"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
Pride and Prejudice contains one of the most cherished love stories in English literature: the courtship between Darcy and Elizabeth. As in any good love story, the lovers must elude and overcome numerous stumbling blocks, beginning with the tensions caused by the lovers’ own personal qualities. Elizabeth’s pride makes her misjudge Darcy on the basis of a poor first impression, while Darcy’s prejudice against Elizabeth’s poor social standing blinds him, for a time, to her many virtues.
The novel depicts a society in which a woman’s reputation is of the utmost importance. A woman is expected to behave in certain ways. Stepping outside the social norms makes her vulnerable to ostracism. This theme appears in the novel, when Elizabeth walks to Netherfield and arrives with muddy skirts, to the shock of the reputation-conscious Miss Bingley and her friends. Austen pokes gentle fun at the snobs in these examples, but later in the novel, when Lydia elopes with Wickham and lives with him out of wedlock, the author treats reputation as a very serious matter.
One of the most prominent features of the literary style of Jane Austen is her frequent use of irony. Darcy is not as humorless and sober as he appears on the surface. He may not laugh, but in his own way he is as attuned to irony and incongruity as Elizabeth is. Their conversation shows that his wit can be as ready as Elizabeth’s. For example, when Miss Bingley accuses Elizabeth of being ‘one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex, by undervaluing their own,' Mr. Darcy’s ironic response that “there is meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation” indicates that he sees through Miss Bingley’s own attempt to “recommend” herself to him by “undervaluing” Elizabeth.
This classic novel is my utmost favorite till date & had changed me in ways innumerable; difficult to explain. Recommended to all of you to read it atleast once in your lifetime.