30 day book challenge – day 9 – Most overrated book.
This might be a controversial answer, but the most overrated book I have ever read is Pride and Prejudice.
I know, I know. It is a beloved book, a treasure of English literature, how can I think it is overrated?
Firstly, I don’t like Elizabeth Bennett. I find her to be narrow minded, interfering and judgemental with an annoyingly superior attitude. I thought she was very unfair, listening to gossip and rumour from Mr Whickham to inform her opinion of Mr Darcy. I think she would have felt very harshly treated if Mr Darcy had done that to her, and rightly so. I’m going to add shallow to the list as well – she might think that she wants to marry for love and cares nothing for fortune, but perhaps it is no coincidence that her feelings towards Mr Darcy change only once she has visited and fallen for Pemberley.
But I’m not sticking up for Mr Darcy at all – I also don’t like him. He is cold, aloof, stand-offish and a snob. He may be a man with a fortune, and maybe a good man at the end of the day. However, I really don’t see the appeal personally – it would insufferable to be around somebody that miserabe all of the time.
The book is obviously a product of its time, and it is a fact of the time that making a good marriage was important to a woman. Jane Austen is one of the few examples of a woman in that time who was able to have a successful career and live independently of any man. I’m trying very hard not to judge it on it’s subject matter, however I did find the plot which is basically all about the tangled affairs and husband hunting of the Bennett girls, a little bit thin.
I read this book when I was a youngish teenager, which perhaps is a prime time to fall for Mr Darcy, but it did nothing for me. In fact, it put me off the classics for a long time. However, I have since embraced reading classics, and I have read and enjoyed some of Austen’s other work, in particular Emma. At the back of my mind, I have been thinking it might be time to give Pride and Prejudice another go, as I think a little (or a lot of) time and distance could well change my original opinion, but I can’t see myself ever really loving this book as much as its millions of devoted fans.