Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Have you read Pride and Prejudice?

If you have, I would love it if you were to comment and tell me what you thought of it and if you would recommend it. I am especially wondering about any romance (appropriate or inappropriate). I can't wait to see your responses.

P.S. If you have anything to say about any of Jane Austen's other books, I'd appreciate if you told me about them, too.

15 comments:

Sarah said...

I've read the book....it's ok. It has really good dialogue, but I felt that at times the reading was rather dry. I prefer Louisa May Alcott's writing to that of Jane Austin. One of L.M.A.'s books, An Old Fashioned Girl is a great, VERY appropiate 1800's romance novel for ANY age.

One series that I was given for Christmas last year was a series called the House of Winslow. It's a Christain fiction romance series, but I thought it was WAY to mushy. Pretty much all fluttering eyes and clinging and kissing from one chapter to the next.

The Squire's Tales are books set during the reign of King Arthur. I'm reading them to my syblings and we've just finished the fourth book. (I think there's 8) There's plenty of chivalry, some courtly love (but it's thought of as petty, silly, gross and just down right wrong) and is riddled with your usual knights, fairies, damsels in and out of distress with enough adventure and true love to make it worth reading, even enjoyable! :)

Pam--in Jerusalem said...

I have read Pride and Prejudice, although it's been several years. I don't recall anything inappropriate. However, I would recommend getting your mother's opinion first. While the romance isn't anything I would consider wrong, or improper, it doesn't always reflect reality. As a young girl (or a grown adult), you need to be careful not to hope for things that might not be the Lord's will for you. It could lead to feelings of disappointment and/or discontentment if your visions of the future don't match the Lord's perfect will for your life. Romance stories don't have that effect on everyone though, and since your mother knows you better than anyone else, she'd be the right one to ask. Hope that helps :)

Megan said...

I've never read Pride and Prejudice...bad me...I've just watched the movies :) (I like them a lot though!)
To answer your question about how long I've played the violin: Hmmm, let me think...it's been about 7 years (I think). I'm not taking lessons anymore though. I had major surgery last year and quit just before that, also...piano is really my first love (musically, that is). But, I'm so glad I know how to play the violin, it's particularly nice since it's so portable...it sure is easier to carry around than a grand piano! What about you? Do you play any other instruments?

Have a great day!
Megan

Lucie said...

Sarah-- Thanks for the recommendation--I'll certainly look into it. :)

Pam--In Jerusalem-- Thank you! I have been talking to my Mom about it, but she hasn't read it, either :). I totally agree with your take on romance...I was just wondering about it because I feel sort of like I'm running out of good books to read. :)

Megan-- I have played for about 8 years, so almost the same as you! I also play the piano, but I really LOVE the violin. I agree--it as A LOT easier to carry around ;).

Jo-snazz said...

Hi Lucie!
I have read Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed it, and it is my favorite of all of her books. Like Sarah said, it is pretty dry, but if you are used to dry books it just fine. It is also a nice way to boost you vocabulary. :) I had to use a dictionary. I also agree with Sarah that Louisa May Alcott's books are nicer. I think you would enjoy it.
~Joanna

Lucie said...

Emmy-- (I'm responding to an earlier comment) I HAVE found fabric for the Susan costume! It's not really exact, but it was the best that I was going to find for a long time. :) So glad to hear that you haven't fallen off the face of the planet. :)

Thanks so much, Joanna. I appreciate your input.:)

the Patty family said...

Dear Lucie,
Since I last talked with you about Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen, my opinions have slightly change. I still like it, just so you know. First, addressing the romance problem. The story is largely centered around getting a husband. I believe it reflects on the times (and still does). I call it female politics. The mother's chief goal is to first, get her daughters out of the house and married, and second, to catch the richest man possible. It is shown through the younger daughter's flirtatious spirits and total lack of maturity, Mary's "philosophical" comments on daily life, and the elder two sisters' more mature version of the younger sisters. Their lives are centered on amusement and the next ball. This is a wonderful book filled with witty conversations which appealed itself to mea at first. I would not recommend it to anyone unless their mother was able to discuss with them and unless the young lady had very set opinions based on Biblical truths about romance. This is not a book about waiting on prince charming, but it is about seeking him. Lizzy gave her heart fully to a young man of whom she knew nothing about. He deceived her as to his character, and because she was so attracted to him she was unwilling to see the truth. In the end she was so attracted to him she was unwilling to see the truth. In the end she did not marry him, but she had already given a piece of her heart away. The youngest two sisters fell in love with each officer in their turns, and finally the youngest sister at 15 ran away with an officer. They had to be forced to marry. Not a good example of Godly femininity.

