Having trouble reading pride and prejudice

yayme

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I am trying to read pride and prejudice lately. I am not being able to fully comprehend what the author is saying. What can I do ? Should I prepare myself by reading something less difficult? If yes, could you suggest something?
 

emsr2d2

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I am Recently, I have been trying to read Pride and Prejudice. lately. I am not being able to fully comprehend what the author is saying. What can I do? Should I prepare myself by reading something less difficult? If yes, could you suggest something?
The simple answer is yes. Read something appropriate to your level of English. Do you have a favourite book in Bengali that you could find an English translation of? You will find it easier to read something with which you're already familiar. There is little point in our suggesting books. We don't know what kind of books you like. However, I would definitely say you should steer clear of books written before perhaps the 1930s because they will use old-fashioned English that you won't understand and will never need to use. That's almost certainly the problem you're having with P&P.
 

Skrej

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I am trying to read pride and prejudice lately. I am not being able to fully comprehend what the author is saying.

To be fair, I, a native speaker of English, and college educated to boot, had trouble reading not just Pride and Prejudice, but any of Austen's novels. The antiquated language itself was difficult enough to focus on, but the sheer (to me) utter banality of a Victorian Era romance novel was enough to prevent me from finishing the book. I can't imagine tackling it as a language learner.

. I am not being able to fully comprehend what the author is saying.

Let me save you some effort....

Basic plot layout for a Jane Austen novel: Young unmarried woman from genteel upper crust Victorian Era British society falls on hard times and has to move from comfortable estate manor to lesser dwellings. Young unmarried woman experiences romance and heartbreak, partially due to social class differences. Variations include said young women moving from lower crust to upper crust society, then experiencing said heartbreak due to social class differences OR said young woman remains in same social class, but meddles in the affairs of others causing heartbreak due to social class differences.

I have now saved you approximately 2,300 pages over at least six volumes and probably six months of utterly miserable reading.
 
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5jj

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I can't imagine tackling it as a language learner.
I disagree strongly with Skrej's opinions on one of the finest novelists in the English language, but I have to say that I agree with that sentences above. Few native speakers can appreciate the novels today without some form of introduction to the life and times of Jane Austen. For language learners the novels must be turgidly incomprehensible.
 
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tedmc

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As with most things, I think doing things that you enjoy doing is more likely to be sustainable.
 
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probus

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Pride and Prejudice was part of the curriculum in my high school English class. Although I was a voracious reader I simply could not bring myself to plough through it. Fortunately the Classic Comics version sufficed to get me through the exam. 😀
 

Tarheel

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I haven't had the pleasure of reading Pride and Prejudice.
 

emsr2d2

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I've started it twice and never got beyond the first ten pages or so.
 

jutfrank

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I had to read it for A-level English Lit. I couldn't bear reading past halfway, so I sufficed with the York Notes and aced the exam.

I guess Ms Austen wasn't writing with the readership of 16-year-old, late 20th century working class boys in mind.
 

emsr2d2

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I had to read it for A-level English Lit. I couldn't bear reading past halfway, so I sufficed with the York Notes and aced the exam.

I guess Ms Austen wasn't writing with the readership of 16-year-old, late 20th century working class boys in mind.
I did the same with The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy) and Bleak House (Charles Dickens). I can't bear writing from those periods. At 16, I was avidly reading anything written by Stephen King and Isaac Asimov!
The only parts of O Level English Lit I enjoyed were Shakespeare (we did Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet) and some of the poetry, particularly Robert Frost.
 

5jj

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The antiquated language itself was difficult enough to focus on, but the sheer (to me) utter banality of a Victorian Era romance novel was enough to prevent me from finishing the book
Pride and Prejudice was part of the curriculum in my high school English class. Although I was a voracious reader I simply could not bring myself to plough through it. Fortunately the Classic Comics version sufficed to get me through the exam.
I haven't had the pleasure of reading Pride and Prejudice.
I've started it twice and never got beyond the first ten pages or so.
I had to read it for A-level English Lit. I couldn't bear reading past halfway, so I sufficed with the York Notes and aced the exam.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that forum members in possession of no appreciation of Jane Austen must be in want of taste.
 

emsr2d2

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that forum members in possession of no appreciation of Jane Austen must be in want of taste.
I am very happy to be living proof of that universally acknowledged truth. ;)
 

jutfrank

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that forum members in possession of no appreciation of Jane Austen must be in want of taste.

Mr 5jj—I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of fine taste. My temper I dare not vouch for.
 

Skrej

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that forum members in possession of no appreciation of Jane Austen must be in want of taste.

Any yet, I stand before thee, head high, conscience clear, undaunted, unashamed.
 

probus

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Nary a daunt in old Skrej. 😀
 

Skrej

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Wait, wait.. let me try that again - this time in full Jane Austen character:

I see, Mr. 5jj, that you presume to have taken upon yourself the mantle of stewardship and assumed governance of the statues of good tastes; for far be it from myself or any other mere communal participants of these electronic conveyances to dare step outside what others, especially yourself, have deemed prim and proper standards of decorum with regards to all thing literary. Does your omnipresence then stop solely withing the perseverance of words quilled upon parchment,, or pray tell, does it extend into multifarious realms, stretching into such leagues of alternate sustenances, both comestible and imbibable potations? Let us not stop there - do ilume us with admissible conventionalities for all other things we need procure as we progress through the grandeur of life. Have you thoughts on drapery, art, opera, or these newfangled horseless carriages? Which tune best soothes our savage inner beasts? Do share, we await with baited breath!

You needn't deign responding, my dear Mr. 5jj. I assure you,my query was purely of rhetorical nature; the veritas of essentiaility regarding how highly you hold yourself in regards over the plebian troglodytes who wouldst dare venture such speculations as to those which dare vary a minim from those absolutes you hold legitimate are are plain as the the morning dew which still lies fresh and heavy upon yon unopened lilies. With much too, I daresay, the same effect - necks bowed down from crushing weight which suppresses while attempting to nourish. Too much of it however, and it becomes a deleterious deluge which uproots the very tendrils it professes to maintain!

(purely in jest - no actual snark intended towards 5jj)
 

emsr2d2

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I'm so using "Have you thoughts on drapery?" at some point at work today!

@yayme - as you can see, your post has sent some of us off on some strange tangents. However, I hope it helps you to know that not all native speakers enjoy the work of Jane Austen so we can certainly sympathise with your struggle.
 
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