Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possesion of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...."

Thus begins one of the greatest romance classics in English literature. Elizabeth Bennet is the daughter of a country gentleman, the second of four sisters, with a fine sense of the ridiculous, no dowry, and questionable beauty. The eldest sister, Jane, is compared to an angel, and rightly so, for Jane is beautiful, thoughtful, sweet, amiable... and in some ways boringly lovable. Mary is the third sister, who ought to have been a preacher, for she believes herself very wise and well-informed. As Mary is the only plain daughter in a family of beauties, she dedicates herself to music and singing... which ought to have resulted in great musical achievement but for the fact that she is almost tone-deaf, has a horrendous voice, and has no taste of music whatsoever. Catherine comes next. She is known as the sister who has no personality of her own and, therefore, follows the youngest, Lydia, around like a lost puppy. As for Lydia, she is all that is loud, brazen, and impolite, with no manners to speak of. Their father is in the possession of a very dry sense of humor and a great love of books. Mrs. Bennet is best described as a twit, with the voice of a yowling cat and one goal in life, to get all five daughters married.

When 2 eligible bachelors enter the neighborhood, the entire town is thrown into a frenzy of excitement. Mr. Charles Bingley is all that is amiable and friendly, pleasant to look at, and "in possesion of a good fortune". He is immediately taken with Jane, and Jane returns his affections. To Elizabeth, they are indeed the perfectly matched couple.

The second gentleman is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, tall, dark, and handsome (more along the lines of drop-dead gorgeous). He comes from a very prestigious and noble lineage, is his own master, and is very, very, very wealthy (10,000 pounds). However,(there is always a however, for such perfect men do not exist even in literature) Darcy is proud, arrogant, aloof, and thought to be above everyone around him. And insulting Elizabeth isn't the wisest thing he did, right below falling in love with her immediately afterwards. She thinks he's a jerk, and he'd rather die than admit a love for a woman of no connections, wealth, or anything to recommend her. Even the most neutral of topics end up with sparks flying. His pride and her prejudice remain a great obstacle on the road to happiness... so great an obstacle that after a series of tragic events, it is very doubtful whether that happiness will ever be reached.... Eileen Y.

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