Initially, I was very hesitant on reading Pride and Prejudice. I was certain that I would not enjoy it, simply because I did not usually read books of the romantic genre. However, after spending a considerable amount of time reading and analyzing the novel, it is safe to say that my opinion of the book has changed quite a bit. And although there were certain things that I did not particularly enjoy, the pros of the novel definitely outweighed the cons in the end.
Let’s start with Elizabeth Bennet. From the very start, she caught my attention as a stubborn and sharp tongued woman. The fact that she was so different, in the sense that she consistently refused to conform to society’s rules and regulations, caused me to admire the strength of her character, even when others told her to act like the other women her age. Rather than act the way society expected females to in public, Elizabeth defied all expectations and adamantly continued to follow whatever her heart told her; this was prominently displayed when she continued to look for a love marriage even after hearing about the entail, which would leave her penniless and without a home once Mr. Bennet died, unless she found a wealthy husband to support her.
Jane Austen’s unique writing style was another reason why I grew to love this novel. The way in which she satirized the social stratification of the genders served to emphasize her point, that a person’s social standing did not necessarily determine the compatibility of their marriage, as displayed by the vast difference between Elizabeth and Darcy’s social status. This added humour, which helped me get through the book. I also admired the complexity of the characters, especially regarding Elizabeth and Darcy. Their story did not start with love at first sight; to the contrary, they despised each other from the very beginning, despite gradually falling in love with each other over the course of the story. This felt refreshing for me, because I had seen far too many love stories where the protagonist found love at first sight.
However, as much as I enjoyed this novel, there were certain things that made the book harder to get through and actually finish. For one, I felt that the first part of the novel was dull and uninteresting; I had to force myself to continue reading through the first few chapters, and even then it took a bit long for us to see Elizabeth and Darcy’s character development. Something else that bothered me was the constant barrage of names that Jane Austen always seemed to keep delivering throughout the course of the story; I kept mixing up the names of different places and always seemed to forget who was related to who (I don’t know if anyone else felt the same way). For me, this hindered the flow of the novel, as I spent far too many times going back and searching the name for something. Aside from these minor complaints, however, I really enjoyed reading Pride and Prejudice.