Pride and Prejudice Review

Dear readers, this is a review of Pride and Prejudice that I wrote for the Goodreads app.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in what of a wife”

For many months, I have told people that this is one of my favorite literary quotes. I even created a parody of it. (Which can be viewed on the home page of this blog.) To me the meaning of this quote was clear: all the rich bachelors out there really want to get married. It made perfect sense. It wasn’t until my second reading of Pride and Prejudice that I realized that this  interpretation was incorrect. What the quote is actually telling us is that it is actually the women and communities who want the rich bachelors to get married. It’s this little thing called irony that I had completely failed to pick up on before. 

The first time I read Pride and Prejudice was over a year ago, when I was fifteen. There were many more things that I missed out on than just the first line. For instance, all the little hints at the beginning of the novel that Mr. Darcy kind of has a crush on Elizabeth, completely went over my head. So, when he proposed I was thinking “I thought she wasn’t handsome enough to tempt him! Where did this come from?” I also didn’t notice just how much Elizabeth’s opinion of Darcy changed over time. I was so surprised that she accepted his second proposal and had myself convinced that they would never get along as a married couple. (And to be honest I still have my doubts…) My thoughts after finishing the book were “Mr. Darcy is just a stuck up rich guy and it’s really strange that Elizabeth married him. 

I read a bunch of other books for several months. Last fall I read Sense and Sensibility. I thought that it was one of the best things that ever happened to the human race. Suddenly Jane Austen was my favorite writer and I wanted to read everything she wrote. I read the remainder of her novels pretty much back to back, and I loved all of them.(But especially Emma.) Now at the wise old age of sixteen I decided it was time to give Pride and Prejudice another try. 

As I read through it, I kept thinking to myself “How did I miss out on this detail before?” On this second read, I noticed so many things that Jane was doing with the book, how she was slowly developing Elizabeth how she was showing us that outward appearances are deceiving, and how even stuck up rich guys can have feelings. I was amazed at how realistic and believable Elizabeth was. I think she is almost (but not quite) as well developed as Emma Woodhouse. 

I was much more equipped on this second read to fully appreciate the novel. I had a much better understanding of how Jane’s writing works as well as my trusty annotated copy to explain all the cultural and historical context. My estimation of Mr. Darcy has risen quite a bit since my first read. He has gone from being a stuck up rich guy to being on the better end of stuck up rich guys. Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful complex novel that I deeply admire but will never be able to rise above my beloved Sense and Sensibility or Emma.

One response to “Pride and Prejudice Review”

  1. […] #3-Pride and Prejudice. I was very impressed with how Jane developed Elizabeth Bennett. I liked how even though Elizabeth is confident she is also kind of a mess. Her character development is very impressive. The reason why P&P is ranked below Emma is because I think Elizabeth is not quite as well developed as Emma. […]


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