Is P&P a love novel?
Posted by Mark on December 12, 1997 at 10:52:29:
No, that is not a typo. We gaily go on here at Pemberley as if P&P were a love novel. Andrew Davies, the P&P2 screenwriter said that P&P is one of the sexiest books written, and that the main engine that drives the story forward is the sexual attraction between Elizabeth and Darcy.
But is it?
Allister Cooke, who was hosting Masterpiece Theatre when P&P1 was first broadcast stated, "Pride and Prejudice is not a love novel. It is a parody of a love novel." I have often meditated upon what he meant by that.
Consider that the book revolves around one Miss Elizabeth Bennet. We see nearly everything through her eyes. We go through the day with her. We listen in on her conversations with others. We read her correspondance. We are privy to her innermost thoughts. So, why is it that in this book supposedly about love, do we not know when she fell in love? We simply are not told. There is really very little about her specifically falling in love in the novel. It has always jarred me when she finally declares her love for Darcy to Jane in their room, and to her father in his library. I almost always feel like saying, "Wait a minute. When did that happen? Did I miss something?"
We can fairly easily trace Mr Fritzwilliam Darcy's journey to love, and HE is considered closed and aloof!! Is this not irony at its best?
It has been said that Pride and Prejudice is really a book about social commentary masquarading as a love novel. While I do not feel comfortable putting P&P into any pigeon hole, I can definitely see the validity of the argument.
So, in the final analysis, just what is Pride and Prejudice. Besides it arguably being the greatest book of fiction ever written in the English language, I can't answer that.
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