Special Supplement, Heroes of History

Pride and Prejudice

Best book by Austen

Published : 18 Jul 2019 06:19 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 10:47 AM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that some stories are capable of resisting the passage of time.

‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a book that speaks to everyone across the centuries, with engaging characters and a well-planned plot around the fairy tale classic of a poor girl growing up and (eventually) marrying her Prince Charming.

But the book is more than just the template for every romance novel and Mills & Boon written since. Philosophers and literary scholars are just some of the experts have chosen Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as essential reading on their topic.

In her most recognized work, Austen tells us the story of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet, the second of five daughters of a rural family. Her father is the owner of Longbourn state, but given that he does not have a son to inherit the property, the same must go to a cousin of his, leaving his daughters economically unsustained when he dies. It is then a matter of great importance for at least one of the sisters to marry well, and so, be able to support the others. The person who is more enthusiastic when it comes to carrying on that plan is Mrs. Bennet, whose biggest wish is to have all their daughters married. The move of a wealthy gentleman to the neighborhood seems to be what this lady has been waiting for.

Mr. Bingley, the new tenant of Netherfield Park, arrives at his new home with the company of her two beautiful sisters and one of his closest friends, Mr. Darcy. During the first party the group attends to it becomes clear that the personalities of the two friends are quite different: Bingley is good-tempered, kind and sociable, while Darcy is quiet, distant and cold. The first gets enchanted at once with Jane, Lizzy’s older sister, while Darcy looks with disdain at all the ladies in the room, getting to the point of saying that he does not consider Lizzy “pretty enough” to dance with him, a comment that comes to ears of the aforementioned and starts a kind of unspoken rivalry between them.

As the story goes on, both these characters get to know each other more and begin to revise their respective opinion about the other, but their personalities and the people and situations they meet along the way will make it difficult for them to accept and address their growing feelings towards each other. The pride of the one and the prejudices of the other are certainly capable of tearing them apart.