25 January 2010


Tim has to read Pride and Prejudice for a class of his, so I have decided to read it with him, as I periodically do. (Like when I read Cat's Cradle--the entire book--out loud to him in the course of our drive to and from Boise over Thanksgiving weekend. This was a new experience for me.) This will be my second time reading the novel, I believe. I haven't studied a lot of Jane Austen, and so I hesitate to be a literary critic and publish my thoughts on my blog . . . but whatever, I will anyway.

I can't deal with the ridiculousness of Austen's novels, though intentional, at times. I read Sense and Sensibility not long ago and was frustrated by the lack of depth in characterization and lack of development of the relationships of the characters.

Pride and Prejudice is one of her better novels for this reason, in my opinion. The relationships that end in marriage (as they always must in Austen) are actually developed more, it seems, and the characters themselves are more believable and likable to me. Emma was so annoying to me when I read it like four years ago because I just hated Emma's character and didn't think she deserved anything, but I quite enjoyed the recent BBC film adaptation currently airing on PBS (which was introduced to me through another blog, and which we watched in ten-minute installments here). (And so did Tim.)

Anyway, here's a quote from Pride and Prejudice that I just read and sort of find to be apt, or at least partially true (but with its limitations of course):

"I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him tomorrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were studying his character for a twelve-month. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation, and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."
(Vol.1, Chapter 6)


Luke and Andrea said...

Ha ha ha! I have to agree, the quote has some truth, and some limitations. How true that all of us, regardless of our perfectly matching personalities, experience a good helping of "strife."

オテモヤン said...
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