My Good Opinion

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?

I blush.

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?

DFTBA.

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37 thoughts on “My Good Opinion

  1. 1. I’ve never finished reading Pride and Prejudice.
    2. SHORT?! I don’t think it’s short…but maybe that’s just me.
    3. I don’t really think I have ever fallen in love with a fictional character. Not that I particularly noticed, anyways. Don’t kill me!
    4. I have to read this book for school this year. So does my brother, though. HA!

    • 1. I know.
      2. You haven’t tried to attack Les-Mis or The Count of Monte Cristo, obviously.
      3. I won’t kill you. You’re relatively young, anyway.
      4. Yay! I mean… oh, never mind. This is good news, anyway. If it encourages you or your brother to know, Liam read this and liked it.

  2. I have never read P&P. I’ve seen half a dozen different movie takes on it, but never read the book. Perhaps I should do that this year.

    I agree with your …. The word that’s coming to mind is “diagnosis”, but somehow I don’t think that’s right. You hear over and over again that a story has to have conflict, that people like reading about conflict, and the loathing between Elizabeth and Darcy is a good example.

  3. Yeah… I know what you mean about the gentlemen needing to be intelligent. It’s kind of hard to take your husband seriously if he isn’t your intellectual equal or better. 😛 My fictional crush… the only real one to date… was… *whispers* Alan Breck Stewart… he was funny…

  4. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, but it is somewhere on my to-read list. Somewhere. I can, however, relate with Elend. (For some reason, the idea of describing Elend as a gentleman makes me giggle.) I haven’t actually had any crushes on fictional characters, but if I had, Elend would probably be the second. (The first would probably be Samuel Yates, from Running Barefoot.)

    I do know what you mean about how they hate each other at first, and then fall in love at the end. It is rather a cliché, but when it’s done well, it can be so much fun. Like, the Disney Princess and the Frog movie? I just groaned and facepalmed at that one. But sometimes, it can be fun. (And, of course, I can’t even think of any examples of where I liked it, but…you get the point, right?)

    • Yes, read P&P!

      It is awesome when done well. (It’s actually my favorite romance style and the one that I go to by instinct. I’ve got to fix the instinct thing…)
      I never thought of Princess and the Frog as doing that, but you’re right!

      • I definitely shall. That one you can get for free on the Kindle, right? I’m pretty sure you can… *goes to look*

        Hehe. I’m not sure I particularly have a favorite style of romance, but I can say it is fun to write it. I’ve only done it once, and it wasn’t quite the same (the two characters didn’t hate each other, exactly, they just had big flaws that clashed with one another more often than they got along), but it was definitely fun. I don’t know if I did it well, though…hehe.
        Yeah. I didn’t particularly like that movie much and I don’t really remember it, but that was one thing I remember clearly from it.

  5. I love pride and Prejudice! It is my favorite Austen novel of all time, with Mansfield park as a close second.
    I admit… quite ashamedly… I have yet to actual finish either of those books. *hangs head*
    I love the book! I really do! But finding the time to finish a whole Jane Austen novel… is just hard!
    Finishing all 4 Jane Austen novels I own is quickly becoming my goal for the last 4 months of 2014.
    I’ll make that count for school somehow…

    • I haven’t finished Mansfield Park, either…
      I’ve read Emma, P&P, and Sense and Sensibility. And one that Jane Austen started and then someone else finished.
      But I know what you mean! They’re more challenging to read than more modern books. (But if you try to read Les-Mis at the same time, P&P gets drastically easier. Guess how I found that out.)

  6. I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice even though I’m a guy, and even though I didn’t expect to. But, (while as a guy, I can’t judge) I didn’t think Darcy was *that* amazing a character, as far as I remember. Though P&P was my favourite of the three Austens I’ve read to date, I think Tilney in Northanger Abbey was the most interesting hero (though again, I’m a guy, so how can I judge?). My favourite character in P&P was Mr Bennet. I sympathised with him totally. Elizabeth was pretty cool too. And I loved the humour. Thinking back though, I suppose Darcy was a more dynamic, complex character than Tilney, and especially than Mr Bennet.

    (you should know: you use brackets even more prolifically than I do)(I’m still filling in for your point-out-the-obvious man)

    • Darcy was definitely more dynamic and complex than Mr. Bennett (I haven’t read Northanger Abbey yet, so I can’t say about Tilney). But I still enjoyed Mr. Bennett.)

      (Thank you. And now I know.) (My point-out-the-obvious guy just handed me his resignation. Want the job?)

  7. I realize I never commented on this.
    I wanted to.
    So now I SHALL.

    Mr. Darcy (sad to say) is one of my LEAST favorite Austen heroes, for a variety of reasons. NOT on my list of literary crushes by far.)
    1. He’s rude just because he has more money than other people. (Compare this to Bingley – rich, but OH SO NICE. He will be my friend and we will have parties. YES.)
    2. He is still a rude, prideful, and snooty fellow by the end of the book, he’s just masking it because he knows that it doesn’t make Lizzy happy. Why do you want a guy that thinks your parents are TERRIBLE, and you always have to be on your toes to make sure he rarely comes in contact with them? It would drive me NUTS.

    ^^So now you have my reasons for not liking Mr. Darcy. If you are bored and have nothing better to do, you can read a full post I actually wrote on this topic last year: http://ravens-and-writingdesks.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-real-mr-darcy.html
    I extrapolate there with much more sense then I did in this comment.

    On that subject, my favorite Austen fellows are Mr. Knightly (Emma) and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion), with Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility) coming in second.
    I have read all her books (including “Love and Friendship” and “Lady Susan”) except for “Sandition.”
    Some more than once.
    I am rather proud of this fact 🙂
    (I’m sure you can tell.)

    • I shall definitely look into the post. And I can see how some would not care for Mr. Darcy. (My mom’s favorite Austen hero is Mr. Knightley.)

      Yes, you do seem rather proud of the fact. 😉 And it is an accomplishment. I’ve only read P&P, S&S, Emma, and Sanditon.

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