viernes, 20 de mayo de 2016

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen [Review]

Title: pride and prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Date published: January 28, 1813
Price: From $4 to $10 USD
Buy it: Amazon

Edition I read:
Orgullo y prejuicio (Spanish translation)
Publisher: Alfaguara
Translator: Alejandro Pareja Rodríguez
Date published: July, 2007
Pages: 382


Hello, this is my first review and I decided to do it of the last book I read, Pride and Prejudice by Jane

Mr. Darcy saying Elizabeth is not
 pretty enought to tempt him. 
Austen. This book is a romance classic; it's surprising that despite being published in 1813, it’s still quite popular and successful.

I think I’m one of few persons that read this book before watching any of its TV adaptations, so everything was new to me as I didn't have a clear idea of what the plot was about, I only knew it was a romance novel.  I decided to read it because I don’t like that genre and I wanted to read something I’m not used to.

This novel is set during the change of the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, and it mainly tells the story of the Bennet family. The Bennet’s consist of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and their five daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, whose ages range between 15 and 23 years old, and are all marriageable. The purpose of Mrs. Bennet is to marry her daughters to secure their future, because when her husband dies everything they have will pass to a cousin. They live their normal lives when a young man, with a considerable fortune, comes to town. That man is Mr. Bingley accompanied by his sisters, his brother in law, and his friend, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley is a kind man and soon is interested in Jane, while Mr. Darcy is a proud and arrogant guy who ends up being despised by Elizabeth.

Things get more interesting after the arrival of Mr. Wickham at the military regiment; he is an old acquaintance and enemy of Mr. Darcy. Wickham and Darcy have different stories about how their enmity began, and Elizabeth will end up having to decide who is being honest. Is Wickham the victim and Darcy a monster? Or is Wickham a liar and Darcy the innocent one?

Elizabeth refusing to
 dance with Mr. Darcy.
While I was reading this book I tried to keep in mind that this is an old story, in a completely unknown society to me. if I hadn’t done that, the story would have been kind of boring. The novel revolves around marriage, not so much around love because at that time they had to focus in finding an economically stable man. To find a rich man was more important than love.  That was something I didn’t like at all, but I  try to understand that it was a cultural issue at the time, though things haven’t changed so much.

Pride and Prejudice shows us a hypocrite society. Many characters don’t show their true colors until later in the plot, while others never change, but this does not mean they have a good personality. Many of them are annoying, banal, and conceited and only few have common sense. I think this was the author's intention, because, as far as I know, this book is a satire of society and stereotypes of the England of that time.
The diversity of characters and personalities in the book is great. Austen did an excellent job with character development; you can actually feel emotions for them or identify with some of them.

Another thing that I liked of the book is the narrative. It tries to go straight forward omitting unnecessary information, it is more narration than dialogue, which prevents the book to become a script. The author made frequent use of jumps in time, if nothing interesting was happening, all that was omitted and suddenly some weeks had passed, moving to a point where something interesting and important to the plot happened.

Within this jumps in time, there was something I didn’t like, the ending seemed very rushed to me. After the long awaited love declaration, almost immediately you get an "and they lived happily ever after." I would've liked to read a little more about the weddings or what happened to other characters.
I must be honest and say that if I had not had in mind the time when the book was written, their romance would have been disappointing. The characters didn't know each other long enough to fall in love, and in the case of Elizabeth and Darcy, they argue most of the time. I don’t' understand how the romance between them arose, I feel that it was rather gratitude from her than true love. To be the first novel of this genre that I read, I was expecting a more passionate romance, there is never a kiss on the book, and there are very few words of love between couples.

The long awaited  final
love declaration.
I also must admit that, to me, Mr. Darcy seemed despicable at first. I didn't understand why so many people seem to like him, he is a proud and arrogant guy, and although his social status allowed him to feel superior to others, it doesn’t justify him ... yet when I finished reading the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about him, he is a charming character, in a way I can’t describe. 

Pride and Prejudice is a novel with a slow start, and well, is always slow paced because there is no action of any kind, however, it allows us to know a little more about the lifestyle and culture of the time. It focuses exclusively on the lives of the characters, as it doesn’t mention any historical event. If you like old stories and typical romances from hate to love, I recommend this book. If you are looking for a book with action or a passionate romance ... I also recommend it, it’s an interesting reading.

As additional data, this book has many adaptations for both, films and TV, the most popular adaptarions are the 1995 BBC series, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. In addition there are several stories based on this novel, like the television series, Lost in Austen from 2008, the Bollywood film titled Bride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary, and the recently adapted to film, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

No hay comentarios.:

Publicar un comentario