Friday, December 3, 2010

Pride and Prejudice (Novel)

Pride and Prejudice (Novel) Release date: 1813. Author: Jane Austen. Publisher: Tribeca Books (2010). ISBN: 9781936594290.
Pride And Prejudice

Plot summary: The Bennet family lives at their estate, Longbourn, in Hertfordshire, England. The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters: twenty-two year old Jane Bennet, twenty-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet, seventeen-year-old Catherine “Kitty” Bennet, sixteen-year-old Mary Bennet, and fifteen-year-old Lydia Bennet. The family is not poor, but is not considered to be of very high societal standing as Mr. Bennet has no son, meaning the entirety of his estate will pass to his nephew after his death. The Bennet girls are all very different. Jane and Lizzy, the eldest, are close but have different demeanors. Jane is considered the most beautiful of the Bennet sisters and is very quiet and sweet. Lizzy is also considered beautiful, but is far more lively and opinionated than her older sister. The three younger Bennets, Kitty, Mary and Lydia, are all equally “silly” in their own ways. Mary is plain and ackward, drawing little attention to herself, while Kitty and Lydia are shallow, loud, and extremely flirtatious. Mrs. Bennet, who is as silly as her youngest daughters, fears that none of her girls will marry well enough for the family to not be cast into poverty when Mr. Bennet dies. After a rich and single gentleman, Mr. Bingley, moves to the neighborhood, however, the Bennets wonder if their luck is changing. Bingley brings with him his snobbish sister Caroline as well as his best friend, the rich and handsome Mr. Darcy. The Bennets are introduced to Bingley and his companions and Jane and Bingley are immediately attracted to one another. Darcy, however, is rude and aloof, making every effort to show that he feels the Bennets are beneath him. Despite his better judgment, however, Darcy soon finds himself falling for the charming Elizabeth. The remainder of the plot involves twists and turns as the Bennet sisters experience love, loss and deception in this class tale.

Critical evaluation: Considered Jane Austen’s most popular and well-known work, Pride and Prejudice has been delighting readers of all ages for centuries. The novel has been made into countless screen adaptations that have been equally popular as well. Perhaps the reason behind its ages long success is the fact that Pride and Prejudice has an entertaining storyline, likable and interesting characters, and still reflects on romantic dynamics even in today’s society. The Bennets are one of the most humorous families ever created. The constant bantering between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, the shenanigans of Kitty and Lizzy, Mary’s unending ackwardness and Jane and Lizzy’s struggle to deal with it all make for many great scenes. Austen develops each character within the family superbly, making the reader almost feel like they are in the room with them. Another literary great is the character of Mr. Darcy. Darcy embodies the quiet confidence often described as “tall, dark and handsome” but still displays his vulnerability as well in his passionate love for Lizzy. Teen and adult readers alike will (and have been for centuries) swoon when Darcy finally confesses his love, only to be brutally rejected. What makes Pride and Prejudice so popular with the teen audience is that many can identify with the Bennet sisters, even though their lives took place in the 19th century. Sibling rivalry, jealousy, and the bonds of sisterhood are topics many teens deal with on a daily basis. The romantic aspects of the story will also appeal to teen readers as well. It is no wonder that this classic tale has spawned recent teen spin-off’s like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009). This delightful tale will undoubtedly continue to be read and enjoyed by all ages as it has been for centuries before.

Reader's annotation: The five Bennet sisters may be different but they all have one large problem: their father’s estate is entailed to his nephew meaning that unless they marry well, their family will be cast into poverty once their father dies. After the handsome and rich Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood with his equally handsome and rich friend, Mr. Darcy, can the Bennet girls make a match that will secure their futures?
About the author Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 in Steventon, England to Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra. Austen was the seventh child, but only the second daughter in her family. Her and her older sister, Cassandra (named after their mother), were very close as a result of being the only two girls in the family. Austen was also very close with older brother, Henry, who later served as her literary agent. In 1783, Austen and her sister were sent to boarding school where they were educated in foreign language, music and art. Upon returning from school, Jane furthered her own education through reading works from her father’s large book collection. In 1787, Austen began writing stories and poems in small notebooks. Jane would often read aloud her compositions to the rest of her family for their amusement. Although it was expected that young women would marry, Austen never did. She did, however, fall in love with family friend, Tom Lefroy, whom she was unable to marry because the match was thought impractical. Over the following years, Austen continued to work on her stories, even after her family relocated to Bath, England. In 1811, Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published with much success. Her second work, Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813. After publishing several more successful titles, Jane died in 1817 of illness. Through her novels, Austen stands out as an intelligent, head-strong woman from an era when women were expected to be meek. (
Genre: Fiction/Historical

Curriculum ties:
Romantic era
Famous authors

Booktalking ideas:
Sibling relationships
Different personalities in one family
Pride and prejudice as exhibited by characters in novel
Impact of novel on society and pop-culture
Roles of women throughout history

Reading level/Interest Age:
Age 13 and up

Challenge issues:

Reasons for inclusion:
Considered a classic work of literature.

No comments:

Post a Comment