People who don't know better are very quick to write it off as chick lit, and I can hardly blame them, as SO MUCH AWFUL (and some good) chick lit has been spawned from this novel, as well as other of Austen's works.
But P&P is so much more than that! P&P is as much a novel about:
- class distinctions
- gender roles
- the failure of men to live up to their duties (more specifically)
- the duties and responsibilities of family
- literacy and communication (that was my thesis topic)
as it is a novel about love and marriage. (And to add, it IS a novel about marriage, but more specifically, it's a novel about the business of marriage, because at the time, marrying well was the best "career move" a woman could make.)
I'm going to risk sounding like a snotty scholar here, but if you read this book and ALL you pick up on is swoony Mr. Darcy, then you're either not a good reader or you're willfully glossing over all the other stuff. I can understand if you don't prefer Austen's style of prose (I LOVE her use of language, personally), but to characterize P&P as merely some vapid rom-com is totally and completely wrong and inaccurate. And it actually offends me when I hear people say that (which is probably why I keep bringing this up). If it's not your cup of tea, no problem, but to totally judge it without fully understanding it?
Well, the book is called Pride and Prejudice. ;) Swallow your pride and get over your prejudice - this is one of the best novels ever written in English literature.