Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice | free Amazon ebook for Kindle

Pride and Prejudice 2005 movie and the novel on Kindle

I am afraid that I've arrived at the Jane Austen's fan party rather late. After embracing the Kindle, I found to my delight that Amazon offers many complimentary classic literature ebooks. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is one of them. This book has been highly recommended to me hence I took advantage of the complimentary offer. The ability to adjust the font size of the words on the pages and the portability of the Kindle has enabled me to finish this book rather quickly.

I was not disappointed. The novel is sprinkled with witty and keen observations of the social mores of Jane Austen's days. The protagonist, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet, was a sharp, spirited and feisty young lady who spoke her own mind. Her mother was eager to marry her five daughters off. The laws of the land required that Mr. Bennet passed his estate to a male relative since he had no sons.

The book focused mainly on the "courtship" between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, a handsome but proud and brooding young man of very wealthy means and being master of the Pemberley estate. They did not start off on the right foot but somehow Mr. Darcy was enchanted by Lizzy's opinionated spirit and intelligence. He fell hard for her and proposed to her in one of the most romantic declaration of love in literature:

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Due to the pride and prejudice intertwined in their social class differences and other misunderstandings, this proposal was in vain.

In time, Mr. Darcy was able to win Lizzie's heart and hand through his transformations into a less haughty and open man. It was also revealed that he had always been a kind and loyal gentleman albeit his haughty countenance. Lizzie also realized that she had been prejudiced in misjudging his character so hastily.

The BBC 1995 series of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy offered quite a faithful dramatization of the book in about five hours. The Pride and Prejudice 2005 movie starring Kiera Knightley was a looser adaptation with many artistic liberties. The movie featured breathtaking cinematography of the British landscape and stately homes.

The book experience has afforded me a better enjoyment of the 2005 movie. Althought it was not a 100% faithful adaptation of the book, the movie still captured the spirited banter and fireworks between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. To the romantics at heart, a highlight of the film was Darcy's proposal in the rain. Darcy and Lizzie eventually declared their mutual love on a beautiful dawn breaking morning laden with mist accompanied by sweeping music scores.

To gauge how popular Pride and Prejudice is almost 200 years after its publication,  I noted recently that there are at least 2.6  million fans who "liked" this 2005 movie on Facebook ! In addition, the Kindle ebook of Pride and Prejudice is one of the top 50 free best sellers on Amazon.

This novel is still relevant to young readers in other ways too. I came upon the word "obsequious" in the book and looked up its meaning in the dictionary on the Kindle. I later found out from a high school student that this word  has just appeared in the most recent SAT exam.

Pride and Prejudice is a love story for the ages and I have became a Jane Austen fan.

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