Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reflections on Austen's Fellas

Pride & Prejudice:

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Lots of people say they would like to marry Mr. Darcy. Not me. My personality may be similar to that of Elizabeth Bennet's but I'd much prefer a Mr. Bingley. Mr. Darcy seems too serious for me...I need someone who can both make me laugh and who will laugh at my jokes. Perhaps I'm biased. I know several Mr. Darcy's in real life...the guys who seem reserved and even rude, yet once you get them talking you discover they're amazing. And I know I could never be happy with any of them.

Mr. Darcy is the perfect example of a man who needs love to be complete. Elizabeth's high spirits are the key that unlocks his frozen exterior. As he says, he has always been inclined to pride. His path to maturity involves opening up and humbling himself. Elizabeth's spontenaiety and joy encourage him to open up, and reveal his true kindness and gentleness. By the end of the book, he realizes that he needs to temper his pride with warmness, and he has seen the errors of his prideful ways. Since girls are called to help mold the characters of their friends, brothers, and eventually sons, I think Mr. Darcy appeals to that part that desires to influence the men around her for the better. I think that appeals to me most about Mr. Darcy is he's so good. He always tries to do the right thing. He fails, definitely, but he does try. And I love his relationship with Georgiana!

Mr. Charles Bingley--
Addie's thoughts on Mr. Bingley:
Pros: He's amiable, kind, fun-loving, generous, and a loyal friend. (Oh, and he's cute and rich. Let's be honest here.) :)
Cons: Honestly, his family isn't the best-his sisters are SNOBS. And he's much too easily swayed and influenced by others. He's sort of like Jane, where his optimism, while generally a good trait, can blind his judgement.
P.S.-Good point on the Faith, Ella! If we're talking husbands here, I definitely need a man who is completely grounded in his faith, and knows his own heart and mind.

As I just said, I'd prefer a Bingley to a Darcy. Why? He's sweet, considerate, has a good sense of humor (one of the most important things in my mind), and is optimistic (also important). Although I could see myself with a pessimist only because I would consider it a challenge to get him to see the brighter side, I would much prefer someone with an optimistic nature that matches my own. That way when I do get sad, he'll be able to comfort me. ;) I do agree with Addie though--he doesn't hold to his beliefs very strongly. I can't account for the greater things--i.e.: faith--because Austen doesn't really mention them, but considering the way he was persuaded to think Jane didn't care for him when (I believe) it was clear she'd have to wonder how the other things would hold up.

Northanger Abbey:

Mr. Henry Tilney--

Mr. Tilney's the one for me. :)
He's all that Mr. Bingley is, plus has a strong character and is skilled at witty banter. Of course, the fact that I consider myself akin to Catharine Morland may also play a part in why he's such a favorite. Really though, I can't think of a reason I wouldn't want a Mr. Tilney. He's interested in novels, able to carry on a conversation with just about anyone, knows what he stands for and isn't afraid to say it, can tease without being cruel and will apologize when he knows he's wrong. Plus he'd be able to admonish me when I mess up, which is something I need. :P

I have very mixed feelings about Henry Tilney...He never gave Catherine any encouragment at all, in my opinion. He didn't really declare himself until the very, very end of the book. I just didn't buy it. He seems more like a friend, although I suppose that friendship is a good foundation for marriage...Hmmm...So, in any case, Ella may have Mr. Tilney, and I shall be more than content to remain his very dear friend. ;)
P.S. I saw the movie recently, and I definitely like Henry better in the movie than in the book. I think he's more assertive in the movie...or something...I definitely liked him better.

Sense & Sensibility:

Mr. Edward Ferrars

I like Edward, but he's definitely not your typical Austen hero. He's not eloquent or very skilled with words. He's very kind and good, but he's not very assertive. But why on earth doesn't he just tell her the whole Lucy Steele story at the beginning?!?! That always frustrated me. He doesn't need to tell her particulars, he can just let Elinor know basically what's going on, and tell her that he loves her, but he has this other attachment-or something like that. Maybe he has too great a sense of propriety to state definitively that he loves her, without making her an offer of marriage at the same time. But Elinor would be spared a lot of pain if she knew that Edward returned her feelings, I think.

I've always been a fan of Edward. But I highly suspect it is the movie Edward I liked and not necessarily the book Edward. Sadly it's been far too long since I've read Sense & Sensibility (eight years!), and I know that the movie added scenes that show him in a wonderful light (such as the scene with Margaret and her atlas, where Edward and Elinor cunningly coax her out from under the table). Therefore, my reflections on this particular hero will have to be based on the movie Edward--so my opinion is this...he's a good man, who stands by what he believes is right even when it hurts him to do so (as is seen in his keeping his engagement, when the feelings no longer existed), and he's good with children. Perhaps a bit too awkward or rigid, though. He always seems a bit nervous, I think...

