Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pride & Prejudice Read-a-Long Part 2

Keeping up with my I'm-not-in-school-so-scheduling-has-gone-out-the-window period that's been going on for the past couple weeks I bring you Part 2 of my thoughts of Pride & Prejudice for the Book Rats Jane in June Read-a-Long. Instead of answering the questions I decided I was just going to go over some of my broader thoughts of this section.

Oskar Wild is not as big a fan of Jane Austen as I am.

Now, if you'll remember back to Part 1, I was minding my own business reading Pride & Prejudice and BAM Elizabeth Bennett was just annoying the pants off of me. She was all judgmental and mean to Mr. Darcy, who was making me swoon with his timely placed eye comments and quiet disposition. I was very confused. I liked Elizabeth in my previous reads? She was the everyone! I was discouraged, I put my paperback down, went to the library, started On the Road and thought fondly about Colin Firth. I needed time. 

Okay, I didn't need that much time. I was back to P&P within a few days and found my feelings completely changed. Elizabeth was the love-able heroine I remembered from several years back. She was poised and confident and completely awesome! The ball at Netherfield left me cringing, but in a good way, since I know that not all hope is lost. I was also starting to appreciate the roles of the umm... sillier...characters. Lydia drives me up the wall, but she certainly has her purpose and while I can't stand Mr. Collin's I love how oblivious to real customs Austen made him.  Even Wickham's true character starts to show at the end of this section. Masterfully done, Jane, masterfully done. 

I was also really thinking about marriage during these chapters. Okay, that isn't a surprising fact. Mrs. Bennett is always talking about marriage. If you think about it, Jane was living in a time where you needed a husband to have any sort of comfortable living, otherwise you were a burden on your family and that sad person people talked about at balls who is now the crazy spinster down the lane. So what does Jane do? She has good ol' sensible Elizabeth turn down the marriage proposal that could keep her family in their home because Mr. Collins is crazy irritating. Wow. That's a huge gamble girl! I feel like the reason Pride & Prejudice has remained a favorite so long is that Elizabeth is more of a 21st century girl than a 19th century one. She has her own thoughts and opinions and doesn't want to end up in some forced, loveless marriage just because it's expected of her and I think that's awesome. It also lead me to believe there needs to be a Doctor Who episode where the Doctor visits Jane Austen and tells her about feminism and then whoever his companion is inspires Emma. 

Oh, last thing. I was right, the pages are starting to fall out of my crappy paperback, anyone have suggestions for good Pride & Prejudice editions?

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