Monday, 28 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice is 200 years old..... here are my strange ramblings about it...

The other day I was watching You’ve Got Mail (because I am awesome) and Meg Ryan’s character said:
When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life does.
I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice as a child-child because I was a child and not a precocious knob (I recently read someone claim they had read Les Misérables as an eight-year-old) but I watched the 1995 tv version obsessively when it was on (I was six) and became completely obsessed. There is so much about myself that comes from my life-long love of Pride and Prejudice, not that I am a carbon copy of the characters but it's more in my head and the way I think about things and people. 

I'm not going to go on about Mr Darcy, although I clearly love him (see my lovely keyring there? that picture actually makes it look a bit creepy...but it's lovely in the perspex) But I will add in this one little link so you can see why I love the 1995 Mr Darcy so much. And why I love Colin Firth. And the one look that I really require from someone I love -  The Glow. But the internet is FULL of love for Darcy so I don't think anymore needs to be added. 

So Darcy is lovely blahblahblah. (I don't know if I could deal with Darcy in real life, I think I'd prefer a Captain Wentworth but I definitely wouldn't turn Darcy down) but the real reason I love Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. 

When I first watched Pride and Prejudice as a six-year-old, I had no interest in Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy was far too grumpy and rubbish for my liking, I didn't understand why anyone would like boys at all, let alone such a horrible grumpy man such as Mr D. I was obsessed with Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth Bennet is a common answer to "which Jane Austen character would you like to be?" etc. but I wonder how often she is picked for herself, and how often she is picked because she gets Darcy. In modernisations Lizzy is often lost - Austen's Elizabeth Bennet bears absolutely no resemblance to Bridget Jones. BUT SHE IS THE BEST PART OF THE BOOK. 

Jane Austen herself said,"I must confess that I  think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know."I quite agree. People who admit they don't like Pride and Prejudice are really just admitting that they are morons.

What makes Elizabeth the best Austen heroine is that you would actually want to be her friend. She isn't hard work like Marianne, or boring like Fanny Price. She makes fun of those who deserve it but she is never cruel like Emma. She is serious and understands how precarious their situation is, and how hard their lives would be if Mr Bennet were to to die, but it doesn't make her serious like Elinor. She is playful and intelligent and, I suspect, the most fanciable Austen heroine.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Lizzy, and she is probably the best Austen heroine- NOT because she gets Mr Darcy, but sort of because she doesn't even want him? I mean, obviously she does in the end when it turns out that he's AWESOME, but she would never have just married him if he hadn't turned out to be, you know?

    I used to HATE P&P because I read it when I was like 12 and tooootally didn't get it (I have probably told you this already...) But yeah, it was waiting for me when I was ready and it was AWESOME :)