Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Carol Howard (Introduction), George Stade (Editor)
Paperback, Barnes & Noble Classics, 376 pages, Published August 1st 2003 by Barnes & Noble Classics (first published January 28th 1813)
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." Thus memorably begins Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, one of the world's most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice—Austen's own "darling child"—tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.
Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale. In the words of Eudora Welty, Pride and Prejudice is as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
S1: E8 Rory and Lane are sitting at a public bus stop in Stars Hollow where Dean meets them before school. Rory is absent-mindedly listening to Lane while waiting for Dean to arrive. When he meets them he returns a book recommended and borrowed from Rory.
DEAN: Nice hat. [Dean sits on the bench and hands Rory a book] Here.
RORY: Oh, how'd you like it?
DEAN: Well, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
RORY: Aha! You liked it, you liked Jane Austen. I knew you would. Lane, Dean likes Jane Austen.
LANE: Wow, who would've thought.
RORY: I told him he would, but he was all, 'Forget Jane Austen, you have to read Hunter Thompson.'
DEAN: You do have to read Hunter Thompson.
RORY: Not as much as you needed to read Jane Austen.
This book is often confused with another Austen book, Northanger Abbey, which Rory is seen reading at a later date. However, the 1996 Signet Classic edition, pictured above, is the one seen being returned by Dean. It makes sense that Rory would have Dean read Pride and Prejudice as his first Jane Austen novel, as it is Austen's best-known work. This exchange also symbolically represents Rory opening Dean's world up to literature and a world of strong female leads, for not too far in the future Rory and Dean will have their first argument regarding the expectations and roles that women must play in life and in society (S1: E14).
Austen's novel represents the pride and vanity of those who esteem themselves with airs of elitism and arrogance pertaining to their place in society but also the havoc that personal judgment can elicit. All are a running theme in Gilmore girls, where pride, vanity, and a lack of communication cause an endless amount of family clashing within the lineage of the Gilmore women. Emily, Lorelai, and Rory grow to accept each other and eventually take on each other's quirks as something to entertain themselves by. Like Pride and Prejudice, part of the human struggle is setting aside our own pride, prejudices, or vanity for our own growth and expansion on dated perspectives.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife." - Volume 1, Chapter 1
"Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity to what we would have others think of us." - Volume 1, Chapter 5
"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" - Volume 3, Chapter 15
This is the OG romantic comedy, where the in's and out's of everyone's decisions are based on each character's own widely different judgments and which ensue the most ridiculous encounters and situations that are always going awry. The reason women still swoon over Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy lies within the sentiment that there exists pleasant love and there exists voracious love, and we all want to find that big, immense love with our own Mr. Darcy.
WHAT THE WHAT?:
Despite writing some of the most popular love stories ever written, Jane Austen never married. She was proposed to multiple times but turned down every offer. As witnessed with Austen's female characters, Jane was a witty, astute, and flirtatious woman but had no dowry, and it was up to her to create an economic pairing for herself. It isn't known why she broke off her engagement to a man six years her minor, or why after saying no to a second suitor if she had other love interests; Jane's sister burned her letters after her sister's death, so historians must inspect Austen's novels for deeper research on her own romantic life.
CARO'S RATING: 5 of 5 STARS
Pride and Prejudice defies ranking. This book was published over 200 years ago in 1813 and still maintains its hold as one of the popular books of all time, but it's also just an all-in-all fun book to read. The intertwining of personalities within Netherfield and the Bennett household create a world that has the reader laughing and detesting certain characters all while being so intensely entertaining that you'll want to squeeze all of the juice out of this book while sipping on a nice cup of your own tea. Also, Elizabeth and Darcy forever! (..................swoon!)
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