Monday, April 22, 2013

First Impressions

I'm in love with words. To say I'm obsessed with them would not be much of an overstatement. Whenever I'm reading a book or a poem and I come across a sentence or a paragraph that is exquisitely phrased, I jot it down so I can remember it and look back at it later. I keep all my favourites in a notebook and occasionally I'll read them and fall in love all over again.

This evening I was looking through the notebook's pages and I was again struck by how much I identify with Jane Austen. Most of the her quotes that I've written down are focused on her love of literature and words, but there are also a few witty, sarcastic remarks belonging to her characters in one of my most favourite books, Pride & Prejudice. I've read it seven times and every time I finish it I'm again in amazement of how incredible it is.

The story itself is humourous and witty, but I've always found myself drawn to this story in particular because of its protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet (so much so, in fact, that I wrote my college application essay on her). Even though she's only a fictional character, we are very much alike. We both hold a more cynical view of romance and people's motives and generally the world at large than the people around us. Once found on our bad side, it's difficult to get back in our good graces. We both are quick to make up our minds and do not easily change our opinions. When I read P&P, it's a bit like looking at my personality in a mirror.


I am very easily drawn to literary characters and excellent prose, which is why I like rereading books so often. Whenever I come across a character that I can easily identify with, it makes the book that much more enjoyable for me. Pride & Prejudice captured my attention from the first time I read it and continues to be a favourite of mine through its satirical wit and relatable characters.

"'Nay,' said Elizabeth... 'There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be places on the appearance of merit or sense.'"


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