Colonel Brandon--

What a sad, sad man. I do want him to have a happy ending, I really do...however I can't help but feel that he's too old for Marianne. I always felt bad for Marianne, that she never got the ending she wanted...she seemed resigned to her fate, rather than happy with it. Ya know? Sort of like the way I feel when I try to imagine myself with someone other than the man I hope to end up, okay God, if this is what you want I shall be satisfied...but it's not the dreams I myself had. Anyway, I do think Colonel Brandon is a sweet fellow with a great heart. My only qualm with him is his age. And perhaps he may be a bit too reserved as well--however considering his past I think we can forgive him that.

I basically agree with Ella on Col. Brandon. He's very kind and loving, and I know that he'd be a great husband. But, after his heart has been broken so completely, it would be difficult for him to love completely again.

Mansfield Park:

Mr. Edmund Bertram

Ummm...I haven't read Mansfield Park in forever. *blush* Dear readers? Do you have thoughts on Mr. Bertram?

Oh, this guy. To be honest, he kind of always bothered me. Well, the entire Mansfield Park story does. I'll be fair. Edmund is a good man who tries to do the right thing. However, he is easily blinded... *cough* Mary Crawford *cough* And I never am satisfied with the ending. The fact is, he was passionately in love with Mary for most of the book. Then he (finally) discovers she's not the type of woman he wants to marry, and suddenly it's 'Oh Fanny I love you.' If I were Fanny I'd say 'Prove it.'


Mr. Knightley

I'm not really sure how I feel about Mr. Knightley. While he is a very nice guy and part of me has always wanted the sort of relationship he and Emma have (being really great friends first), I'm not sure he's the type of man I'd want to marry. I'll be honest, I don't take criticism well. Yes, I need someone who will correct me (as I said about Mr. Tilney) but he needs to have tact, too. So, Mr. Knightley would make a great friend but not a good husband for me.

Mr. Knightley is a bit of a snob-e.g., his objections to Emma's friendhip with Harriet. However, the fact that he's so much older than Emma doesn't bug me like it does some people. I liken it to a situation like Dantes from the Count of Monte Cristo falling in love with Haydee, or Mr. Rochester falling in love with Jane. I love how he's her good friend/mentor for most of the book, and then all of a sudden, Emma realizes: "Oh! I love him." :)As an older brother type figure, he's not afraid to reprimand or tease Emma about her faults. He loves her because of her faults. He's not afraid to challenge her to become better, but he takes her the way she is.


Captain Frederick Wentworth

Capt. Wentworth is one of my favorite Austen fellows! One of my favorite scenes in Persuasion is when Anne is struggling to make one of her young nephews behave. The young boy continues to misbehave, so Frederick simply swoops down, takes the boy aside and plays with him. Obviously, loving and playing with children are huge assests in a future husband. Although he succumbs to hurt pride and resentment after Anne breaks off their engagement, he remains constant. He is an extremely impressive character, because he is willing to face the consequences of his mistakes. His behavior towards Louisa, he realizes, has led her to form an unrequited attachment to him. He is ready and willing to do the honorable action and marry her, if that is what she desires, although he knows that it will cause him unhappiness.
He is always filled with kindness towards Anne, despite her rejection of him. If you really think about how awkward that situation would be, his ability to behave with such wonderful composure and charity, even friendliness, is marvelous. So, you can probably tell that I approve most deeply of the honorable, witty, kind, dashing, and romantic Capt. Wentworth! :)

Hehe, I think we know which Austen man Addie would like to marry. ;) As for myself, Persuasion has always bothered me the same way Mansfield Park does. I guess I just don't handle frustrating stories well. I mean, when things are going completely wrong until the very end. Drives me nutty! Anyway...I do agree with Addie. Wentworth is a wonderful guy with many great qualities.


  1. Great post, guys :D

    Addie- "Mr. Knightley is a bit of a snob-e.g., his objections to Emma's friendhip with Harriet. "

    I don't think I agree with this. Of course, it has been a while since I've read the book (rather shorter since I've watched the movie, though) but the way I remember it, Mr Knightley's objection to Emma's friendship is because he felt Emma was being a bad influence on Harriett (she was, too, you have to admit it)... I don't think he was a snob at all.

    And sicne neither of you want Mr Darcy, that means I get him allo to myself! ;D Though I think I actually rather might sorta like Captain Wentowrth better... *shifty eyes*
    Ella, I can't believe you don't love persuasion. That's always been one of my favorites by Austen, almost more than P & P!

