With the movie adaptation starring the beautiful Keira Knightley becoming a huge hit recently, even those who never bothered to read Jane Austen’s incredible novel knows about Pride and Prejudice. A lot can be said about this book, as it had a great influence on the world of literature and culture as a whole. The thing that makes it really timeless is the realistic characters. Even today, one can see themselves reflected in the pages of Austen’s amazing novel.
Elizabeth Bennet, the story’s protagonist, is a lady that millions of girls aspire to be. Is this a good thing? There can be no doubt that it is. This girl is independent and intelligent. Considering the time when the story was written, this character could have draws in a lot of controversy. Many people would have argued that this is not the character young girls should use as a role model. However, the times have changed, and the impact this novel had on society was an important tool that helped bring about these vital changes. A woman’s position in society evolved far beyond the role of a housekeeper, which was seen as the norm at that time. Elizabeth’s character also serves as a contrast to her younger sisters, who are flighty and flirtatious. When compared to the girl who would not allow herself to be pushed around, the sisters’ attitudes seems downright repulsive. The author’s position on what kind of behavior should be considered to be better is obvious from the fact that Elizabeth ends up happily married, while her younger sister is saddled to a degenerate of a husband and a child before she is even out of her teens.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, better known as Mr. Darcy, is the second protagonist and Austen’s picture of a perfect gentleman. When he first appears in the novel, the impression the readers are left with is mixed at best. However, as the story progresses, he is shown to be a strong-willed, intelligent, courteous, and dedicated man. His personality also serves as a contrast to other male characters from the novel, highlighting their negative traits. Regardless of what anyone says today, there is no arguing the fact that the values appreciated by the author of this novel are as important today as they were during her own time. Nobility, kindness, and dignity are traits that people should aspire to possess. Though her way of showing their true values might be a bit too insipid for readers who are used to the more risqué and action-filled literature of today, Austen’s approach is effective and gets the point across really well.