You know what I love?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
What is it about this story that drags me in?
Why this particular story, done so many times throughout the history of literature and film (Beauty and the Beast and You’ve Got Mail for examples)?
What in heaven’s name makes Mr. Darcy my number 2 fictional crush? (Elend Venture is number 1 by a slight margin.)
I wish I knew. I wonder if these are just because I’ve said I loved this story for years and it’s shoved itself deeper into my heart over time.
No. Surely there has got to be a reason I said I loved it in the first place. I’m going to have to think about this one. It’s been years since I read it for the first time.
Alright, I’ll start with the romance aspect. (This book is actually satire, but it’s mostly considered a romance in today’s society.) I’m going to start by wondering why I like this style of romance, where the girl and guy don’t like each other at first and then eventually fall, often because they are similar in personality.
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy do this. And they are similar at the core of their personalities. They are both prideful and prejudiced. Against each other, actually. Mr. Darcy is the first to fall, becoming more attracted to Elizabeth as the story progresses. But her family situation (both the lack of manners from most of them and their level in society) holds him back. Elizabeth, however, remains disgusted with Mr. Darcy through most of the story. She is actually more of a jerk than the jerk she imagines him to be.
I think this style of romance fascinates me because it seems unexpected. How could two people who detest each other ever fall in love? Of course, it’s not as unexpected now. This is probably a cliché now, in fact.
Well, that explains why I like the story. As for why I like this particular one, maybe it’s because it’s one of the few things I can fangirl about with my mom. (Hi, Mom!) We both enjoy the story and enjoy picking it apart (That may be another reason; this is the first story I really picked apart).
Why is Mr. Darcy my number 2 fictional crush?
He is very intelligent. (Intelligence ranks high on my list of things I like in men, especially if they are smarter than I am.) He is a gentleman (most of the story after the first bit, anyway) (Gentlemen are scarce in this day and age.). I am not going to include his wealth here. That doesn’t matter to me.
How does Elend win number 1 spot, then? There are a few things we see better in Elend than we do in Mr. Darcy. Elend reads extensively. Elend speculates and philosophizes. Elend is not quite as aloof as Mr. Darcy. His sense of humor is better, too. But now that I think about it, I think Elend is slightly less the gentleman than Mr. Darcy.
Of course, it’s not really fair to compare them. Mr. Darcy’s story is over 200 years old and written in third person omniscient from Elizabeth’s POV. Elend’s story is third person limited, less the 20 years old, and still not told from his viewpoint much (at least not in the first book and then we only get one or two of the ending chapters from him). But I fell in love with Elend as Vin (one of the POV characters) did. I didn’t fall in love with Mr. Darcy until the story was over (for some odd reason… cut me some slack, I was 16!). (Don’t ask me how I thought I could find and marry a Mr. Darcy. 19th century gentleman are scarce.) (Seriously!)
Anyway. That’s my take on Pride and Prejudice. It’s a fairly short classic and Jane Austen is concise, too. I highly recommend it.
Alright, I want to hear your take on this story. I am not the only girl to fall in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy. I’m not the only girl with a fictional crush. And I am most certainly not the only person to have ever read Pride and Prejudice. So! Tell me your thoughts on any or all of these points! What makes this story so popular? Why do you like it? What don’t you like about it?