Pride and Prejudice

Monday, August 24, 2020

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, 1813

I first read Pride and Prejudice back in high school, and I remember enjoying it very much. I thought about rereading it a few years ago when I tried reading and was utterly bored by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

A few months ago, I was reminded of my plan to reread it by a bunch of memes about life in lockdown being like living in an Austen novel (limited contact with those outside the household, courting through letters, etc.) 

Seeking something engaging but light, I picked this book up again. And it was... fine, I guess.

I was still largely charmed by the style of the prose, but I had forgotten the entire plot. I can't recall what I thought of it back in high school, but on this read-through, I couldn't get past how petty the characters are. I'm not talking about the initial misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Darcy, I'm talking about the "funny" way Elizabeth and her father look down on everyone, especially her mother and younger sisters.

Not to mention the whole plot around Lydia. The narrative does eventually take pains to make it seem like she is obnoxious enough to deserve her fate, but I can not accept a strained, loveless marriage as just punishment for being an impulsive, boy-crazy teenager. 

This last critique is probably due to being used to more modern, or at least more overt, portrayals of emotion, but I found it downright bizarre that the actual love confession scene between Darcy and Elizabeth was barely on the page. Instead, it is led up to and then described somewhat obliquely. 

Overall I found this reread somewhat disappointing.

2 Stars, an Okay Book.

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