Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Of Pride, Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility

I've become very fond of theatrical recreations of Jane Austen's more prominent novels: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion ... in all these books, I can sort of identify with the heroine - the woman who learns to fall in love and live with the consequences.

There is an abundance of happy endings, but these, at least, are not cloying or nauseating. In fact, in most instances, the happy ending seems only natural and right - a fitting resolution to a most distressing conflict.

I watch all of these movies and, to an extent, I can relate: like Mansfield Park's Fanny Price, who doesn't realise that she loves Edmund until confronted with another love, and from then on, fiercely defends that love, that hope... because it has become an undeniable truth and a lifeline; like Ann, in Persuasion, who is influenced excessively by a well-intentioned, older woman, but eventually pulls away from the guiles of external effectors and makes up her own mind - just in time too; but more than all of these, I often feel like Northanger Abbey's little country bumpkin Cassandra, who is 'dangerously' raised to believe that everyone is as pure as she, and therefore gets herself into excessive trouble because she fails to see that the deceptive double lives people lead in the novels she reads are true reflections of reality - tragic as that may be.

Purity is one hallmark of Austen's characters. They all exude exceptional moral fortitude. It is the flower that most often attracts the bee ... So, if a young woman, in this day and age can flourish as an Austen heroine, or something similar enough, if only for a little while longer, let her be. Let her stand apart from the accomplished tempstresses and seductresses that already pollute our landscape.


Anonymous said...

Adored this post! I love Ms. Anne Elliott. :o) Happy 2011 Ruthibelle!

Ruthibelle said...

Thanks Ruthie and same to yah!!