Of Pride and Prejudice
external image Jane-Austen-portrait-victorian-engraving.png Jane Austin external image Jane-Austen-family-heraldic-arms.png
Jane Austin, the author of "Pride and Prejudice" was born as the seventh child of George and Cassandra Austin on 16 December 1775 at Steventon. Her father George was a clergy, and the Austins belonged to (although the bottom of) the Gentry class. When the women (especially of the Gentry class) had to marry someone wealthy to support their life (which is the sole topic she writes in her novels), she herself never married, and was nourished by her father and brothers. She was 41 when she died in 18 July 1817 in Winchester of illness.
Although she did not go to schools, she was educated by her father and brothers, and through her own self reading. One of the famous and influential book she read was "The Sorrows of Young Werther" which had created a huge sensation in europe. It was about a young man lamenting about his love not being able to reach his lover. This imfluenced the young people of that time, and many people commited suicide being effected by this novel. Although Jane did not commit suicide, the influence could be seen in her novel (almost all the main characters marries happily in the end in her 6 major novels). One of her characteristic as a author is that she was not influeced much by other authors of her time. She did not have any relationship with other authors of her time, and her style was very different from other authors of her time. She and her novels belongs in the Romanticism/ Victorian Era timewise, but her work does not fit the characteristics of the victorian novels which is ""powerful emotion displayed by sound and colors through writing". Nothing really "special" happens inside her novels (explained later), and it is all about a woman/womens marrying with a man/mens in 19 century countryside of England. But although that was it, many people of that time greeted her works with silent welcome. Although most of the people preffered Charles Dickens and George Eliots at her time, her work was always a steady seller.
The reason why she recieve high remarks from the reader is that she is very good at sketching the inside of the people. She herself talked that if there was two to three families in a countryside in England, it was enough for her to write a story. This was because what she was writing was not sole imagination like "Lord of the Ring" or "Tales of Earthsea" but a careful sketch of what she was familiar. To use drawing as examples, she was not drawing a cubism painting that came from her imagination, but was carefully and neatly drawing what she saw and felt.

"Pride and Prejudice" in a Minute.
It is 19th century England. There was a family of the name Bennets in the small town of Longbourn. They had five children, all daughters, and they had to marry someone, for when their father died, his herritage went to their far counsin, and there was almost nothing they could recieve. The story begins when a rich, but unmarried young man Bingley comes to this town. Mrs Bennet, wanting to make her daughters marry someone wealthy, soon makes promises with him to have a ball. Although Jane Bennet and BIngley seemed to match, her sister Elizabeth hears Darcy, Bingley`s friend, looking down on her. She became frustrated by his pride, but Darcy becomes attracted to Elizabeth, for she is different from plain country girl. She was inteligent and had something everybody didn`t. Elizabeth too realize in the end that she was having prejudice against Darcy, and the two... A story of Pride and Prejudice...
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My Review

Honestly, "Pride and Prejudice" was a bit hard for me to concentrate and keep reading. Many times I though of using Sparknotes and only Sparknotes, and it was only time, the spare time I had in winter break that made me read this book. Whether I am not artistic or have no interest in these kind of books, I don`t know, but just to be honest, I did enjoy it in the end, but when I did end, I felt "...so? Well happy ending...".
Yes, but maybe this is the reason why people enjoy reading "Pride and Prejudice". Inside this story, nothing historically nor fictionary important events happens, but she wrote a whole book just on how a lady in a small town marries with a man. She is, I admitt very good at writing what people thinks, and everything is under her control. Maybe writing about this topic was like walking in a wellknown park for her. It was realistic, was written about a very narrow area, and was very specific.
The most interesting parts of this book was that each characters were distinguished clearly. Each had their own life, each had their own thoughts, and each had their own reasons to be themselves. For example, Mr. Collins, the far cousin of the Bennets, and the inheriter of Mr. Bennets herritage though it was generous for him to come and marry one of the daughter of the Bennets, and so to be able to nourish other as their brother in law. He though that he would be able to pick the one he liked for there was no reason to refuse him. In reality, the sisters all viewed differently, especially Elizabeth, who was not moved by anything but her own feeling, refused the proposal made by Mr. Collins right there. It is funny how Collins thinks that Elizabeth`s refusal is to make herself high and maintain dignity, and how Elizabeth seems to stay away from Collins as much as she could.
It also the love romance between Darcy and Elizabeth was a bit interesting too. The two feeling that they had, Darcy:pride, and Elizabeth:prejudice, is the title of this book. Elizabeth is frustrated by the proud attitude that Darcy takes. In reality, Darcy does take a proud attitude around him, but there was a reason for that. That is, he was discusted by the attitudes of the people around him. Although the people that came to the ball was of the gentry, they were all searching for partners to marry, and Darcy being discusted, especially at Mrs. Bennet, took a proud attitude toward Elizabeth thinking that she was the same. Also being born in a well known family that has a income of ten thousand pounds did contribute to his attitude toward the Bennets who was a low-class gentry of two thousand pounds a year. It is an irony, but yes, the inteligent Elizabeth was full of prejudice toward Darcy just because her first impression of him was very bad! These small irony and play in people`s action and feeling is drawn neatly by Jane in this novel, which made me at least interested and respect this author.
But, there was also one thing I wondered. This would be talked in the next section, but there is nothing in this book that makes us realize what time we are in. That is there are no historical events that comes out in this novel, and if we didn`t know when Jane lived, and what was it like in the Eighteenth century, and for the name and dressing they wore, this could have been any time anyplace in Europe (or even U.S.!). This made me wonder if Jane really intended to become a author like she did. This is because of the action she took during her lifetime. When she heard that the family was going to move to Bath from Steventon, she fainted from worries of leaving the sole home she knew. Also she never had relationshipe with other authors, and most letters that she wrote was toward her sister. I just wonder that perhaps, no offence but, this was the only thing she knew about, and so was able to construct such a delicate, fine, and realistic novel. external image bower.jpg
Women and Peace (not in contrast of war)


What happened during her lifetime? Is there any influence in "Pride and Prejudice"?

Many historical events happened during Jane`s lifetime. A year after her birth was the Independent War in United States, and when she was in her early twenties, the French revolution took place just across the English Channel, and few years later there was the Napoleon conquering any land he could reach. Concluding from these facts, she lived just across from the midst of change. She should have known what was happening for U.S. was the colony of England, and France was very close. But are these reflected in her work? Ah, none are. But as it is writen in the top part of this page, it is could be said that "Pride and Prejudice" is a primary source of how the gentries of the countryside of England live during the 18th century.

Compare Similars!
1.Crime and Punishment
People might dissagree but I thought Crime and Punishment writen by Dostoevsky was close. Yes the plot, characters, and setting of the novels are very different. It takes place in Russia just before the revolution, the main character is a man, and it is far from peace. But I thought the style it is written: specific, fine, delicate, and talking about the inside of the character was similar. Also it is a bit different but the main character here also realise that he fell in love with a woman he though was foolish.
The main character is a poor student in Saint Petersburg. He one day decides that he is the chosen one, the genius that is allowed to do anything to help other, and goes off and kills a old woman who was famous for lenting money at high interest. Eventually he freakes out, and confess everything, and is exiled to Siberia...
If you are interested, please go here for full online text version. →http://www.kiosek.com/dostoevsky/library/crimeandpunishment.txt

That was all I could think of. This novel was a very new kind of piece for me.

Thank you for readin! By Ha Rang Jeon.