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Manga Classics: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
Written by Jane Austen
Adapted by Po Tse, Morpheus Studios, and Stacy King
Published by Udon Entertainment
Format: 6 x 8 in, 376 pages, Black & White
ISBN: 9781927925188

Review

One of my personal favorites texts of all-time, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been adapted by Manga Classics’ for an entirely new generation of readers.  Whether read alongside Austen’s original18th century print-text Pride and Prejudice or by itself this manga-based version of Pride and Prejudice stands alone. 

The Bennet family’s dynamic idiosyncrasies, Mr. Bingley’s light-hearted idealism, Mr. Darcy’s introverted sincerity, Mr. Collins’ hilarious rants, and many more of Pride and Prejudice’s most famous characters can all be found in this adaptation.  The only difference between Manga Classics’ Pride and Prejudice and Austen’s is the illustrations.  Thoughtful and respectful, the illustrations in this manga-based adaptation appeal to modern readers who, contemporary literacy research suggests, read more efficiently and effectively when print-text and image-text work together to tell the story. 

A new or old story, this version of Pride and Prejudice is authentic and approachable.  I read it twice.  One time by itself.  One time alongside Austen’s original.  With over 360+ pages, this new manga-based Pride and Prejudice is true to the original text. 

After reviewing many other adaptations of literary classics over the years I can wholeheartedly tell you that this adaptation is by far the best adaptation I’ve ever come across.  I strongly and enthusiastically encourage readers of all ages to check it out. 

Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot: Elizabeth Bennet understands how the world works, or so she thinks.  The main protagonist in the story, however, she is definitely not alone.  A host of unforgettable characters all seem to think they have 18th century marriage customs and traditions understood.  Bottom line: not everyone can be right!  And Elizabeth Bennet seems destined to fall into a situation or two where she must face her own beliefs about love and marriage head on. 

Major Characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. & Mrs. Bennet, Bennet sisters, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley, George Wickham, Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. & Mrs. Gardiner, Charlotte Lucas, Georgiana Darcy

Major Settings: 18th century England

Themes: Rumors and Truth, Tradition and Modernism, Wealth and Power, True Love, Family and Friendship, Socio-economic Status 

Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for Young Adult Readers

 Key Ideas and Details Standard:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed.*

*The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org).

Lesson Idea for Middle School and/or High School Readers 

Directions

1. Ask students to break into pairs.

2. Next, ask students to select a theme: Rumors and Themes, Tradition and Modernism, Wealth and Power, True Love, Family and Friendship, Socio-economic Status.  Students should write their theme at the top of their piece of paper. 

3. After selecting a theme students need to find three (of the best!) examples from the Manga-based Pride and Prejudice that best highlight that theme textually (with words only).  Students need to quote, record the page number, and offer a brief rationale for each example on a piece of paper. 

4. When they are done listing their theme, identifying selections and accompanying page numbers students can now pass their piece of paper to another group.

5. Now in the hands of a new pair of students, the passed pieces of paper with theme identifiers and examples now need supporting images.  In short, the next pair of students need to find images to further support their peers’ selections and quotation identifiers.  This time, however, pairs of students need to find images that BEST support the selected theme on their paper; students cannot choose any of the images on the page that the first group selected quotations from.  This time, students need to recreate the images on their own and, finally, also list the page number.

6. When complete, ask students to pass their pieces of paper to a third group.  The third group is in charge of reviewing the paper with the previous two group’s work on identifying themes and both textual and image examples.  When done reading and talking about the previous two group’s work the third group is in charge of presenting the findings of the previous two groups. 

As students present their peers’ findings educators can record those findings on the board, discussing overlaps and unique ideas as the move from pair-to-pair. 

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Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.