Pride and Prejudice: The Novel
About the Book
Pride and prejudice is a romantic novel published in 1813 by the English novelist Jane Austen. In this novel we can find romance and a very good description of the society in which she lived: full of materialism and submission of women towards men. Here Austen raises her voice against vanity and prejudice.
What Is it About?
Mr. Bennet and his family live in Longbourn. His wife, Miss Bennet, is a very nervous woman who was beautiful when she was younger but not intelligent, and their five daughters. The older one, Jane, is a very beautiful young woman with tender character. The second one, Elizabeth (Lizzy), his father´s favorite daughter, possesses less beauty than her older sister, but she is crafty and intelligent. The third daughter is Mary, a girl who tries to stand out but does not achieve it. And finally, Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia, which are considered by the father as silly girls, because they just care about men.
Elizabeth is the protagonist of this novel. Her life is simple, but soon it will be affected with the arrival of two gentlemen. One of them, Charles Bingley, who decicided to establish in Netherfield, a magnificent property, relatively near were they livea, and the other man, Fitzwilliam Darcy. They are accompanied by Mr. Bingley´s sisters, one of them is Caroline Bingley, who feels affection for Darcy. Elizabeth and her family meet them in a ball. Mr. Bingley is a handsome young man and of noble birth, besides, he owns a simple character, the opposite of Mr. Darcy, a person catalogued by all as arrogant due to his good economic and social position.
During this ball, Jane and Mr. Bingley liked each other. Elizabeth did not have the same luck as her sister, since Mr. Darcy described her as a young woman whose beauty was not anything that could call his attention, from this moment she started to hate him, as she quoted “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
Some days after that night, Jane was invited by Mr. Bingley´s sisters to Netherfield, fact that made Miss Bennet happy; nevertheless and in spite of the requests of her daughter, Miss Bennet didn´t let Jane to use the carriage. Instead of it, she rode a horse during that rainy, making her ill. This was her mother´s plan since the beginning; if Jane got sick she would have to stay at Bingley´s house, increasing the possibilities that both fall in love. Days passed and Elizabeth decided to visit her sister and when she arrived to Netherfield, she was received with critiques for daring to visit Jane covered in mud due of walking.
While her sister was getting better, Elizabeth discovered that Mr. Bingley really felt affection for Jane. Also, she found out that Bingley´s sisters just care about Jane seldom, and that Mr. Darcy is really unbearable
As soon as Jane recovered and they could return home, their family received the visit of Mr. Collins, cousin and future inheritor of all what they own. This was common in that time, when there was no male inheritor, the properties were transferred to the nearest male of the family, in this case Mr. Collins, a clergyman. Once Miss Bennet, found out about this situation thought that one of her daughters must get married with him. This was the best solution in order that she and her daughters won´t be homeless when her husband dies. Jane was the clergyman's first option, nevertheless, Miss Bennet told him that her older daughter was close to get engaged and offered him the alternative of considering Elizabeth to be his future a wife.
From that day, Mr. Collins tried to gain Elizabeth's affection, but she met George Wickham, a soldier. They understood each other very good, he was a gentleman, of excellent manners and in addition handsome, but they crossed paths with Mr. Darcy. This created among this gentlemen an environment of tension. Mr. Wickham explained to Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy and him knew each other since they were kids, but due to the preference of Darcy´s father towards him, Darcy was jealous and took away from him the possibility of having a good life. All his story made Lizzy believed in what he said.
Soon there was going to be a ball in Netherfield, and Bingley invited all of them, including Mr. Wickham. The night of the ball, Elizabeth waited for Mr. Wickham, but unfortunately he had to leave. In his place, Mr. Darcy asked her to dance with him, something that surprised her. While they were dancing, Elizabeth took advantage of the opportunity to know a bit more about him, his character and his relation with Mr. Wickham. This last topic upset Darcy, who was starting to feel certain attraction for this crafty young woman.
After this beautiful social event took place, two events suddenly happened. First, Mr. Bingley, his sisters and Mr Darcy decided to go to London. Then, Charlotte, Elizabeth´s best friend got married with Mr. Collins. So the new wedding couple moved out to Hunsford, a place near Rosings, property of Lady Catherine, a woman of strong character and aunt of Mr. Darcy.
Time after, Elizabeth received Charlotte's letter, where she invited her to Hunsford. Once Lizzy arrived there, she thought that finally she would clear her mind, until she saw Mr. Darcy again. This gentleman was already fascinated by Elizabeth´s character and asked for her hand. This fact bewildered her since he had been the person that separated Bingley from Jane, making her sister sad. Naturally, her answer to Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal was:
“From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”
At such rejection, Mr. Dracy decided to go away, but before he left, he gave a letter to Elizabeth, in which he asks for her forgiveness for what he caused between Jane and Bingley as well as an explanation for what really happened with Wickham, telling her that he was a deceitful person, and just cared about money. After this, Elizabeth returned home and there she went with her uncle and aunt to a small trip. However, they ended up visiting Pemberley, the home of Mr. Dracy, the last person who she wanted to see. But destiny wanted it to be like that, and during her stay, she discovered that she was mistaken about Mr. Darcy. He wasn´t proud as the whole world and she thought he was. Her admiration towards him started to increase. This one got stronger and became love when Lydia decided to escape with Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy decided to help her, arranging Lidya´s wedding with Wickham and lessen the scandal.
Along with this, Bingley became reconciled with Jane, asking her to marry him. All these attentions towards Elizabeth´s family made her fall in love with Mr. Darcy. There was just a big problem, Lady Catherine. She could not stand the idea that her nephew loved a humble birth girl. In spite of her objection, Elizabeth knew she was in love, so when Mr. Darcy asked her to marry him, she accepted.