I will finish this up in a couple of more comments since I am running out of room now.

the Patty family said...

(My follow up comments):

Another thing I do not like is that his book is encouraging girls through the attractive example of Lizzy to live only with the purpose to find a Mr. Darcy and to sit around decorating a new bonnet. Many girls are so attracted to this that they have Jane Austen dresses made, collect all her books, and watch the movies 40 times. I will not conceal that I also did this. Now, I think that any infatuation not based on biblical principals and with Godly examples is wrong. Ephesians 5:15-16 says; "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." The five eligible Bennett girls are not examples of this verse.

Finally, there is a strong undercurrent of feminism throughout the whole book. Elizabeth Bennett, as the main character, is portrayed as superior to everyone else. She believes herself to be right in everything (except in the end, when she acknowledges Mr. Darcy was correct), and Jane Austen writes it so as to make everyone around her look ridiculous. She has no respect for her mother and sisters which is justifiable as they are so foolish, except for her elder sister, Jane. Even then Jane is made to appear simple. Her father is made to seem foolish, and she is continually embarrassed because of him. She has a bad opinion of men in genera and even the lovers are belittled. Mr. Bingley is amiable, but in Lizzy's eyes, nothing more. Even Mr. Darcy is portrayed as cold, selfish, and proud. Not until the end does he become amiable and wise. In all the books Jane Austen wrote, there is a theme that makes the male characters appear as either fickle, arrogant, selfish, or foolish. That is one more aspect that I do not like.

Putting all that aside, it is a very fun book to read and has many good qualities. I loved it and love it still. i only bring out the bad qualities, because I do not have time to list the good qualities. Ask anyone and they will tell you. My heart's desire for all young ladies it that they would be discerning and view all things through God's eyes.

Thus ends my longgggg comment. I hope it helps.
Love, Sarah

Carley Rene said...

Hey Lucie,
I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, (my sister has, she said it was very good) but some "romance" books I like are:
An Old Fashioned Girl
Little Women
and...thats all I can think of right now!
Anyway, hope your having a great week!
Carley

Mary M. said...

Hello!

I wanted to add to some of the comments that have been given about "Pride and Prejudice" from a literary point of view.

Of course, the novel is not a manual on how a young woman should behave; in fact, it is a satire on the way women behave when their priorities or attitudes are wrong. For instance, all the women in the book whose sole aim is to marry for money and position are pictured as frivolous and negative characters, thus illustrating the frivolity of that mindset.

Elizabeth, however, possesses different flaws than most of the other women, but hers are equally worthy of satire. As a reader, you empathize with Elizabeth because Jane Austen employs writing strategies that imply you are picturing the world through Elizabeth's eyes rather than through those of an omniscient narrator. Because of this literary strategy, you, as a reader, may be more oblivious to Elizabeth's flaws, as she is herself. However, she is quite aware of everyone else's, and thinks of each character according to her own "pride and prejudice."

In the end, while I don't want to spoil the journey or the destination, I think that Jane Austen effectively criticises, in a light-hearted, witty manner, the folly of two extremes women can choose in life concerning relationships: being excessively naive or excessively arrogant. The process that Elizabeth goes through to finally "know herself" as she exclaims in a critical passage of the novel reflects our own journeys in life when we are unaware of a particular character flaw in ourselves that is inhibiting us from more excellent behavior and attitudes. Thankfully, the Lord is often gracious to make us aware of these flaws which also, hopefully, encourages us to be less judgmental of others while at the same time not lowering our standards.

Though I agree with other posters that you should definitely discuss the book with your mother and analyze the representations of men, women, and relationships from a Biblical worldview, be sure you understand the perspective, tone, and purpose in which the novel is written as well. Hope that helps.

Mary M said...

Concerning other Austen novels, my favorite was Persuasion. I guess I can't remember all the details since I haven't read it in a few years. The heroine of that story was probably a better example of a godly woman in her own patience and obedience to her parents. I would not say she was perfect, but I like the lesson in the story and her reward for her obedience, patience, and faithfulness.

Lucie said...

Thanks so much Mary M.! I have a feeling I know who you are! ;) I really appreciate your insight on the books.

Raora said...

Hi Lucie!

