Friday, October 31, 2008

Wuthering Heights in December

Due to my taking on the project of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, the discussion for Wuthering Heights will have to come in December instead!

I have made it through Chapter 11 so far, and it's a very different read from Pride & Prejudice! It took me a chapter or two to figure out who was narrating. I was expecting it to be a young woman! :) That will teach me not to make assumptions. I am finding that I'm understanding it earlier than I did P&P, with the exception of one character who is written in a dialect and I cannot make heads or tails of what he is saying!

So please check back in December... I'm also going to be re-reading Eclipse in December, which is the book in the Twilight Saga where Bella is reading Wuthering Heights over and over again! So I'll finally be able to understand what Bella and Edward are talking about in their references to Cathy and Heathcliff! ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Colin as Mr. Darcy?

I've heard from a number of people that Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy would take my breath away. I'm not a huge Colin Firth fan, so I found that pretty hard to believe.

And then, I watched it. Yes, the 6 hour long BBC version on 2 DVDs.

My thoughts?

Well, first... allow me to catch my breath! ;) You see, I just finished watching a few minutes ago. They were right. LISA, you were right!!! I absolutely loved watching Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! (I loved the actress who played Elizabeth as well) He had this "look", especially in the parlor when she was playing the piano and singing --- oh my GOODNESS! To be looked at like THAT by a man??? WOW! I think I would be faint! ;)

I highly encourage you to rent or borrow this version of the Pride and Prejudice to watch when your reading is complete...or even if you don't finish!! This movie would make you want to dive back into the book and see what you missed! I got my copy from my local Blockbuster.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elizabeth, and her sisters

As is typical for me when I'm reading any literature with a female role, I kept inserting myself into the story! And even though the star of the show in Pride and Prejudice, I kept finding myself wanting so much to be Jane!

Jane is kind, loving, calm, and sweet-tempered. I can't say that those last two ever have been used to describe me! LOL (I'm much more short-tempered and prone to holding a grudge like Elizabeth.) Jane is one of those people whom you want to be around and be like. I can think of a couple of "Janes" in my life off the top of my head, and they are such wonderful people! However, Jane's personality and temperament did nearly lose her Mr. Bingley! She was TOO reserved and didn't want to let on to him her true feelings! Yikes!

The next sister, is it Mary?? I can't remember her name. I think she is older than Lydia and the youngest, but now I am having a hard time keeping them straight and I don't want to get my notes! There was not much that I could tell of her from the story.

Lydia.... oh Lydia! I could probably devote an entire post to her recklessness and selfishness. But I shant! ;) Suffice it to say that, while I don't identify with her, my behavior as a young woman was much more likely to resemble hers than I would like to remember. It's funny how you don't seem to realize (or care) how others perceive you when you are young. And especially in that time, it could ruin a family. If it hadn't been for Mr. Darcy's provision and kindness, Elizabeth and Jane may not have had their happy ending, due to Lydia's indescretion.

The youngest sister.... can't remember her name. Shucks. Wild under the influence of her sister. :(

OK, now to Elizabeth! She seemed to me to be a modern woman for her times. She did not hold her tongue, especially around men. I'm thinking of Mr. Collins especially... sometimes men just do NOT get the hint, do they? Anyway, Elizabeth has real spunk and I admire that! I love how she just walked right over to take care of Jane when she was sick and stuck at the Bingley's place! She arrived sweaty and muddy, but she was determined to do what she needed to do! And her fierce devotion to her older sister was endearing!

One of the things I loved the most about Elizabeth was her ability and willingness to change her opinions and perceptions when presented with new information! That is something with which I struggle, and it is no easy task! It takes humility and sensitivity to be able to assimilate new information about a situation and re-evaluate it and realize you were mistaken. And then it takes an even greater measure of humility to own up to the fact that you made a mistake! I was incredibly proud of Elizabeth at that point, and decided that maybe it wasn't altogether bad if I indentified with her more than I did with Jane! :)

So which female character did you identify with, and why? Or if you don't get 'into' books in that way, I'd love to know your impressions of the ladies! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mr. Darcy

Ok, so I'm not going to do the "beginning, middle, end" summary right now. Man I feel like I'm back in school and I'm skipping out mentally on all the discussion and work of reading challenging stuff! LOL I'll get back to it, this weekend!

But first I'd like to focus on Mr. Darcy for this post!

I spent the first half of the book thinking to myself, "This is the guy that gets compared to Edward? The guy who people make Flair about? Really?!?!" I knew that, at some pointt, he had to come around to where Elizabeth (and myself LOL) like him! And, of course, that does happen, and it seemed to me to be a pretty dramatic change. In fact, I wrote this in my notes for Volume 3, Chapter 2 (or Chapter 44 overall, depending on how your book is set up:

"What is the reason for the drastic change in Darcy? Is it because he is at home and comfortable? Is it merely Elizabeth's perception folowing the revelation in his letter?"

I'll go first, and I'd love to know what your answers are!

I think it's both, really. I think Elizabeth was so blinded by her perception of Mr. Darcy - aided by the lies of Wickham, Darcy's interference in Jane's relationship, and this standard of social behavior that Darcy seems not to be able to live up to - that she cannot stop for a moment to interpret his actions as anything else. For Darcy's part, I think writing the letter was the absolute best option! It gave Elizabeth time to ponder each section, after she had settled down from constantly jumping to conclusions and being offended! And he was able to express himself in a way that is more comfortable to him, a medium in which he feels competent!

For me, my opinion of Darcy was changed by reading the letter as well, and finding out everything that he did for Elizabeth's sister (and her family). And the fact that he did NOT want it to become general knowledge when he had to have known the profound impact it would have on Elizabeth's feelings for him! He is an honorable man who cares deeply for other people. Also, that he realized he was wrong about Jane's feelings for Bingley, and set out to correct his error touched my heart. So often people find out they have made a mistake, but do not follow through in correcting said mistake!

So, all in all, I'm enamoured of Mr. Darcy now, like every other woman who has read P&P! (If you have, and you don't think Mr. Darcy hung the moon, please comment and let me know!) And he does remind me of Edward, but not in the same way. Edward is very comfortable in social graces, so they don't have that same dramatic flaw. Edward DOES have a flaw, I'm sorry to say --- the boy OVER-REACTS when it comes to Bella! :) Like Darcy, when Edward realizes that he has made mistakes, he sets out to correct them (by facilitating the visits to LaPush with Jacob after trying to forbid Bella from doing so).

I've got some thoughts to share about Elizabeth, too, but that will have to be another post! Mr. Darcy deserves his own! ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

My apologies

I am sorry for the lack of posting. My son's medical issues are still not resolved, and it has kept me busy! I intend to write more tomorrow on Pride and Prejudice!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My summary

OK, here is my first step now that I've finished the book. I am to summarize the book in a couple of sentences.

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
first published 1813

Elizabeth Bennett meets Mr. Fitwilliam Darcy and instantly takes a disliking to him, based solely upon her expectations and interpretations of his behavior. Through a series of family crises, she learns that she judged him wholly incorrectly, and she and Mr. Darcy find their way through their own prejudices into a loving relationship.

Wow, that was NOT as easy as I expected it to be. I can talk at length about the story, but to narrow it down into a few sentences is quite a challenge.

Tomorrow I will give my brief outlining of the beginning, middle, and end. Then I will get into my more personal thoughts! :)

I would love for anyone who might be reading to share your own short summary!