Monday, January 28, 2013

All Jane Austen, All the Time

Exactly 200 years ago, a book was published that would later become a standard for romantic relationships. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, though analyzing relationships between men and women, is not entirely a girly book. Instead, it is more a historical narrative of the problems women faced with marriage during Regency era. However, the romantic nature of the book and Austen’s other works tend to dissuade males from reading them.

The most interesting aspect of the book is the title and how it relates to the two main characters. Mr. Darcy (immortalized by Colin Firth *humunahumuna* in the BBC version) and Miss Elizabeth Bennet begin the story very much hating each other. And what makes their eventual romance so interesting is that it is entirely about wits. Both characters are smart and the whole dynamic of their relationship is that she proves she is smart enough to be his equal and he sees this, and thus treats her as an equal. But since romance is never immediate, and as I mentioned the two hate each other at the beginning, it becomes a question of which character is proud and which is prejudiced. In turns, they both portray each vice. But the two eventually work things out and fall madly in love.

I grew up watching the BBC miniseries of Pride & Prejudice and became enthralled with her literary works. Since today was the 200th anniversary, I knew my day off would be dedicated to watching the five and a half hour BBC epic, which leaves no detail behind. My darling cousin Colette shares my history with the miniseries and spent her day watching with me. After dinner, we were still in an Austen mood, so we put in Jane Austen Book Club to watch. This movie not only analyzes the main six novels published by Austen, but hits on many of the central themes that appear in each book and in Austen’s style.

And because my cousin and I were still craving Austen, we have decided to read all the novels. We have created our own order, instead of following the style of the film. I know I might end up publishing another Austen blog, because you can never get enough Austen. And Jane Austen Book Club has the perfect quote to explain.

“All Jane Austen, all the time. It’s the perfect antidote.”
“To what?”
“To life.”

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