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Reviews by Madison Haynes

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a genius commentary on societal expectations of both women and men in early 19th century England. At first the novel drags on a bit while Austen “sets the stage” of the novel. While Mr. Darcy is immediately assumed to be Elizabeth’s love interest, his absence from a lot of the novel and the introduction of Mr. Collins as a suitor bewildered me and forced me to rethink my assumptions. I enjoyed the many hurdles that Darcy and Elizabeth had to jump over to fall in love with each other. The most hindering hurdle is Elizabeth’s younger sister Lydia. Lydia is immediately introduced as the annoying stereotypical naïve sister. I enjoyed how her character grew more formidable throughout the novel. While she did become more of a woman, she still retained her childlike stupidity in making adult decisions such as her resolution to run away with Mr. Wickman. This decision affected every character negatively in the novel including Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I quite enjoyed the novel and subtle humor that Jane Austen portrayed. It was brilliantly integrated into her character’s mannerisms and polite manners. Characters such as Elizabeth and Catherine are able to act snarky without being rude and losing the illusion of social mannerisms. Due to these social expectations of the time period, everything in the novel must be simply assumed. Jane Austen does not come out and directly state what is happening, what characters are truly thinking, or what the characters’ dialogues mean. I found this method very obscure and annoying at first, but towards the end of the novel I realized the brilliance of this method of writing. It allows the reader to feel the stifling obscurity of the time. However due to the Victorian diction and the lack of outright plot layout of the novel, some people may find it difficult to read. I personally enjoyed the novel immensely and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a different style of literature or even just a good romance book to read.

Reviewed on 2015.01.05

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