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    The Lessons of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

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    The novel Pride and Prejudice is about five sisters and the things that happen on their way to getting married. The sisters are Jane, Elizabeth, Kitty, Mary, and Lydia. The Bennet sisters all live with their parents at Longbourn.

    A new neighbor comes to live in the area of the family, named Mr. Bingley. Bingley catches the interest of most everyone in the area, but he seems to be especially fond of Jane. Bingley’s friend, Mr.Darcy, is not so well taken as Bingley himself is. Darcy is seen as too proud and overall not as nice a person as Bingley, but both are wealthy. Mr. Collins, the cousin, and heir to the Bennet estate, asked Elizabeth to marry him and she said no. Close to this time Bingley, Darcy and the rest of their group left Netherfield to go back to London. This left Jane alone and although she acted fine about it most of the time, she was upset about Bingley going.

    The sisters received letters from Caroline Bingley, they told of Bingley’s likely marriage to Darcy’s sister. The news just about ended the idea of Jane and Bingley marrying. Elizabeth got to know an officer named Wickham, who has a connection to Darcy and to other characters later. Elizabeth learns different things about Mr. Wickham and mostly loses interest in him after he is engaged to another woman.

    He did tell her about some bad things that Darcy did to him though, which gave Elizabeth a bad opinion about him. Elizabeth has many meetings with Mr. Darcy at different places. Each time she is puzzled at the way Darcy acts towards her. Other people keep telling her he likes her, but Elizabeth does not listen.

    She does not realize it fully until he asks to marry her and Elizabeth says no. When the redcoats leave, Lydia goes with on of the officers and his wife. While there, she runs off with Mr. Wickham, but does not get married.

    This is a great disgrace to the family, so it must be fixed. After some discussion and debts are paid off, Mr. Darcy ends up paying so that Wickham will marry Lydia. Mrs.Bennet is really happy about the marriage and so is Lydia, but Elizabeth knows Wickham well now, so is not as pleased. Bingley and Darcy come back to Netherfield and are constant visitors at the Bennet house. After a few times, Bingley asks Jane to finally marry him and she excepts. Darcy, who usually visited along with Bingley, continued to act strangely when visiting the Bennets.

    Many rumors had spread that Darcy was going to ask Elizabeth to marry her, but nothing had happened yet. Some people were opposed to the wedding, but Elizabeth excepted and the two got married. In Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice, I believe that the main theme of the book is the battle of the contrasting personalities and opinions of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The two characters are barely ever in agreement and when together are usually arguing about something.

    Darcy often lets his pride get in the way of his feelings and lets that be the thing that most people remember about him. While Elizabeth is very disagreeable at times herself. She seems to find a prejudice about just about everything, and she has no problem letting people know it. A driving force of the book was the constant arguments that Elizabeth and Darcy had about social matters and the opinions that he or she had on them.

    The novel has many points that are important or intricate parts to the plot, but only one scene stands out in my mind to being the turning point of Pride and Prejudice. The scene in the parsonage, between Elizabeth and Darcy, when he asks for her hand in marriage is the turning point of the book. It makes the true feelings of Darcy, which were hinted at many times, known to Elizabeth. Darcy does something unlike himself and shares his feelings. In the manor that he does it in, with all of the insults to the Bennets and Elizabeth directly, he does not come off as well as he would have liked. That is one of the reasons for Elizabeth’s refusal, along with the things that Wickham had told her about Darcys’ bad treatment.

    I believe that this is the turning point because Elizabeth can now not view Darcy the same way, she does not yet feel the same way, but she knows his feelings and it changes part of her perception of him. Darcy is now left more open to act as new way to her and it showed me that with some changes to happen soon, the two of them would be getting married. In 1813 when Jane Austin wrote Pride and Prejudice, I do not think she realized how good a view of young people she had. While reading the book I thought that it is still true in todays time period. The actions of the sisters to each other and to there parents are timeless, along with how interested Kitty and Lydia were in young men.

    They chased after the redcoats as girls go after athletes today. The importance of money is also a very typical concept in finding a partner today. The amount is different, but all is basically the same. I liked this aspect of the book, I found it extremely interesting that life back in the 1800s has not changed so drastically from the way some things are today.

    The similarities between the two periods are not exactly the same, though they did some many signs of the same ideas. A part of the book I disliked was how it only showed the point of view of the female character. I realize that was the way the book was written, but I would have liked to get a better sense for what other characters like Darcy or Bingley were feeling at different times. One time was when Darcy was half listening in on the conversation between Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet during the dance at Netherfield.

    They were talking about different matter, such as Bingley and Elizabeth getting married, she gave you the feeling that Darcy did not seem to like what he was hearing, but you did not learn that for sure until later in the novel. Most of the things that I wondered about were explained later in the book, just a few times I still wished she had just told the brief thoughts of more male characters in the book. The language used in the book was at times, hard to understand to me. Since the book was written almost two hundred years ago in England it is understandable to have some language differences. I found the meanings of things that characters were saying hard to figure out, it did not take away from me following the main idea of the novel, but made it more difficult to smoothly read.

    Lydia (pg. 185) said one such line, I am glad I bought my bonnet, if it is only for the fun of having another bandbox! The meaning of that line is far beyond me, but I did not see that it had any deep meaning in the novel aside from getting a better sense for the character of Lydia. After reading the entire book I took the opinion that I did not really like the book. It was extremely well written and had many amusing parts, but the topic itself was just not one that I have any interest in. The book dealt with five sisters and their dealings with getting married. I do not think that too many males my age would find muchinterest in such a topic.

    At some points in the novel they mentioned the redcoats and other army type things, but not once did they talk about a battle or even a small fight in a local pub. That would have kept my interest for a longer period of time then all the talk of marriage and how tolerable people are. Jane (pg. 14) says, He is just what a young man ought to be, sensible, good-humored, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!-so much ease, with such perfect good breeding! Those lines and many other like them, in no way helped me to like the book anymore. Only the witty comments of Mr.Bennet could make up for all of the talking of marriage. I believe the book was worth reading and a good book, but not one I would normally read on my own.

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