PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Fear and desire according to Jane Austen

Written in the early XVIII Century, “Pride and Prejudice” is Jane Austen’s most popular and loved novel – but not really her best. One of the first works she wrote, the novel is sometimes a little undercooked compared to her most complex works, like “Emma” and “Persuasion”, however, it is still a joy to read. In this book, she created her most famous romantic hero in Mr Darcy, an unforgettable stubborn who makes a perfect match to Lizzie Bennet. They were meant for each other.

The only problem is that they haven’t figured it our. On the other hand, any reader can realize it from the first moment the couple meet. In other words, we do know how the book ends, so why do so many people keep reading, and rereading this novel? One reason is that Austen has created some very believable characters – and also very endearing. That’s because they are very human. Lizzie and Mr Darcy have very wrong first impressions of each other when they met and that’s why it takes so long for accepting their mutual love.

In this sense, “Pride and Prejudice” is a story about overcoming our prides and our prejudices acquire in the first impression, and changing one’s mind. Both Lizzie and Mr Darcy realize before the end of the story they were made for each other – but the problem is that their wrong impressions lead them to make choices that become barriers to their love. The path they will have to follow in order to find the fully accomplishment of their mutual feelings is the strongest plot in the novel.

At the same time, the reader is fed with details about class and courtship from the time the book was written. In Jane Austen’s work, her characters are sometimes like small figurines that represent the whole world – or at least England. And the writer does it with charm and style. Her books are a document of a time, tackling its fashions, moral and behavior.

Peguin Classics is probably the best edition, since it has many notes and an extensive introduction, dealing not only with Austen’s works in general, but also with an detailed essay on this book. “Pride and Prejudice” is one of those books that will be read forever, and should be read from people in different time of their lives. We find different approaches, and understanding as we grow older.


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