So, it’s the last day of the month and you know what that means… CLASSICS CHALLENGE MONTHLY WRAP UP!
Challenge: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Status: Complete with days to spare!
Pride and Prejudice is one of those books that I’m always ashamed to say I’ve never read. We had to read it in high school… but as I didn’t really read ANY books in high school (minus period romance novels) I may have skipped this one and opted to read the Cliff’s Notes.
That being said, I lovvvveeeee the story of P&P! The romance is slow and burning. Elizabeth Bennett is full of wit and sharp as a tack. Mr. Darcy is the love interest we compare all love interests too. He was portrayed by Colin freakin Firth for crying out loud!
I’ve wanted to read P&P for a long time now and I’m oh so happy I did! So let’s begin:
First, while I’m a huge fan of reading books BEFORE I see the movies, in this case I’m glad I’ve seen the movies of P&P numerous times. It was nice going into the book knowing the characters, knowing the story, and knowing what happens to them. It gave me a chance to better understand motives and actions. I think had I not known these things going in, I would have been lost. Not going to lie… Jane Austen was VERY hard for me to read.
Which bring me to my next thought, the language of the book. As I was going through it I kept thinking back to the scene in You’ve Got Mail where Meg Ryan is talking about how much she loves P&P and saying things like how she loves the words in it, like “felicity” (also, this word was in there way too much). I’ve gotta agree with Meg; I LOVED the language. Sure, there were scenes where I got completely lost and thought “okay, what the f did I just read?” but then there were also times that I got lost in the beautiful words, words, words.
One thing that was very fun to me was seeing these characters that I already LOATHED from the movies in writing and comparing my before and after feelings towards them. Example: Mr. Collins. Can. Not. Stand. Him. He completely makes my skin crawl after reading him in the book. Now, I don’t think he’s a BAD character – in fact, I think he’s one of the most well-written characters. He’s just… ugh. The whole time I read I couldn’t help but think “Okay, Charlotte has to have sex with this man? EWWW!” Like I got why she wanted to marry him, she was completely happy being a wife, having her own house, being taken care of… but I think when I realized that she’d have to perform “wifely duties” (i.e. have sex with him) I think it finally hit me how disgusting the idea of forced/arranged/convenient marriage could be.
Another character I loathe: Lydia Bennett. Now, I think she’s totes adorbs in the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, so going in I was prepared to give her another chance. However, I was quickly reminded WHY I hated her. She’s just such a bitchy brat that I want to slap whenever her name is mentioned. Her whole running away with Wickham and marrying him… ugh. I mean, that situation wouldn’t have been so bad had she understood just how scandalous it all was and didn’t go parading around her behavior, which was a total embarrassment to her family!
My one disappointment with the book is the ending. While I LOVE that Darcy and Elizabeth got together and it was super romantic… I was a bit sad there wasn’t kissing. I know, I know… I shouldn’t force my loose 21st century ways (namely kissing before you’re married) on the book, but I wanted kissing!
Overall, I loved Pride and Prejudice. I’m extremely happy I read it and fell in love with it like everyone said I would. It’s definitely a story that has stood the test of time but has touched so many people’s lives. And now, including mine!
Favorite line: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”- Fitzwilliam Darcy