you would like a book review to say if you were interested in buying a book. And hey, practice makes perfect, lol!

      Haha yeah it’s definitely confusing, but by the end of it Wuthering Heights became one of my favourite books! I will definitely take you up on that recommendation, I’m hoping to read all of the Bronte’s novels eventually because I’m such a fan of Emily! I have this massive non-fiction book about the family too that I can’t wait to read, and I never read non-fiction. 😛

      • Sounds awesome! The Bronte family has always sounded really interesting, you’ll definitely have to do a review on that! 😀 and hopefully, but very true, I’ll just have to get reading! I’d like to read more Bronte works, just so I can truly determine which sisters writing style I like best, but so far, it’s Anne 😀

      • Hehee I hope so! I think I might read it in the summer after uni has finished so I can really concentrate on it. 🙂 I will definitely write a review.

        Happy reading!

    • Thanks Lindsey. 🙂 I do think that’s one of the best things about Austen’s characters. From the two books of hers I’ve read so far (P&P and Emma) her main characters are always flawed but eventually learn from their mistakes, it’s always great to see how the characters develop.

      I’m glad you liked the review!

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