Pride & Prejudice

Mmmhm.  A taste of classic Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and the late-18th century social life for you in these 129 minutes! Oh, it’s so good. If you like romance movies, you’ll love what Mr. Darcy here has to offer. I’ve always liked the kind of society back then – more reserved, less people being crazy (e.g. Nicki Minaj), and they wore beautiful clothes. To use Mr. Darcy’s words, they’ve bewitched me. Of course, we can never go back to that time, but hey – we can dream, can’t we?

The plot basically goes down like this. (Oh but beware, this is like a love hexagon…) So, Elizabeth and her sisters (the second sister; she has four others) and mother are at party. Her older sister, Jane, meets and begins falling in love with a Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth sees Mr. Darcy standing alone, and she is told that he is very proud and unsocial, and a friend of Bingley’s – who is extremely social and amiable. After the party, the Bennet girls go home excited for Jane – this might be her chance! Jane visits Mr. Bingley on a rainy day, gets sick, and then stays in his house… for almost two weeks. Elizabeth comes and visits, and runs into Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley, Mr. Bingley’s sister. Eventually, Jane gets better. Now remember that the girls must marry rich, because the Bennet family does not have any wealthy connections, and since there are no sons, the house and inheritance will not be going to them; instead, to Mr. Collins – a cousin. (Note: it was actually fairly common for people to marry their cousins back then, so that inheritances could stay within the family) Enter Mr. Collins, a clergyman for Lady Catherine du Bourgh (who also happens to be the aunt of Mr. Darcy). He comes to Longbourn (the Bennet’s village), with the intent of finding a wife. He sets his eyes on Elizabeth. But, through several other parties and common sense, Elizabeth knows that Mr. Collins is not the man she wants to be with. Mr. Collins’ manners, over-done speeches, and constant apologies are somewhat amusing, but they prove to Elizabeth that this is not what she wants. Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth – and she refuses. This isn’t good on Mrs. Bennet, and she is practically bedridden. But Mr. Bennet is satisfied that Elizabeth went with what she wanted. Mr. Collins later proposes to a friend of Elizabeth’s, to Elizabeth’s surprise. But her friend, Charlotte, says that she’s marrying him not for love, but for economic stability and a place in this world. However, she’s been seeing something in Mr. Darcy – and he’s been giving her ‘odd’ glances. But with what Elizabeth knows, Mr. Darcy is not a good guy.

Her thoughts are confirmed when she meets Mr. Wickham, an officer in the army at a party. He’s known Mr. Darcy since childhood, and Mr. Darcy betrayed his inheritance – now he is poor, and Elizabeth takes a liking to him. Now, there’s another ball. Darcy asks Elizabeth to dance, and she agrees, but says she’s “sworn to loathe him for all eternity”. (But we all know how that’s going to turn out…) But remember Mr. Bingley and Jane? They’re falling in love… and then, with his sister, goes out of town for a long time. Too long for Mrs. Bennet’s nerves. Later, Elizabeth visits the newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Collins at Lady Catherine’s estate. Mr. Darcy is there, and it slips from a source that he’s responsible for the split-up of Jane and Mr. Bingley. As Elizabeth runs out in anger – this is in the rain, mind you – Mr. Darcy follows her and decides it’s a good time to propose. He says he’s very much in love with her, but of course, citing the way that he’s treated Mr. Wickham and Jane & Mr. Bingley’s relationship; the argument concludes – she’s a definite no. Darcy leaves angry and heartbroken, but later gives Elizabeth a letter with details about Wickham’s corrupt side.

The Gardiners, Elizabeth’s aunt and uncle, take her on a trip and visit Darcy’s estate, Pemberley, thinking that he’s away traveling. It’s very lavish and you can see the money in it – and the housekeeper has nothing but good things to say about Mr. Darcy – who appears, arriving early from somewhere. He has good manners now, and his younger sister takes a liking to Elizabeth. Then, Elizabeth blurts out her concern about how Lydia, her youngest sister, and Wickham have run away together. (Yup.) The Bennet family expects social ruin, but Mr. Gardiner finds the couple in London, married, and Lydia tells Elizabeth that Darcy had paid for all the wedding expenses. (!!!) When Bingley and Darcy return back to Netherfield (Bingley’s home, near Longbourn), and Bingley proposes to Jane and everything is well. But that very night, Lady Catherine comes – in the middle of the night, totally unexpectedly – demanding that she renounce Darcy, because he’s apparently engaged to her own daughter. Elizabeth refuses and can’t sleep. She takes a walk outside at dawn, and guess who’s there to meet her? …yuppers! Darcy, after hearing about his aunt’s behavior, is also unable to sleep. He tells Elizabeth that his love for her has continued, and Elizabeth accepts his proposal. (YAY!!!) Mr. Bennet, though somewhat surprised, gives his consent, and Elizabeth assures him that she does, indeed, love Mr. Darcy. (It’s so happy now…)

So there you have it. A spoiler – probably because everyone knows the basic story behind Pride and Prejudice, but not the whole thing. Hope this’ll clear any fog up, and encourage you to read the book and/or watch the movie! Because after I watched the movie, I went straight to my library and checked out the book! (And they had like, six copies!) I encourage everyone to read the book too, it’s well worth reading – though it might take a little longer than your average Hunger Games – and it practices your English accent. Kinda hard to read without one;)

“I will have to tell you: You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.” -Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice (2005 movie)


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