There is nothing new for me to say about this novel. I should just say I loved it. Period. But, whenever I hear people saying they don't get this novel, or that they don't find it amusing nor witty, I feel bad; they are missing so much. This is not just an ordinary love story about a poor girl that married the rich guy like a 2 p.m. soup opera. There is so much between the lines.
First, the social context in which this novel was written. In Austen's time, marriage was a market. For a woman, money came from a father or a husband. So, you could really understand Mrs. Bennett's suffering. Speaking of her, she is one of the most colorful characters in the novel. Austen's wit and charm while describing all of them... just brilliant. What a funny, sarcastic and smart writer, trapped in the 18th century, when a female writer, any working woman, actually, wasn't appropriate, at all.
There is a little bit of everything in this novel. Silly, negligent and kind of sweet parents, a biblical sister among the other nice and whimsical ones, an annoying Mr. Collins, elopements, people that not always are what they seem, a pair of wicked sisters, detailed descriptions about society, people, and landscapes in 18th century England, dances (although every savage can dance), and a true journey of self-discovery.
In top of all that, she created one of the most beloved heroines in universal literature, Elizabeth Bennet, whose wit, charm and honesty makes you fall in love with her from page one. She is funny but also has a kind of sad vision of the world, a real one:
"There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense."
I love a strong female character whose mind is not full of pink and weddings just for the sake of being married. However, she is not flawless; she tends to judge people before getting to know them. This novel shows her growth as a person, as well as Darcy's, the “proud” of the title. (You didn't see that one coming, huh?)
Anyway, I said I didn't have anything new to said, so, yes, I was right.
Pride and Prejudice may not be a really original story, but the way Austen wrote it, her unique, ironic and honest writing style prevents you from taking a nap at page 100. At least, I didn't. I finished this book in two days. For me, that is fast; I tend to read and re-read every sentence, make a sandwich, bake a cake, and then there's work and that kind of unavoidable stuff of life, so, not a lot of free time for me, like the old days...