AG Book Club :: Pride and Prejudice
Yay for the 2017 Book Club! Have you got back in the swing of reading after the holidays? To be honest, it was hard for me. Reading is completely one of those things that I don’t really feel like doing, but once I start I’m so happy I did. It was nice to have a book I “had” to read this month, because it helped get me away from my phone/TV and put me in a position to enjoy a really good story.
How did you like Pride and Prejudice? It’s funny how you can reread a book and see it in a completely different light or perhaps notice things you don’t even remember reading the first time around. This time I noticed the big changes that took place in both Elizabeth and Darcy throughout the course of the book. In the first part of the book, Elizabeth is very prejudiced against Darcy and biased toward Wickham, but then she has a big change of heart ::
She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think without feeling she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.
“How despicably I have acted!” she cried. “I, who had prided myself on my discernment! …How humiliating is this discovery! yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason way, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself.”
And when you first meet Darcy, he’s a proud man. But he, too, undergoes enormous changes, and at the end of the book he says,
I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not tough tho correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.
After finishing the book, I was talking to Logan about these two different passages and said that I admired how the two characters were willing to change. Sometimes, when you are forced to confront your own bad character or personality traits, your first reaction is to get defensive or to ignore or deny them altogether. But both Elizabeth and Darcy faced their bad behavior, acknowledged it, and then changed.
Logan, who is also a big fan of the book, pointed out that even though interaction with each other is what highlighted their mistakes, really it was an individual work of the heart and will on both their parts to change. Maybe they were shown their shortcomings by each other, but they each did the hard work of understanding why they acted the way they did and finding a better way to live.
I love it! What a beautiful, if “less interesting mode of attachment.” :)
Below is my full review. Let me know what you thought of below, here in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram, or at book club this Thursday night!