Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Review of 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen (Audio Book)

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

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the 'most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works,' and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as 'irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.'

My entire Lit Theory class is based on "Pride and Prejudice" as  well as different variations of it.  I have never successfully picked up a physical copy of the book and read it before, so when I tried again for this class, it just wasn't working.  I had to resort to audio books just to get through it.  The language is difficult for me to read and understand, so I was reading it out loud in order to get it any way.  Why not have someone else read it to me while I go to the gym and run laps or wash dishes or clean the bathroom?  While it was still difficult to listen to (and this may be due in part to the fact that I found an older recording read by an older lady) I did make it through the book with a lot of effort.

This is of course a classic story-- the original boy-meets-girl-girl-hates-boy-they-fall-in-love cliche.  The general plot is nice, but the language made it impossible for me to take in everything that I could.  Thank goodness for Sparknotes as well as the different variations of this story.  Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll have a better handle of it.  I think, given enough time, I could work through it on my own without the aid of an audio book.  But this semester is not a good semester for that.  There's so much to do...

The language used is no fault of Jane Austen's.  She lived in a time where there wasn't a lot to do-- visiting/going to parties, playing cards, and reading.  At least this is true for the women of the time.  Since there was a lot of time on their hands, books were very long and very intricate so that it would take longer to finish the book.

I liked how each of Jane Austen's characters is very well-developed.  They're people with stories of their own, not just words on a piece of paper.  Even characters like Mrs. Bennet, who seems shallow quite often throughout the story, has a story of her own and she is a very three-dimensional character if you take the time to delve into her.

After I finish (and start) my 10-page final paper on Pride and Prejudice (I'm going to write about how I don't think that Elizabeth actually loves Darcy, but different circumstances that pushed her into marrying him.  I've been told that this will make loves of Pride and Prejudice quite squeamish) I will be putting this book down for a really long time.  However, I do think that when I do pick up this book again (I think that chances are good that I will pick it up again), I will not need the aid of an audio book, just some time.  I feel a lot more confident reading this book because I've spent so much time with it.

I will ultimately not regret taking Lit Theory and I will not regret spending a semester on Pride and Prejudice.  I don't hate it as much as I thought that I would.

I give 'Pride and Prejudice':
Thanks for Reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!