Pride and Prejudice is about to celebrate its 200th anniversary -- on January 28th of 2013. I hope there’ll be celebrations somewhere for the world’s favorite romance. I’d participate if I knew of any ….
Before we get any farther, I’d like to say a word about Hanukkah, which spans the eight days from the evening of December 8th to the evening of December 16th. “Dedication” is the English word for Hanukkah, and this festival is certainly about that concept in all its forms. The first Hanukkah was about the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem two years after the Greeks had defiled it in 167 BCE. That two-year fight-to-the-death to keep the light of God’s presence on earth took extreme dedication … Christians, too, would do well to realize how vital it is that we are committed to our Lord and to doing whatever it takes to cling to Him. The Maccabees’ story is inspiring and I encourage you to read about it.
Okay, returning to the trail, I, of course, have some things to say about Pride and Prejudice. I think it’s safe to say Elizabeth Bennet is just about everyone’s favorite Austen heroine, or if she isn’t the absolute favorite (for example, of people like me), she’s at least well-loved. Modern readers especially delight in her wit, her spunkiness, and her independence. She’s the epitome of an engaging protagonist. Even her faults are ones that readers readily identify with.
On the other hand, there is Mr. Darcy. I have to confess that praise fails me when it comes to describing Mr. Darcy. The people who delight in Lizzy also seem to think Mr. Darcy the most attractive hero in literature, but I don’t follow suit. He does improve in the end, but not substantially enough to explain why so many female readers are in love with him … maybe you, readers, can help me understand what the draw is in his character? Let’s see if I can reason through some of this on my own … he’s deep, he has a good heart towards those he loves, he’s rich, he’s handsome, he needs Elizabeth, he changes his manner because of her … maybe a second reading will reveal more. What makes him real and fascinating as a character, though, is his growth. Don’t get me wrong, I like him well enough, but I’m just not one of his ardent fans.
What else can we talk about concerning Pride and Prejudice? I like Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley as a couple, but, being not so interesting as Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, they’re a good secondary couple.
Which movie version of Pride and Prejudice is your favorite? I like the five-hour BBC miniseries for its actors and its closeness to the original story: I think it holds the book’s spirit, besides containing so many of its beloved scenes.
I hope this post didn’t seem rushed -- I didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on it today. Notice how late I posted …. Pride and Prejudice really deserves more than I was able to give it!