Pride and Prejudice Soapbox is a feature on Novel Days where I chronicle my experiences as I read it through for the first time.
There may be spoilers.
NOTE: I actually posted this at my inspiration blog, Forelsket, around 2 years ago, believing myself to be the only English Major who had yet to read Pride and Prejudice. Last week, I stumbled upon The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern recreation of Pride and Prejudice created by the awesome Hank Green (John Green's brother and fellow Nerdfighter), in the form of weekly Youtube Vlogs. They are FANTASTIC, clever, and hilarious. Ladies and Gent's, please subscribe. Anyway, I digress...this wonderful recreation made me want to delve back into Lizzie's world once more, and finally finish one of the most highly regarded novels in existence.
This one's been a long time coming! I think I must be the only English Major, and Austen fan, who has never read Pride and Prejudice. It's sad, but it has been hailed so many times that it has lessened my desire to read it all the way through. Everyone fawns over the infamous Mr. Darcy, as if he truly is God's gift to male protagonists. I shake my head, and hope to feel the same way by the time I'm through.
I bought the Vintage Classics edition! When I first noticed the absence of an introduction or preface by a scholar, I was a bit taken a back, but then that's the beauty of this edition. Being an English major, my whole library is filled with books that have note upon note by scholars that tell you how to read, and that's fine...sometimes. Other times, its best to read a novel as it was read in the time of publication, unswayed by 'scholarly' opinion.
-Language: One thing we can all agree on is Jane's awesome usage of language. I often read classic works aloud just to capture a sense of the art behind the words. Can you imagine calling every one you know Mr. and Mrs. (Miss)...? Or referring to insensitive jerks as 'a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him!'? We think we're insulting people by cursing them out. I think not. Further more, there's something quite elegant, romantic, and kind of fun in speaking properly. What would the world be like if we returned to this manner?
- Sisters, Mothers, and Girlfriends: In most Jane Austen novels, you get a great sense of how she valued the relationships she had with her sister, her mother, and friends. I love reading about how they stuck together, and relied on each other. It seems they had a better picture of how to appreciate one another, instead of tearing each other down (in most cases). I will say, though that on first read, Mrs. Bennet is quite meddlesome, and irritating. I find I get on more with Mr. Bennet, who seems very settled, very chill.
- Balls/Parties: Who doesn't like a good ball? I think every woman, whether she's read the novels or not, loves the movies, just to gaze in awe at the costumes, the flowing gowns, ribbons, and romance of it all. Lets not forget the line dancing!
- Bingley: He seems adorable. Fun, embracing of life, curious. He seems like the type of guy to fall in love, and you know he'll be faithful. It's lovely that he has his eyes set on dear Jane! I'm waiting for Darcy to try and ruin it!
-DARCY. I'm sure he's only this way in the beginning. I'm sure you'll have 101 reasons why I should reconsider, but he's sooooo awful right now. Cocky, rude, the whole bit. How does a person get invited to an event by a friend, and look his nose down at everyone? A person of such 'high breed' should know better. How does one say, 'No one here is good enough to know?' That sucks! This line did it for me: "Miss Bennet he acknowledged to be pretty, but she smiled too much.' How is this even possible? I think you really have to be full of yourself to note smiling as a deal breaker.
-Mrs. Bennet: I just think that she needs to relax a little.
So far, so good, with my first five chapters! Stay tuned next week for my Soapbox covering chapters 6 through 15.
Source: Quotations: Pride and Prejudice | We Heart It
Oh and before you go, here is the first episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, just for reading through my soapbox! Enjoy!