Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts on Pride And Prejudice

So while I was watching Pride And Prejudice (BBC version) with Li during my vacation, I just kept noticing things more and more that are just so very radically different than how things are today. It's so interesting how time can alter customs and etiquette so much.

1. I love how they're supposedly "poor", but they have a maid (and/or a cook; I don't know if Hill functions as both). I know compared to other Gentlemen Mr. Bennet has little money, but obviously there are a lot of people WAY worse off than they are. I remember when my family was poor, and that meant no food sometimes. BIG difference.

2. I know that Mrs. Bennet is very obviously lacking in social graces, but even the very worst sorts of people don't talk about someone else's salary, especially loudly, in the middle of a party, while making it seem as if she wants her daughters to marry for money. Oh wait, she does. The only people who know how much money I make are me, Scott, Mim, Kwiddens, and my boss. Oh, and the woman who does payroll.

3. Etiquette played a much larger part in society then, so how is it all right for the rich to snub the poor (if they can be called "poor") when nowadays people would think you a tremendous ass for doing the same? So and so lives in Cheapside! Who cares?

4. When Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth and she cites his previous "bad behavior", wouldn't it have been simpler for Mr. Darcy to, right then and there, say "Oh, Miss Bennet, you are quite mistaken! Here is the real story..." But then I suppose there wouldn't be occasion for the lovely letter he then writes to her, or for the rest of the novel. I think this sort of thing often, and I have to remind myself that if things went the way that seems logical to me, the movie/book/show/whatever would be far less interesting and quite a bit shorter.

5. Mr. Wickham "must have something to live on". Um, whatever happened to getting a job? If you need more money, go find work. A lot of people back then seemed to think they were entitled to a living without any effort on their part.

6. A seeming contradiction: the five Miss Bennets are not allowed to own property, so Longbourne estate is entailed upon Mr. Collins, but Miss Darcy has a fortune of 30,000 pounds (or something like that). So how is owning property and owning a large sum of money any different? I'm not really a  feminist, but that just doesn't seem to make sense.

7. Pedophilia! Colonel Forster must be something like 40 years old, and his new bride is 14ish. Gross. Think of the difference in maturity, especially considering Mrs. Forster's closest friend is Lydia, who is only 15 and more than a little silly for her age! Also, what happens when her husband dies eventually and she still has years and years left to live? Apparently, she's not allowed to own property, so how will she live?

8. Mary Bennet and Mr. Collins would be a perfect couple, don't you think (once you got past the cousins marrying thing...)? Mr. Collins, however, seems to feel like he deserves someone more beautiful because, oh look, he's a pompous jerk.

9. Mrs. Bennet is the most obnoxious human being every to grace the earth, either in fiction or real life. When things aren't going her way, her poor nerves! And when things are going her way, will she please just shut up already?! No wonder most of her progeny are ridiculous.

10. I'm in love with Colin Firth. Also, the guy who plays Mr. Bingley, although quite amiable, is not attractive at all. He has bug eyes.

The end.

I think I read into things too much. I do, however, and always will, enjoy watching this movie.

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