Like regular movie, TV show, and book reviews, HA Reviews has students review pieces that interest them. This week, senior Alexa Szafranski reviews Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a book that follows the five Bennet sisters and their experiences growing up.
This year, I began working my way down Business Insider's 100 books everyone should read before they die. Although I've gone slightly out of order, I recently finished the second book on the list, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and was beyond surprised with how much I actually enjoyed the book.
In general, I feel we're forced to read books that are considered classics, and a lot of the time I do not enjoy them. For instance, my English class recently read William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and I hated it. I thought the plot was idiotic, the characters were strange, and that the book overall was weirdly written. As I started Pride and Prejudice, I was nervous of again being disappointed by a so-called iconic book. Yet as I read the Austen's novel, I really enjoyed the Bennet family and their dysfunctional dynamic.
In the opening chapters of the book, we meet the Bennet sisters: Jane, Elizabeth (Lizzy), Mary, Catherine, and Lydia. Set in the Georgian Era, the girls (and their mother) all have one goal: to get married. The novel specifically follows the romance of Elizabeth and her seemingly rude match, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Through their enemies to lovers story, I could not help but ship them by the end of the book, even though I thought he was such a jerk in the beginning.
The "secondary" couple in the play is Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet. To me, their romance represents the basic and sappy love stories we see everywhere. Although they are split up (by Darcy) for some time, I could predict that they would end up back together. I did not love their story simply because I thought it was boring, but I was happy they ended up together by the end of the book.
Austen writes in a way that even the characters you hate, you love. For example, Mrs. Bennet is an obnoxious mother and has extreme mood swings. She shows clear favorites in regards to her children, kisses-up to the wealthy, and constantly berates her husband. Yet, I could not help but laugh at her snarky comments and appreciate how much she values her daughters' success.
My favorite part of the book was when Darcy confessed his love to Lizzy in Rosings and she flat out rejects him. I just find it so funny that he just showed up, expressed his love, and expected her to just feel the exact same way. Here, Darcy uses his pride to guide him and Lizzy yields to her prejudices before hearing his side of the story. This turning point in the novel truly defines their relationship in my opinion.
The only thing I disliked about this book was the language it was written in. I understand Austen wrote it during the early 1800s, so the style is consistent with the time, but I cannot help but wish it was rewritten in modern language. This type of thing is definitely something we would analyze in an English class while reading the novel, which makes me glad I got to analyze it on my own.
Pride and Prejudice has a little bit of everything. Austen gives us romance, mystery, comedy, and suspense throughout the book. In my opinion, its variety helps it appeal to every type of person, and I highly recommend you read it if you haven't already.
Buy Pride and Prejudice Here.
Click Here To See Business Insider's Full List of 100 books everyone should read before they die.