“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” are the opening lines of Pride and Prejudice. My how far we have come, from believing that life is incomplete without a husband to Go Daddy commercials. Although, that thought is the principal thought of Pride and Prejudice (catching a husband not Go Daddy) The novel, is a love of the chase between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy along with their pride and prejudice of each other.
I have thought hard on the best way for myself to capture my feelings on the novel as I have read it so many times and and in my gushing fear I may give to much away.
Finally, I decided to speak with my heart, cautiously, focusing on the principal characters.
Mr and Mrs Bennet remind me of Albert and Costello’s vaudeville act “Who’s On First” with their countless banter and twisting of words
Such as, Mrs. Bennet insisting Jane ride to Netherfield on horse back as it looks like rain, Mr. Bennet replies:
“Well, if Jane does die, it will be a comfort to know she was in pursuit of Mr. Bingley.”
Honestly, I don’t think the story would be as complete or as entertaining without them.
There are five Bennet daughters (Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty and Mary) but the focus is on the first three mentioned and their potential suitors.
Mr. Bingley and Jane: Smitten with each other but to shy to admit or act on such feelings as of yet but their actions speak louder than words. i.e. Mr. Bingley’s concern for Jane’s illness.
Elizabeth has several different admirers:
Mr. Darcy, who despite Elizabeth not being enough to tempt him soon begins to admire her fine eyes. Even now, after reading it for the umpteenth time, I still detest him until the middle of the book after his proclamation to Elizabeth. I could go on and on about Mr. Darcy but I have promised myself to be brief as I really do fear I may say too much.
Mr. Wickham in contrast is a likable fellow charming with a tragic past involving Mr. Darcy (which makes you hate him all the more). I must mention Lydia here as she is a major flirt and would probably be considered “easy” now as she flitters from one militia man to another but despite Elizabeth’s interest, flocks towards Wickham like a moth to the flame.
Mr. Collins, the future owner to Longbourn Estate. and a complete loser and/or drip and let’s face it, a smarmy suck-up who reminds me of a weasel. Although, like Mr. and Mrs. Bennet brings wit to Pride and Prejudice. His obsession with Lady Catherine Deburg I find humorous, (who despite his praise comes off like a major bitch) bragging about shelves in closets and spectacular gardens, strikes me funny. And his seduction (or lack there of) to Elizabeth tops the cake, his efforts at dancing and pompousness to Darcy at Bingley’s dance has me dazed and amused with each page and was almost sorry to see him go.
Look back on these recaps of my take on the primary characters thus far, I realize my opinions of them have not changed a bit since I first read it ten years ago. I think that’s what makes it such a stand-out novel, no matter how many times I reread Pride and Prejudice, it always feels like the first.