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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice was originally written between 1796 and 1797 under the name of "First Impressions" but was never published under that title. Following revisions it was published on the 28th January 1813 by Mr. Egerton of the military Library. The book is set in the late 18th century in Hertfordshire and focuses on a wealthy land owning family called the Bennett's. The Bennett's only have daughters which means eventually when Mr. Bennett dies his estate will be left to a cousin Mr. Collins. This leaves the garrulous Mrs. Bennett constantly searching for rich husbands to marry her daughters. Although the novel is written in 3rd person, Austen only depicts scenes in which the second oldest daughter Elizabeth is present. The content of the novel is the story of Elizabeth, of how she and Darcy arrive at a nuptial happiness by a long tiresome route. ...read more.

Middle

Lydia gains a husband who is treacherous in love and business, devoid of conscience and widely disliked. In defence of this Lydia seems that her love is sincere though Wickham is unworthy of it. There seems little love present in the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hurst. For them it is more a convenience. Their real loves lying elsewhere. Both understand this so they are contented in their marriage; they have no real love, but seem not to worry over, this. In a sense they are well-matched. This cannot be said for Mr. and Mrs. Bennett.In her youth Mrs. Bennett had beauty and her silliness did not bother Mr. Bennett. Now that his youthful ardour and her beauty have gone, while her silliness has grown, he feels painfully a lack of companionship. His wife does not talk intelligently to him, being preoccupied with society, balls, fashion and match-making. Mr. Bennett finds this irritating but does not blame his wife. ...read more.

Conclusion

She does not, as an author, tend to pass judgement on social institutions or manners, but may depict them in a humorous and unflattering light. In describing a character she may be critical but the insight is seen in what the characters do and say. Austen is not a highly comic writer: much of what she has to say is serious and without ironical intent and 'the novel's main characters are not especially amusing. Elizabeth can be mischievous and finds others entertaining. Elizabeth finds Darcy amusing, in his supposed self importance, at first but soon regards him seriously, first with bitterness, then, in due course, sympathy leading to affection. Over all I found the novel quite a challenging read however I was surprised that I found it enjoyable. I found the book refreshing as I had never read a novel from this period before. Austen has created a humorous story but with some serious underlying topics for the reader to contemplate. The story has many different dimensions but the main story of Darcy and Elizabeth keeps the reader captivated wondering if they would ever become a couple. ...read more.

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