Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pride & Prejudice Read-Along | Week 1



Welcome to Week 1 of the Pride & Prejudice read-along! You can learn more about the read-along schedule in this invitation post. (We're reading 2 chapters a day.)

Today we're going to discuss chapters 1-6 (Volume I). If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section or in your own post! (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to the Pride & Prejudice read-along tag.) If you still have to catch up on some reading, you're welcome to check in later this week or whenever you're ready. :)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Pride & Prejudice Volume I: Chapters 1-6

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week's reading.

Favorite Quote

"There are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement." ~ Charlotte Lucas

General Impressions

Characters truly have their own distinct persona between movies and books, don't they? In these first few chapters, I've really enjoyed getting to discover different sides and depths of the familiar characters in Pride & Prejudice.

So far, Elizabeth hasn't stood out to me all that much. She seems rather likable, if not entirely remarkable (at least, as little as she's been described so far!). I like that she holds her own, and I especially like seeing the bond between her and Jane. It's really sweet how much she cares about Jane's happiness, and how defensive she is of Jane's introverted ways.

Jane really shines at this point. I love the way Lizzy describes Jane's attitude: "To take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad—belongs to you alone." I appreciate Jane's kindness in how she views and judges (or, refrains from judging) others. Between her gentle ways and her loveliness, Mr. Bingley was bound to fall in love. :)

Speaking of Mr. Bingley...he's definitely made himself much more appealing in these first few chapters than Mr. Darcy has. But I suppose that's the point: the "first impressions" (First Impressions being the original title of the book) are quite unfavorable for him, but they don't tell the whole story. As Mr. Bennet says (in jest to his wife, but with underlying truth in it):
A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight.
I'm not quite sure what to make of my first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Bennet is rather funny and charming, although it's hard to tell (so far) whether or not he truly has affection for his wife. I prefer to take this line...
The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps surpassing the rest.
...to mean that he really cares about making Mrs. Bennet happy, even if he likes to have a little fun at her expense in the process. ;)

Then there is Charlotte Lucas. She seems very jaded, but also wise to the ways of her world and what survival looks like within it. I think what she says about love needing encouragement is a good point even today. We all long for a sign that the person we love shares our feelings. Sometimes, when we have a crush, we can make up those signs. (I think I did a fair amount of this in years past!) But we still look for clues and long to know we're not alone in what we feel. It gives us the courage to reach out.

Discussion Questions

Feel free to answer one, two, or all three of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post!

1. Which character do you most relate to at this point in the story? Whose worldview/personality most resembles yours?

2. Ponder Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's first impressions of each other. Might the story have been very different if they had each responded differently at (and after) that first ball?

3. What do you think of the portrayals of marriage/courtship so far? Charlotte claims, "It is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life." Do you agree or disagree?

Join us next Tuesday for our second discussion! 
(Vol. I: Ch. 7-20)

8 comments:

Julie said...

Woohoo! We are off and running! I'm so excited to be participating in this read-along! Can't wait to see what everyone thinks! As always Amber, I love your observations of the characters in a story. Great questions as well! Here is the link to my post: https://myfavoritepastime.blogspot.com/2017/10/pride-prejudice-read-along-week-1.html

Thanks again for hosting this read-along and hope everyone is as giddy as I am about it!

Amber Holcomb said...

Julie,

Aw, it's finally happening! We're finally discussing your favorite Austen book! :)

Thank you for the kind words, and for participating in the discussion! I'll stop by to comment on your post...

~Amber

Deborah O'Carroll said...

So I just started on my re-read and I'm loving it! :D I don't have a lot to say, other than there are lots of fabulous bits that don't seem to appear in the movies (I do enjoy the movies but still find the book to be better. XD) and that re-reading it is delightful! Also Mr. Darcy's the best buuut was there any doubt? ;) Also, I think it's great how Bingly is listed as not having a deficiency of understanding but Darcy is just clever. It's like how Watson wasn't ACTUALLY stupid, it's just that Holmes is rather above him. It makes it much more understandable why somebody like Darcy or Holmes WOULD be friends with Bingley or Watson, which is hard to understand when films depict them as a little silly. Random thought. ^_^ ANYWAYS, I'm quite enjoying it and THANK YOU for giving me, finally, the excuse to get around to re-reading this! :D So excited!

Miranda Atchley said...

So crazy that Lizzy is barely mentioned in the beginning, isn't it? Here's my post!

https://arealwriterslife.blogspot.com/2017/10/pride-and-prejudice-read-along-week-1.html

Amber Holcomb said...

Deborah,

I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying rereading Pride & Prejudice! I'm glad the read-along inspired you. :)

Definitely agree with both your thoughts! It's neat to get so much more context in the book...it feels like the flow of events and the nature of the characters is starting to make way more sense than it all does in seeing a movie adaptation alone. And YES about Bingley! I love that he is depicted as smart in addition to being sweet, and it definitely helps explain his friendship with Darcy. While I like Bingley in the 2005 adaptation, I'm loving his character so much more as I'm seeing new depths to him. :)

Thanks so much for commenting and participating!

~Amber

Amber Holcomb said...

Miranda,

Yes, it's quite strange, after knowing she's the main character! I wonder what I would have thought upon reading the first few chapters if I hadn't been familiar with the story... Like, maybe Jane and Bingley would appear as the main couple? Although Darcy and Elizabeth do seem to have a strong presence, even when they're occasionally in the background. :)

Will stop by to comment on your post! Yay!

~Amber

MovieCritic said...

I'm so sorry this is so late, I have been busy and I haven't had access to internet.

It is so nice to hear your thoughts as you are reading it for the first time! You said you've seen a movie version, which one is it?

That was the original title!? Wow, I didn't know that!

I like what you said about Mr. Bennet wanting to make Mrs. Bennet happy, how true!!

Thank you again for hosting this!

Amber Holcomb said...

MovieCritic,

No need to apologize, friend! Definitely sweet of you to stop by and comment, but please never feel pressured to do so. :)

I confess I've only seen the 2005 movie version of P&P, the one with Keira Knightley. I love it, even though it seems to be a bit different from the book! ;) A friend did try to show me the BBC miniseries once, but I think I fell asleep... Terrible, I know! I'll have to give it another try, maybe over a span of time. ;)

Have you seen an adaptation (or more than one)?

There are some notes in the first paragraph of this web page that are interesting about the original title and first version of the book. :)

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts, and for participating! Glad to have you join us!

~Amber