Pride and Prejudice .. and much Boredom

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Pride and Prejudice .. and much Boredom

Postby seahermit » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:18 am

Just watched Keira Knightley in one of the better film versions of the novel. Since I have never tried the book, I thought I should further my education and then maybe read the book later ..

What a ghastly waste of two hours! I hated it, an intensely boring period drama about five spoilt, vacuous young daughters of well-off middle-class parents trying to chase wealthy husbands (looks and intelligence coming second to whether he was well-heeled).

That was the plot. Nothing else. No mention of the world beyond their privileged, sheltered and trivial lives, nor of the traumatic Napoleonic War crashing across Europe.

The quality of writing and the dry wit was of course good but I am very gratified to find that numerous other people thought the novel over-rated. Mark Twain hated it, Churchill was sarcastic about it and Charlotte Bronte effectively said that it contained no real-life people with real emotions. There was indeed a world beyond the characters' cosy existence - which was ugly, full of poverty and hardship. Life for all classes was hard and mortality rates were high. That is why more relevant novels like Les Miserables and Bleak House are truly great, but I don't see myself ever reading Pride and Prejudice!

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Re: Pride and Prejudice .. and much Boredom

Postby Richard » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:48 am

I think it is about the learning curve undergone in order to discover 'self'.
Only men had the power and wealth in those days and women did not count (only men could inherit, hence the woman had to look for a man with some status/wealth).
In the end wealth was seen as less important than money alone.
That was my take and that Hollywood adaptation was not great and set to appeal to a mass audience.
I think it was intended to show how society at that level was attuned in those days, in that particular class and don't forget the nod to old anglo-saxon upper class influence:
Darcy, de Bourgh, Fitzwilliam, are all Norman names.

A major theme in much of Austen's work is the importance of environment and upbringing in developing young people's character and morality. Marriage to a male with social standing and wealth are typically important in her world,although, as indicated in the play, not the be-all and end-all.
I do not much like Jane Austen's novels but the influence of morality, and upbringing in developing character, is evident throughout.

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