Elizabeth Bennett is one of five daughters whom her parents hope to marry off to rich husbands. Lizzy, being the quick witted, sensible one does not accept any proposal easily, nor does she think her sisters should either. Her encounters with Mr. Darcy prove him to be a mean, unlovable man but he shocks her with his proposal of marriage and subsequent good deeds to help her family. While her sisters are marrying left and right, Lizzy ponders her choice and realizes in the end that Mr. Darcy is not the horrible wretch he thought he was and she agrees to become the wealthy Mrs. Darcy.
I’ve glossed over a lot of the main points to this book because I had to get my head around the plot during this first attempt at reading Austen. I’m sure I’m not the first to complain that the language is so overbearing that it is hard to get into it at first. So I admit, I went to the summary on Spark Notes and prepped myself for each chapter before reading it myself. Me, being a big literary nerd, I loved that. It made me feel like I was back in college and actually challenging myself again.
While many readers would be totally put off by needing help getting the key elements in the story, I loved it. It made me re-think how I read. I had to concentrate and take in the whole world that Austen had created. I opted for classical music to listen to so my wandering thoughts wouldn’t get in the way. I appreciated each scene on its own and felt as if I were in the scene that I had watched on the Colin Firth film version of the book. It made me a Jane Austen fan even though I have to re-read this to get past the plot and into appreciating her good writing.
There is plenty of study on with this novel and the discussion questions in the back of the book would help even me from a teaching/student perspective. However, unlike Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre the language is much more dense and it wouldn’t be a book you could just throw at anyone and expect them to get caught up in the story very easily.
If Austen's language is a hurdle, I suggest listening on audio. This will give you the flow and beauty of the language layered with a reader's inflections to boost comprehension. You can even listen to the audio WHILE reading. Great story.Allison
I'm ashamed I didn't think of this myself. I use to do that with my students when we read Shakespeare. I will definitely try that next time. Thank you so much!