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One of my favourite books as a teenager was Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice

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Introduction

6th April 03 Dear Annie, As you know, I had been doing a lot of reading lately. I had just finished reading a wonderful book called Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin. I would like to recommend this book to you. I felt that the book is not only a book containing one of the most cherished love stories in English literature. It also brings out the two other main themes very clearly-reputation and class. They may seem insignificant to present day living, but after reading through the analyzing it, I realized it did. The main character, Lizzie Bennett is definitely a character that I admired and wanted to be. She was intelligent, funny, sarcastic and beautiful. The main plot of the book is Mrs. Bennett's obsessive search for husbands for her five daughters. ...read more.

Middle

The author does sound some more realist notes about love, using the character of Charlotte Lucas, who marries the buffoon Mr. Collins for his money, to demonstrate that the heart does not always dictate marriage. Yet with her central characters, the author suggests that true love is a force separate from society and one that can conquer even the most difficult of circumstances. Pride and Prejudice depicts a society in which a woman's reputation is of the utmost importance. A woman is expected to behave in certain ways. Stepping outside the social norms makes her vulnerable to ostracism. This theme appears in the novel, when Mrs. Bennett walks to Netherfield and arrives with muddy skirts, to the shock of the reputation-conscious Miss Bingley and her friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

While the Bennets, who are middle class, may socialize with the upper class Bingleys and Darcys, they are clearly their social inferiors and are treated as such. The author satirizes this kind of class-consciousness, particularly in the character of Mr. Collins, who spends most of his time toadying to his upper class patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Though Mr. Collins offers an extreme example, he is not the only one to hold such views. His conception of the importance of class is shared, among others. Mr. Collins's views are merely the most extreme and obvious. The satire directed at Mr. Collins is therefore also more subtly directed at the entire social hierarchy and the conception of all those within it at its correctness, in complete disregard of other, more worthy virtues. I hope that you would read this beautiful classic and you would understand more about love, reputation and class. Your friend, Li Anne ...read more.

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