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A short summary of Pride and Prejudice may cause Jane Austen to groan aloud, but I'll try. Five daughters of a country gentleman who married for beauty and lived to regret it, are enticed by their foolish (though a gentlewoman) mother's announcement of two eligible bachelors in the neighborhood who are newly come down from London. The meetings between the five daughters and these two, as well as other eligible bachelors, at balls result in hoped for love for one sister, disdain and infatuation and irritation from three separate bachelors for another sister, a dangerous elopement for a third sister, and nothing much more than scoldings for the other two sisters.
Jane hopes for marriage with Mr. Bingley but her evenly bestowed smiles lead Darcy to convince Bingley that his love is not returned, while Darcy finds greater and greater attraction in Elizabeth whom he thought too unexceptional to dance with at the Meryton ball. Darcy's old enemy, Wickham, accidentally arrives on the scene and turns Elizabeth's head--and heart--with gossip about Darcy that steels Elizabeth's negative opinion against Darcy. When a visit to Rosings Park to visit Charlotte--Elizabeth's best friend who shocked her by marrying the cousin whom Elizabeth had strongly rejected--exposes Elizabeth to a proposal of marriage form Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth begins a journey of self-discovery.
When a holiday with her Aunt and Uncle surprises Elizabeth with a tour of Pemberley, Darcy's estate and manor house, and then surprises her with the unannounced presence of Darcy himself, Elizabeth's future begins to look brighter as Darcy seems to have taken some of her scathing insults to heart when she rejected his proposal and made himself into a kinder person. But news of Lydia's strange elopement with Darcy's enemy, Wickham, throws Elizabeth on Darcy's mercy and ends her newly sprung hopes of a renewal of his affections. Darcy recognizes his fault of prideful silence in Wickham's being allowed to socialize with respectable families and immediately goes to set things right.
After making amends for the harm his pride and ill-judged decisions had caused, Darcy and Bingley return to Netherfield Park and visit the Bennet home. This time Bingley knows his affection is returned and Darcy knows, because of the outcome of Elizabeth's interview with Darcy's meddling aunt, Lady de Bourgh, that Elizabeth may no longer despise him. Both ladies and men receive their heart's desires when each couple finds a moment to be alone and two weddings are joyously celebrated.
The Regency novella Pride and Prejudice tells the story about a family of 7 made of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters. The time is the Napoleonic Wars circa the 1810-1820 and women had a low status within society unless they married well. It was a struggle throughout the story for elder sisters Jane and Elizabeth to comply with the obstinate ways of their mother in that they should marry a man of means, rather than a man they loved. Still Jane and Elizabeth were able to stick to what they believed and found love in the end despite of the drawbacks that their lack of aristocratic status (and dowry) made them encounter.
In all, the novel is about how Elizabeth and Jane seek and find love without compromising their dignity, and with the full intention of marrying for love and not for financial gain. The attitude of Mrs. Bennet and her husband, and that of the other characters color the novel with comedy since they represent the typical characters of aristocratic and country upbringings that are mocked through the story.
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