Thanks for the comments. I am glad you liked the movie! Yes, it was my younger brother. It was a bit difficult to get him to film those last ten seconds, though! We certainly have our own 'behind-the-scenes' filming stories! It was fun!

Forgive me for not giving you more specific directions on where to find THE CALL. I don't actually think that it is that that easy to find, but you can get it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CvaTrg8Frg

and here:

http://search.playlist.com/tracks/the%20call%20regina%20spektor

I think that those links ought to be correct, but if not, tell me and I'll get you the right ones.

I read Pride and Prejudice two or three years ago, and I really enjoyed. Jane Austenish books are actually not 'my thing' and I don't think I would have liked it as much if my mom hadn't read it aloud to my older sister and I. I like Austen a lot more now, and I just finished Sense and Sensibility several weeks ago. As for my own thoughts, I don't think I could put it much better than Mary M. did. Her comment is about how mine would have been if she had not posted first - not quite, but very close. I think that it is very important to understand the mood that the book was written in.

Okay, that's all!

Namarie,
Raora

p.s. I think that your book discussion idea is great. Unfortunately, I have not read 'The Tale of Two Cities' yet, since it is scheduled for next year, but I will wait patiently for your next book!

Lucie said...

Thanks, Raora! I was wondering how the book discussion thing would go. I hope that you'll participate. Thanks so much for your insight on Pride & Prejudice. :)

greenehouse2003 said...

Dear Lucie--I have read all the Austen novels and Mary M. conveyed my thougths exactly. All of Austen's books are portraying what life was like for women at a specific time period, and in a satirical way. I also agree with her that Persuasion is my absolute favorite, as the main character is so beautifully godly.
All Jane Austen's characters are 'classic' because they are truly mirrors of ourselves--we think we know ourselves, then God reveals a weakness/sin that has skewed our entire perspective on the situations in which God places us. In humility, Jane Austen's characters embrace the truth of what is revealed and change and do what is right based upon what was revealed. That is the joy I experience when I read these books.
Remember that at that period of time, social rules were very strict and the only way a woman was provided for was through marriage, quite often. You can imagine how living in those times would cause you to be focused on a husband. Also, being 'refined' and 'educated' were highly important, hence the sewing, embroidery, piano playing, etc. This is why it is especially satirical in Pride and Prejudice that the father is fed up with that system and has let his daughters take whatever path their fancy led them to--and the folly of that is shown very clearly, as his own sense of the ridiculousness of it causes him to behave inappropriately (for the time) and thus cause Bingley's friend Darcy to turn in disgust from Jane and Lizzy's family (also the behavior of everyone else in the family). It is an excellent telling of life at that period of time and what the consequences of foolish behavior will bring. Pride--Darcy's pride of rank and Lizzy's pride of herself and her judgement of others--Prejudice--the opinions based upon those prides! It is really an excellent novel.
Persuasion is excellent. Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen writing to make fun of romance mystery writers at the time, so if you have that background as you enter the novel, it is highly amusing. Sense and Sensibility also displays folly of one sister and a beautiful godliness in the other--also reform happens, the younger bows to the superior morals of the older, and the younger happens to be spared from lasting effects of her foolishness. Mansfield Park is perhaps the least realistic of her novels, though it is very good and the main character is pristine.
I have loved the Jane Austen novels because she displays folly as folly and shows characters that live and change and grow into more complete and pure individuals.
I disagree that the language is dry, but instead find much humor in the satire and wit. It is an older style, maybe that is what they meant by 'dry.' Maybe it moved slowly for some because it is laid out much like life would have been--slow sometimes--just waiting for God to bring about a husband, because no woman would be able to meet someone unless they were introduced to her and came into their circle of society.
So--I hope you do read at least Persuasion--yes, your mom should read Pride and Prejudice--but I would say it's because she would enjoy it very much. The romance certainly is there, but it is what the life of a woman was like at that time.
There is an excellent book called, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist--the Facts of Daily Life in 19th Century England, by Daniel Pool. This I highly recommend not only for Austen, but for Dickens--you will have a much deeper understanding of why things happen as they do in the novels and why events are so humorous or tragic. We have enjoyed it and it was a school book for us as we studied this period of time.
I hope this is helpful! Please call me if you have any questions--or your mom--I can tell you/her in great detail about each of these novels by Austen. (And you have encouraged me to read some Dickens, though I have to read 2 Shakespeare plays first, for school!) love, Mrs. G