Synopsis Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
If the authentic test for a great novel is rereading, and the joys of yet further rereadings, then Pride and Prejudice can rival any novel ever written. Though Jane Austen, unlike Shakespeare, practices an art of rigorous exclusion, she seems to me finally the most Shakespearean novelist in the language. When Shakespeare wishes to, he can make all his personages, major and minor, speak in voices entirely their own, self-consistent and utterly different from one another. Since voice in both writers is an image of personality and also of character, the reader of Austen encounters an astonishing variety of selves in her socially confined world. Though that world is essentially a secularized culture, the moral vision dominating it remains that of the Protestant sensibility. Austen’s heroines waver in one judgment or another, but they hold fast to the right of private judgment as the self’s fortress. What they call “affection” we term “love,” of the enduring rather than the Romantic variety, and when they judge a man to be “amiable,” it is akin to whatever superlative each of us may favor for an admirable, human person. Where they may differ from us, but more in degree than in kind, is in their profound reliance upon the soul’s exchanges of mutual esteem with other souls. In Pride and Prejudice and Emma in particular, your accuracy in estimating the nature and value of another soul is intimately allied to the legitimacy of your self-esteem, your valid pride. – Introduction.
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SOURCE Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice : Wikipedia