Novel: Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen, 1813
Genre: Romance, Satire
Format: Ebook, 258 pages

Dear Elizabeth,

May I heartily congratulate you on your recent marriage to Mr. Darcy. I cannot lie and pretend that I ever doubted the fact that you were meant for each other. The very first pages of the book betrayed your attraction, thinly masked by presumed dislike of him. Not that I accuse you of any kind of pretense on your behalf, and I do admit that you thoroughly believed to despise the man after hearing such terrible things about him. Instead, I blame Jane Austen, who made you fall into a typical romance stereotype (believe me, I do not tend to offend the great writer whom I admire so, but rather state my immediate reaction).

You see it all the time in modern romance novels: he is untamed, rich, and almost criminally handsome; no woman is to satisfy him until he meets HER. And I write it with capital letters, because Elizabeth, you’re a capital woman. You’re pretty, and perhaps not as beautiful as your sister Jane, but your main attribute is your cunning brain. You are plain and direct in your words, and carry yourself above the frivolous past-times of other air headed ladies. No, you do not see the benefit of painting or playing the piano, and you do not think these skills make a perfect wife. In fact, you are not willing to settle for a good-on-paper husband who does not stimulate you intellectually. Mr. Collins got to know your preferences first hand, and I must say I pitied and laughed at the poor schmuck. On the other hand I must admit to wondering how likely your character to exist for the times you live in. Look at Lydia, your little sister, whose main objective is to beat her other siblings to the punch and to elope with a random officer she believes to be her one and only. Speaking of which, I do hope she learns her lesson sooner, rather than later, and stops being so annoying.

Could you ever be destined to marry Mr. Bingley? Of course not, the overly good and somewhat naive man suits Jane much better. They are both nauseatingly positive and lack any faults that make them remotely human. Why won’t Jane punch that obnoxious Caroline in the face when she is revealed to be a scheming snob? Why can’t she admit to being played and manipulated as a friend? How come Mr. Bingley is so easily convinced by Darcy of Jane’s indifference without seeking proof? Gosh, the two of them need to grow some balls! No, these two porcelain dolls belong on high shelf together.

This brings me back on track to speak of Darcy. Do I really believe that he is suddenly taken by you after calling you “average” at the ball? Not really, but then again it is probably when you opened your mouth that Darcy singled you out from the crowd of fluttering ladies around him. When he proposes in the middle of the book, it is obvious that something ain’t right since the story would be over too soon. No, first of all he has to suffer for his arrogance and pride, so you reject him on the spot! Lo and behold, Darcy is not pulling an average man by trying to pretend nothing has happened or ignoring the embarrassing situation, but rather tries to turn himself into a better gentleman. You clever romance ladies like the sound of shattering male ego, don’t you? After selflessly trying to help your family in secret after Lydia’s crazy affair, he finally earns your love and every possible couple in the book gets engaged on the same day.

My dear Elizabeth, do not think that my cynical letter is written to hurt you. On the contrary, I have to admit that your story tugged on my girly heartstrings, and the rant is just a defensive reaction covering up the sappy side of me that I dislike. However, Pride & Prejudice managed to seduce me better than Mr. Darcy could ever seduce you. And because I know such conversation is probably making you blush, I must stop here. I send my love and affection to you, and promise to never read any sequels that are published in abundance every year.

Forever your literary stalker,
A.

2 comments

  1. Jillian ♣ · ·

    That’s all it is, until you look at Charlotte Lucas’ story. Then the novel starts to feel deeper. (To me.) I feel like Austen shrouded her purpose in a romance…

    Surt of like those quick weddings she throws together at the end of her novels? I read Northanger Abbey and realized she’s clearly mocking readers, when she does that — giving them what they want as a joke on them.

    Only my newbie thoughts!

  2. That’s what I thought too. It was almost like, You want cheesy romance? I’ll give you extra cheese! Jane Austen is pretty awesome like that.

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