pride and prejudice

28 December 2008

So I’m rereading Pride and Prejudice, and I just wanted to share with all of you that it’s one of my favority books. I find this amusing, as no doubt will some of you, considering that I spend the majority of my time reading thinly disguised tripe about space wars and colonizing other planets (Although some of it is actually pretty fantastic and not at all lame, folks tend to turn up their nose at books involving spaceships….snobs 🙂 ) And I must confess that I first saw the film Pride and Prejudice, you know, the one with Kiera Knightley as Lizzy Bennett. I guess it did it’s job though, drawing me in and then getting me to read the book  behind the movie magic. When I did, I was pleasantly a bit surprised. Like several other books I’ve read since becoming older that I had expected to be stuffy and quite a bit boring, it was a page turner (Other books in this category include Edgar Huntly, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Coquette, and A Room with a View). I chuckled frequently, I recognized the Janes and Lizzys and Bingleys and Mr Collins in my own life. I told Liz that she was an idiot, that Wickham was a knave who deserved to be duelled and defeated by Mr Darcy, and that Mary and Mr Collins belonged together, without question, even though she’s only like 15 or some such. Both so boring. Lord. 

I was, perhaps unsurprisingly, most intruiged by Mr Darcy. When he declares his love for Elizabeth, insisting that he cannot fight his feelings any longer, I couldn’t help but empathize. Admitting love, I think , at least for Mr Darcy and perhaps myself, is a difficult thing. It feels like a weakness, even though of course it is not. It feels like an admission of need, which is exactly what it is, but that feels so alien that it can be hard to fathom. Those of us who live so much in our own head can find it difficult to admit that we need anything that we ourselves cannot supply. 

This is the height of stupidity, but it so often seems the correct action. So I think it’s important to admit that we, especially I, need things. I need God, even if I can only seen it in the random flashes of rain on the pavement or the way a large man sings opera on the streets of Charleston or the way the sunlight turns the sky the color of orange peels. I need friends and family, even though I’m not the best at being either and we sometimes antagonize each other over every single thing in the world. I need love, because even though I might become wildly successfuly and be respected the world over and rich beyond my dreams, it won’t particularly matter if there’s no one to share it with. I find it ironic that it wasn’t until my early twenties and a college education that I realized that. So bravo Mr Darcy, keep plugging away, even though you seem to haven’t the faintest idea what you’re doing most of the time. The truth will out, and when the truth is love, nothing can end too badly. 

I would hope, anyways. 🙂


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