Live and Laugh a Little

“I do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before. “

And so finally, I ‘read’ and ‘watched’…Pride and Prejudice!

Ofcourse, I’m late, but not intentionally. Let me rewind my stance:

In grade 7, the class was introduced to Pride and Prejudice, a novel that was severely abridged for the sake of simple study to 12 year-olds. It did not contain the heartfelt emotions of Mr. Darcy in his voluminous letter to Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. Perhaps it even deliberately omitted Lydia’s elopement for fear of what it may transpire in the unassuming minds of those attaining puberty. So the 352 page novel was fitted into a 38 page rudimentary English text, and I prided in the vain thought of having read it at school. Posts over Pinterest brought forth surprising truths that had been largely unfamiliar to me –

The initial name of the book was titled “First Impressions”. Really?

Darcy’s letter of explanation was a chapter in itself – comprising more than 8 pages of the novel. My Goodness, I would so love a man who hand wrote me that much!

Mr. Bennet’s sarcasm with his over-bearing, garrulous and lugubrious wife – Sarcasm in a classic novel? No wonder Jane Austen was known as an INTJ.

One considerably improves their English vocabulary after reading all or any of the above authoress’ novels. And I thought her writing had been fairly simple.

It was therefore only paramount for me to rush to get an original before embarrassing myself in a potential conversation on the famed novelist and her works.

Like most avid readers, who swear by the euphoria and therapy gained from books, Pride and Prejudice generously pours out hearty prose and humor from the written word than the 2005 movie directed by Joe Wright starring my favorite – Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen as the incredibly stubborn couple of Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Ofcourse, the movie has it’s wonderful moments, and may be suitable to those who do not prefer reading, but there is much missing, and some of it exaggerated too.

Watching / reading classic novels, one gets an interesting insight into what it was like to live in the Victorian or pre-Elizabethan era. To acknowledge one another with a courtesy bow or a tip of the hat (if you were in a hurry or in a crowd), to apologize for a mere discomfort or displeasure, to communicate by hand written letters as often as every other day are some of the etiquette the world decided to discontinue. Also, some startling revelations of the period – one could not display public affection, even if it was meant for one’s wife. This meant that not only were you prohibited from staring at a woman longingly, you also could not sit beside your wife at a formal dinner invitation. The closest attempt at intimacy for a gentleman would be holding his hand out to assist or escort a lady, but that too was a required manner of chivalry than romance. A kiss in the garden would be a grave act of public indecency and outcry!

It must be noted that upon reading the book, I found versions of myself (the INTJ personality) in all of the author’s favorite characters. The headstrong Elizabeth Bennet, the bookworm and socially awkward Mary Bennet (played by Talulah Riley, who also happens to be the ex-wife of Elon Musk), the sarcastic Mr. Bennet, and the stoical, withdrawn, blunt, person who thinks he can initiate a marriage proposal with an insult to the girl’s family – Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Enjoy the story anyway, for it’s bouts of entertainment, and the movie in particular for Mr. Darcy’s smile – that appears just once during the entire length of the film!

One thought on “Live and Laugh a Little

  1. You write about one of my favourite authors and in turn, my second favorite of her books. 🙂 I am sorry you got an abridged version like that. The Keira Knightley movie is already significantly abridged even although I felt like they spoke at about twice normal speed to fit everything in. If you want another watchable Pride and Prejudice, the BBC did a great TV series. In my humble opinion it is far better than the movie… probably because it had more time. D’Arcy is played by Colin Firth. And yes, Austen’s dialogue is amazing. So subtle and precise. I love it.

    Like

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