Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has been a beloved story for over 200 years. Readers during Austen’s time and across generations have fallen in love with Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth over and over. Pride and Prejudice is a story that should be read by everybody at least one during their lifetime.
The first time I read this book was when I was 12 years old. That’s right. I was only 12. I do have to admit though I did not know of Jane Austen or her lovely works existed. One day I had been sat at home, bored, and flipping through tv channels and had landed on the 2005’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. I had nothing better to do and since I caught the movie from the very beginning I decided to sit and watch it. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I didn’t understand everything the characters were saying at the age of twelve, but I understood enough to know that what I had just watched was beyond brilliant. The next day I scoured my school library and sure enough the book was there. I read the book within a few days and my life was forever changed.
Being twelve I latched onto the love story that unfolded within the pages and for a few years after that, the love story is what I associated the entire book with. I believe when I was either fifteen or sixteen I decided to pick the book up again. The second read through was eye opening. I was able to keep the story that I fell in love with, but I was also able to build to the story that I loved so dearly with all the different conflicts going on that I had missed when I was twelve.
Every year since then I have taken the time to reread Pride and Prejudice. I haven’t been disappointed once with each reread. Each time I pick up the book it seems that I learn something new every time and not just from Mr. Darcy or Miss Elizabeth, but sometimes from Colonel Fitzwilliam or Mary Bennet herself.
Pride and Prejudice was my main teacher for how I saw the world and how I conducted myself and my mind when meeting with new people. I wanted to be smart, but kind like Elizabeth and as good natured as Jane.
Austen takes her characters through a brilliant growth throughout the story by such means as having the characters examine their own mind and experiences to derive to a new conclusion and not only change how they see things, but how they act and react to others.
So much can be learned through Pride and Prejudice that even after all these years I’m still gaining something from the story. I find myself amazed and saddened when an individual tells me they have never read the story. Most of the time when they say they aren’t in to love stories it’s hard for me to convey with the spoken word that Pride and Prejudice is so much more than a mere love story. Pride and Prejudice is so much more than a love story!
If you, yourself, have never read it for any reason you must give yourself time to read this. Allow yourself to look deeper into that world and the world around you as you do read this story. If you have read it and know others who haven’t, then it’s time to get that friend on board. This will probably, forever, remain my all time favorite story above any other.