Albert Jinzhi Jiang

November 18, 2019

College Preparation

Book Report:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is one of the earliest works written by Jane Austen. She started to write this romantic novel since 1796. Published in 1813, Pride and Prejudice won praise from a significant number of people, including Sir Walter Scott, who stated that “That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with.” The story describes the love and marriage of people from the middle class. The characters Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy both have something in their mind, which make them look down upon each other. Only when both people put down their pride and prejudice in their mind, they could finally be together.


The basic plot of the novel is somewhat complicated, in light of the variations of people’s opinions on each other: the story begins with an abrupt purchase of land in the Bennets’ neighborhood—a wealthy man, named Mr. Bingley, let the Netherfield  Park. The most importantly, Mr. Bingley was a bachelor, so Mrs. Bennet was eager to make a match between any of her daughters and Mr. Bingley. In a ball, Mr. Bingley fell in love with the eldest girl in Bennet’s family, Jane, and Elizabeth also met Bingley’s friend Mr. Darcy. When being asked his impression on Elizabeth, Darcy said she is “tolerable”, and Elizabeth happened to hear it, so she suddenly had prejudice against this overconfident man in her mind. Not long after that, Darcy was fascinated with Elizabeth’s lovely and lively manner, and started to like her, but he disliked her family’s rude manner. As a result, he persuaded Bingley to leave Jane. After knowing that, Elizabeth had a deeper prejudice against Darcy. On Easter, Darcy proposed to Elizabeth, but Elizabeth thought Darcy was full of pride, and she had a deep prejudice against him, so she rejected his proposal. After that, Darcy understood how serious it would be to be proud, and started to change. After knowing more about Darcy and what he had done, Elizabeth also realized she had a serious prejudice, and started to change. After both of them put down their pride and prejudice in their mind, they finally fell in love with each other. “You are too generous to trifle with me.” This is how Darcy confessed to Elizabeth.


The main theme of Pride and Prejudice is about the marriage value. Jane Austen uses five Bennet daughters’ different experience to express their different attitudes towards love and marriage, which reflects the author’s own view of marriage: it is wrong to marry merely for the sake of property, money, and status; but it is also foolish to marry without considering the above factors. Therefore, she is opposed to marriage for money, but also against marriage as a child play. She stressed the importance of an ideal marriage and made the relationship between men and women the cornerstone of an ideal marriage. Elizabeth, the heroine of the book, comes from a small landlord family and is loved by Darcy, the son of the rich. Darcy, regardless of the gap between family and wealth, proposed to her, but was rejected. Elizabeth's misunderstanding and prejudice towards him is one reason, but the main one is that she hates his pride, because this pride of Darcy is actually a reflection of status differences. As long as there is this pride, there can be no common feelings between him and Elizabeth, nor an ideal marriage. Later, Elizabeth observed Darcy's behavior and a series of actions with her own eyes, especially saw that he had changed his proud and conceited manner in the past, eliminated his misunderstanding and prejudice, and thus concluded a happy marriage with him. Elizabeth's different attitudes towards Darcy's two successive proposals actually reflect women's pursuit of personality independence and equal rights. This is the progressive significance of Elizabeth.


In the novel, Elizabeth is intelligent, courageous, far-sighted, has a strong sense of self-esteem, and is good at thinking. As for a young lady staying in the boudoir at that time, it was precious. It is because of this quality that she has independent opinions on love issues and makes her and Darcy form a happy family. In Pride and Prejudice, Austin also writes about the marriage of Elizabeth's sisters and girlfriends, which are all used as a foil against the ideal marriage of the heroine. For example, Charlotte and Collins lived a comfortable material life after marriage, but there was no love between them. This kind of marriage is actually a social tragedy under the gorgeous coat.


Generally speaking, the protagonists in Pride and Prejudice are mainly aristocrats and middle class, and their education level is relatively high. For them, family social interaction is a process that they have to go through in their growth. Therefore, compared with the ordinary class, what they say is different to some extent and expressed in a complete language form. For example, the form of "I do not" often appears in the novel, rather than the abbreviation of the conventional form. From this aspect, we can see that Jane Austen pays great attention to the language usage in the characterization. On the other hand, Jane Austen's language style in Pride and Prejudice has different characteristics. First, the words are concise and accurate. In Pride and prejudice, Jane Austen creates a love story between the British aristocracy and the middle class. Therefore, the characters Jane Austen wants to show have a direct relationship with their living environment. Different language words can accurately show a person's education and family upbringing. Thus, the brilliant language words are more in line with Pride and Prejudice. Secondly, the diversified style of sentence pattern can also highlight the image of the characters in Pride and prejudice, which makes the character imagination more three-dimensional and full, meets the aesthetic needs of readers' reading, and shows Jane Austen's literary creation ability to the maximum extent.


Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Hampshire,England: 1813. Print.


















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