‘Pride and Prejudice’ Book Review

'Pride and Prejudice' Book Review

ZOYA RIZWAN
Before you all start arguing with me on how this book is a retrograde novel and the story is not relevant to the current scenario, I need to remind you that this is a classic and classics never go out of style. In my humble opinion, Jane Austen was a versatile feminist writer who wrote about strong female characters in backward social settings. A lot of people hold the opinion that this is just another cliché romance novel for women but that’s not true. The story was written back in 1813 and it followed a very unique plot. Yes, it is about women seeking grooms for marriage and vice versa as is evident from the opening line of the book- “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. But that’s not the only thing it talks about. Through this simple yet sublime story, Austen manages to highlight the social norms that expected women to attract grooms of high social status back then. There’s no doubt that we have come a long way and women’s status in our society has improved substantially but I think we can all agree that such norms are prevalent even today in some places.
Anyway, coming back to the plot of this remarkable novel, the story revolves around Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy. As the title suggests, Darcy has too much pride and Bennet has too much prejudice. Some might even say that she possesses an ultracrepidarian attitude towards him. She assumes that he is of an arrogant temperament and his pride is such that he believes that no woman is good enough for him. As they get to know each other better, they withdraw their initial opinion of each other and actually feel quite drawn towards one another. However, his pride and her prejudice pose serious threats to their blooming romance throughout the story.
The central theme around which this story revolves is how deceiving first impressions can be and one mustn’t judge a book by its cover. Another important social issue that is brought to light is how the idea of marriage was instilled in women to raise their social and economic status. This practice is still prevalent in certain parts of India. This story has been adapted into various films too. The 2005 release of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen as the protagonists is worth watching. They’ve both delivered an outstanding performance.
I personally admire Austen’s style of writing and her riveting description of the characters. Every dialogue and every quote in this story is spellbinding, making it one of my favorite books and movies of all time. I’d definitely recommend this book to all the young passionate readers out there.
(Writer is student of BA, Second Year (Eng, Eco), Motilal College, DU)