Pride and Prejudice – not a book review

I wrote this on July 10, 2001. The following is an edited version of what I originally wrote. The unedited version would already be a glimpse into my soul.

“Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast” by Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

This isn’t a review of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I’m too inferior to do that. This is neither a careless opinion nor an indirect boast. I know my capacity and I know that my capacity does not reach the level of making critiques of highly regarded classic novels. I’m writing without the pretense of intellectual expertise on the subject of classic literature but rather with a renewed inspiration and some self-realization brought about by the reading of Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice and other Jane Austen’s novels, for I have also read Sense and Sensibility and Emma, makes me from a cultural point of view, look at the modern culture so inferior as compared with the 17th and 18th and e3ven 19th century culture. On the other hand, from a late 20th century perspective, that era is too reserved to the point of being uncomfortable and unrealistic and so full of pretentiousness.

But who can really come out and stand with resolute conviction and say that one culture is above any other culture? For culture is a way of life. The meaning, the significance, the superiority of a culture is relative. Social behavior and social outlook have different sets of standards in different times and different places.

Nevertheless, from the novel’s depiction of the 19th century, I came to admire the self-preservation dominant in that era. Why I admire that is a personal case too lengthy and too personal for inclusion. I am drifting away from Pride and Prejudice. But this is exactly what I meant when I wrote that this isn’t a review of Jane Austen’s work. To reiterate it, I don’t have the capacity. The book simply inspired me to make a difference in my life… now. To do it, I must have self-control. Self-control would prevent me from being too emotional and stop me from blabbering about my hopes and my fears and my insecurities. Self-control would enable me to balance my passion and objectivity.

Self-control would enable me to let people see what I want them to see and hide what I don’t want them to see. It will not be pretentious of me to hide what I deem proper to hide. It would be a classic 18th century act. It would be self-preservation.

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3 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice – not a book review

  1. i love charlotte bronte’s jane eyre. i would love to read it again… one of these days… then, i’m going to write about it:-)

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