Monday, June 6, 2011

Pride & Prejudice Read-a-Long Part 1

So I'm doing the Pride & Prejudice read-a-long as part of Book Rat's Jane in June event. I'm a little behind though, so my post is a little late. Regardless, I'm crazy  happy to be rereading Pride & Prejudice for the first time and spreading the Jane Austen love.
This is me with my beaten up copy of P&P. I'm not entirely sure it will survive the reread. 

Tell us a little about your experience with Jane: is this your first time reading Pride and Prejudice/Austen? If so, What were you expecting going in? If this is not your first Jane, what makes you want to read this again?

For me I've always felt I like Jane Austen more in theory than in practice. I read Pride & Prejudice for the first time a few years ago and was really happy to have loved it, but my next few attempts with Sense and Sensibility and Emma (which I didn't finish) left sometime to be desired from my Jane Austen experience. When I started this reread I was really looking forward to rediscovering the things I loved about Austen from my first experience with her so maybe I could be motivated to finish her other novels.

Share your first impression of the book so far. What have the highlights been for you? Any favorite parts so far? Least favorite parts? Things you found confusing?

I remember the first time I read Pride & Prejudice thinking "Where's Lizzy?" for the first two chapters. Having seen parts of the movie and, you know, just existing in a literate world I knew she was the protagonist of the story, yet she isn't really important in the beginning of the book. Now that I know to expect all this Jane business everything read much smoother, and I was generally surprised at how fast P&P reads.

Jane Austen is known for her memorable characters. What do you think so far of the characterization? Do any stand out to you? If this is a reread for you, do you notice new things in the characters with each reread? Do your favorite characters change with each reread?

I use to really love Elizabeth. She was like the everygirl:  smart, funny, easily misguided but with her heart in the right place. During this read I'm loving her less. She's still smart and witty, but she just isn't sparkling for me right now. However I am really enjoying Mr. Darcy in the beginnings of the novel. He's sweeter than I remember and it seems obvious now that he only had the best (if slightly misguided) intentions at heart.

What do you make of the principle characters so far? Do you relate to any particular one?

i feel like there is a lot of set up in these first 80 something pages. We're just learning the basic traits of each of the characters. Lizzy's smart and sassy, Jane's calm and sweet, Mrs Bennet is a crazy person (not really crazy just crazy irritating) and Mr. Darcy's kind of proud.

Discuss the eligible men of Pride & Prejudice: Impressiosn of Mr Bingley, Mr Darcy, Wickham and Mr Colins.

As far as eligible men go, the only two I think are worthy of my attention are Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Bingley's terribly sweet, and recognizes his own faults and is just all kinds of adorable. And Darcy's just Darcy. He's that men guy in class you had a crush on because he said stuff like "Hey Stupid! You're holding up the line!" and  you laughed and laughed because he was cute and if he was cute he obviously deserved your attention...That's probably a really bad way to think about Darcy. Oh well.

Also. I hate Mr. Collins with a passion.

Discuss the Bennet girls stay at Netherfield.

Elizabeth and Jane's time at Netherfield is one of my favorite parts of the book. We learn so much about the Bingley's and Darcy while there. Plus it's really funny. Living in the 21st century intstead of the beginning of the 19th it's easily to see Elizabeth as a sensible and normal modern girl, but in reality she's kind of odd for her own time period. The time at Netherfield really plays off that.  Caroline is irritating, but really kind of funny and it's interesting to see the Bennet's from someone else's perspective.

Discuss Wickham's revelation of Darcy's character: Judging solely on the text so far do you believe the things Wickham tells Lizzie? what impressions do you have of Wickham, Lizzie and Darcy after this?

Jane really got this part right. Wickham's Darcy tale is, in my opinion, completely believable. He's nonchalant about it and doesn't spend very much time dwelling on Darcy's "wrong doings". More so he convinces Lizzie that Darcy could actually be the type of man that would disregard his fathers wishes, and so far Lizzies opinions have been fairly accurate. I still don't particularly like Wickham as a character, but that could just be because I think he's kind of dull.

Discuss the humor in the book so far: There are a lot of different types of humor on display throughout the book, from Mr. Bennet's dry indifference, Lizzie's witty banter, Mr Collins ridiculousness, etc.

My thing with Pride & Prejudice is that it's funny, but it's not really HaHa funny. I really love Mr. Bennet's dry humor though. During my reread I've found several of his passages underlined with little "lol"s next to them. He's the insider that realizes his world is pretty trivial and kind of insane. Lydia's blatant disregard for manners makes me laugh too. She's just so, so silly. The one person who is probably suppose to be comic relief that I don't find funny is Mr. Collins. He just irritates me so much and It's all I can do to not picture to disgusting man that plays him in the movie whenever I see his name. It's like his words are nails on a chalkboard. They're not funny, they're irritating.


Jillian said...

Oh my gosh! I hate Mr. Collins!! I never understood why people liked him. He was so annoying, LOL

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Collins is awful and Mrs. Bennet is crazy, but I do love me some P&P.

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.