UATR Book Club | Pride and Prejudice Discussion
Hello, lovely readers! I read Pride and Prejudice. It is something that I have always wanted to do. In fact, there are many classics that I have high hopes to read, many that I have already read, and the same that I would like to peruse over again. While I felt kind of left behind by the many others that read these books in high school, while I read things that I found more interest in at the time (like Harry Potter and Neil Gaiman) I am glad that I waited until now to pick up Jane Austen's famous novel. I didn't not struggle with understanding its contexts nearly as much as I would have as a 15-year-old, and I found the characters much more relatable in age and desires than I would have as a young teen. Did I like the book? Hm... I don't know. I guess I didn't read it and instantly fall in love with the characters or the plot. I found it a bit conservative and dull, but not poorly written or uninteresting; I still wanted to finish and find out what happens. I was kind of expecting to open it up and fall hard for Mr. Darcy or even fall hard for Elizabeth Bennet. I suppose I did like Elizabeth much more than any of the others, and I found Mrs. Bennet hilarious and would love to play her in a stage production. She's so annoying and silly! As always, though, I found two heroines (Jane and Elizabeth) whose depth was shallow and needing a desirable conquest which they found in two men... two men who were both consistently interested in their own "unique" personalities. But these cliches had to start somewhere, right?! Definitely not hating on this book, I liked it, but I didn't love it. Are you a serious P+P fan? Do you feel more like me?
Discussion Questions |
- Apparently many people find this book conservative and boring in that sense, according to the internet. What do you think?
- How do you suppose that Jane Austen named one of the main protagonists of this book after herself? And did the same in Emma? What does that say about the author?
- How do you feel about the relationship between Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth? This description was probably one of my favorites in the book!
- Throughout the course of the novel, it is mentioned that a woman is accomplished if she can do several many things well (music, dancing, walking, artistry and crafting, modern languages, and a certain air about her that suggests she is spectacular in her tone of voice and figure). Obviously this stigma has been altered throughout time, but by how much? Do you still feel a woman must perform certain tricks to be accomplished? How has our vision of an accomplished woman changed? And what of men, do they deserve to be judged by social accomplishments?
- I found Darcy annoying and moody - someone I would have looked after as a young girl but now find a waste of time. What do you think? Does he make up for it later, or as Elizabeth says, "in essentials" remains the same person deep down? How would that complicate their relationship later on?
- Many people think that Darcy should have married Jane! How do you feel about this match? Does it make sense?
- It appears that everyone around Elizabeth finds her own intelligence and mouth a fault that makes her undesirable. How do you feel about this situation? Do they not eventually result in her accepting Darcy's proposal?
- Elizabeth falls in love with Mr. Darcy without direct contact... does that make their love realistic or idealistic? How could that create a faulty image as their lives continue, or does it not seem to matter as much for the time considering most marriages of that level of society were often between people with separate lives anyway?
- Why do you find many people consistently return to this book? I thought the climactic ending was enough to satisfy me. What about it makes you want to dive back in?
Perhaps even more interesting than a novel itself can be the real life of the author! While I was reading this, I desperately wanted to know more about Jane Austen herself, whom I really knew nothing about. Was she a higher society person, more like Elizabeth and Jane, or lower class? Would that somehow make the novel ironic? I find it interesting that this woman was so confident and accomplished (we're back at that word!) to have six novels published in her lifetime, yet they had to be published anonymously and found little acceptance at the time... that makes me sad for her! However, I was a bit shocked to learn that Jane Austen's upbringing was one of a common, lower class member of society and not of the gentry. I figured if she had been living as a member of the gentry, that perhaps her writing may be considered a bit ironic and almost making fun of her fellow class, to whom she disagreed with. Rather, she seems a bit like a jealous mocker on the underside of that. I think the most impressive piece of her biography was that she wrote this novel, or at least the first draft, when she was only 21! That is incredibly inspiring.
Our next book is Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, which I will introduce next Monday! I hope you all have a great week and enjoyed reading this one with me! (: Want to know what our reading schedule is? Click here!