Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Published: 1813 (Vintage Classics edition by Penguin Random House)
Genre: Classics, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars – ★★★★.5
Synopsis: When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy she is repelled by his overbearing pride, and prejudice towards her family. But the Bennet girls are in need of financial security in the shape of husbands, so when Darcy’s friend, the affable Mr. Bingley, forms an attachment to Jane, Darcy becomes increasingly hard to avoid. Polite society will be turned upside down in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, and love—Jane Austen’s classic romance novel.
If you know me, you might know that I have a terrible track record with classics. I haven’t read many American/British ones, because I never had to. Yet the world seems to love them, and I want to know why. So I tried to read The Great Gatsby, which I loathe. I tried reading, The Picture of Dorian Gray which I found okay. And I tried to read Frankenstein, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. But Pride and Prejudice is the first classic to truly engage me.
This was the first time I actually cared about the main character, and wanted her life to be okay. Wanted her family to be okay (fine, I just wanted Jane to be okay…). I was eager to pick it back up every time I had to put it down, which has never happened before with a classic. And lastly, it was much easier to read than I thought it would be.
I also really enjoyed the characters, and how invested I got in their lives. I adore Jane, and want a friend like her. I adore Lizzie, because she’s kind yet honest -and sees her own mistakes. I adore Mr. Bingley, although I wish he wouldn’t be so naive. I even liked Mr. Darcy. I wanted to bitch slap Miss Bingley, and kick Mr. Collins in the nuts. I also wanted Mrs. Bennett to stop talking forever.
I thought Lizzie was an amazing main character! She cared so much about her family. She was honest, and kind, and firm in her beliefs. I also think she was quite the feminist for her time. I highlighted several quotes that were demeaning towards women -which of course would have been nothing special in that time.
Overall, I loved it. And I immediately watched 2 adaptations: the 2005 movie, and the 1995 mini series. No, I hadn’t seen either before…
‘That is very true,’ replied Elizabeth, ‘and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.’
‘There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.’
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Like I said, after finishing the book I decided to watch this movie. I had never seen it before -maybe I was one of the only people on this planet who hadn’t. I just never wanted to watch it before reading the book, and I kept putting off the book because I am afraid of reading classics.
Because this was only 2 hours, a lot of the character development had to be cut. That’s understandable, of course. Yet I thought the main events were portrayed quite faithfully, even using the original quotes and sentences most of the time.
I loved Keira Knightley as Elizabeth. I usually love Keira anyway, but I think she does really well in these historical type of movies. I loved her performance in Atonement too. Somehow, she just feels right in these historical settings? I have no idea why. Buy I think she did a great job.
I actually really enjoyed this movie. Was the turn of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth rather abrupt at the end? Yes. That’s what happens when you cut out a lot of the development. But it was still great, in my opinion.
Pride and Prejudice (1995): 6 episodes
Liam at Hey Ashers! said that I should really watch this adaptation too. As it has 6 episodes of 1 hour each, it’s a much more faithful adaptation. I followed said advice happily -thanks Liam!
This is the best adaptation of a book that’s ever been made, I think. Because it’s basically 6 hours long, it includes EVERYTHING. From sentences to scenes. It’s quite literally the book on screen. I know that’s what every adaptation is supposed to be, but I think we can all agree that that almost never happens.
I loved this adaptation too. I enjoyed the story, even though it was so fresh in my mind still. I liked the actors. The scenery was beautiful. It was just incredible, to be honest. I think if I could have had Keira Knightley in this, I would have been overjoyed. Not that Jennifer Ehle doesn’t do a wonderful job! She’s an amazing Elizabeth too. But like I said, something about Knightley just feels right in these historical settings.
I only wonder, does Mrs. Bennett always have to have such a horrifying voice?? Honestly, I think it may have given me a head ache at one point…
Overall, I adore this adaptation too. I actually enjoyed a story in all three formats: book, movie and TV show. I don’t think that has ever happened before. If you haven’t read P&P, do so. If you haven’t watched the movie, do so. If you haven’t watched this mini series, do so. Just read, and watch it all. You won’t regret it, I promise.
This was my first Jane Austen novel, but I’ll definitely continue and read more of her works. I have a copy of Northanger Abbey, so I figure that’ll be next for me.