  2. Thanks for reading & commenting Lanta!

    I think at first his objections were snobby. Later he changed his tune but at the beginning he was objecting to it because of their differing social statuses. (Though to be honest it's been years since I've read it too so I could also be wrong)

    Haha, yup, you can have Mr. Darcy. I'll let you and Addie fight over Captain Wentworth if you so desire. ;)

    Haha. I like it better now that I know the ending. But even so...I always put myself in the place of the heroine, and since throughout most of the story her life pretty much stinks...I don't like being in that place. :P

  3. Lanta, you are right about Mr. Knightley objecting to Emma's friendship to Harriet because Emma was a bad influence on her. But, by that he meant that Emma was making Harriet too comfortable outside of her own class. Harriet didn't know who her parents were, so she was definitely not in the same class as Emma and Mr. Knightley.
    Does that make sense? Thanks for leaving such a nice, lengthy comment. :)

    I totally get what you're saying Ella. Sometimes the heroine is so frustrated in her desires, it gets hard to read, because you're so frustrated with her! But the ending totally makes up for it in my opinion. And the little glimpses of hope that Wentworth drops along the way. :)

  4. I'd have to say that overall, Colonel Brandon is my least favorite guy... and Captian Wentworth is the best! He must be why Persuasion is my favorite book...

    *joins Addie and Lanta to form a three-way-duel for Cap. Wentworth*

    Of course Anne, who actually marries him, has absolutely no say in the matter.

  5. CAPTAIN WENTWORTH IS MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE! *whips out two pistols, a dagger, and a short story, and looks ready to duel the next person who comes along*

    Addie--I guess. But really... you do have to admit that Emma was a bad influence on Harriet, persuading her to refuse the proposels of that.... Robert guy (I think that was his name) because she thought she had noble parents or something :P Back then, they had *ahem* very different thoughts about classes and everything and so Mr Knightely was really only acting typical of his time :P I'm not agreeing with him, I'm just saying, that's how people thought back then, so it's no surprise that he did too.

  6. Emma- If I may have my share of the conversation, I would say that Mr. Knightley objects to Emma's way of puffing Harriet up. Emma encourages Harriet to think rather too well of herself, which causes her to reject Robert Martin and pursue Mr. Elton *insert Mr. Yuck-face here*. I believe aside from Emma's bad influence on her Mr. Knightley did not have any objection to their friendship, other than Emma's endeavors to bring Harriet up into a higher station in society. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but it did cause Harriet to be looked down on even more by persons not as kind and Emma, Mr. Knightley and the Westons *cough* Mr. and Mrs. E *cough*.

    Sense and Sensibility- Col. Brandon has always been a great favorite with me and I cannot hear anyone speak against him without having my say. Col. Brandon had his heart broken that is true, but that does not mean that he could never love again. You do not completely "get over" that loss of a loved one, you just find a new normal. I very firmly believe that Col. Brandon could and did love Marianne just as much as he did his first love. However, the love he bares Marianne is different from that first love just as he has changed and matured since then.

    Should I even start on Northanger Abbey, or have I said too much already?

  7. *claps hands with glee*
    You guys leave such awesome, thoughtful comments!!
    @Rose-of course Anne has no say in who gets Capt. Wentworth. The very idea. :)
    @Lanta-*gasp!* A short story! I'm afraid all my defenses are useless in the face of such a fearsome weapon.
    @Lanta & Celia-I concede your points on Mr. Knightley. Very well put.
    @ Celia- I love your thoughts on Mr. Brandon! By all means start on Northanger Abbey, or better yet, write something on it when we get Garden of Violets going! :)

  8. Ohhh! I sense a PERFECT opportunity to talk about my favorite thing!

    Oh, where should I begin??? Mr. Darcy is my favorite, so perhaps I should start with him :). I think the very thing that I love about him is his reserve! Perhaps its because it makes the times he opens up that much more effective and precious. He is my knight in shining armor! ;) And I LOVE his relationship with Georgiana. I would really like to meet someone like him!

    Mr. Knightley makes a very, Very, VERY close second to Mr. Darcy. I have no objection to the age difference. It doesn't bother me at all. In fact it almost enhances the whole thing to me. (I really can't say why.) And as for his being a snob, I can't agree. Emma's taking Harriet in as she did could have had serious effects on her future happiness. After a time she would become accustomed to Emma's treatment of her, and no one but Emma and her close circle would treat her in that way. When young men of higher classes were attracted by her beauty, they would have only to hear her circumstances and they would be frightened away. They wouldn't be worth a second thought, of course, in such a case, but such experieces would be painful, nevertheless! She had a better chance of being happy without any pretention to being greater than she was. Anyway, I don't have time now to say all of the things I like about him. ;) That could take days!!!!

    Colonel Brandon. Lady Celia pretty much summed up my opinion of him. As I said above, age doesn't bother me at all. I really like the Colonel! The only thing I have to add to Lady Celia's commemt is a quotation from the book concerning Marrianne's happiness with her fate. I can't find any occasion to piting her. I think this proves that Colonel Brandon fulfilled all of her dreams. Her dreams had just changed.

    "Marrianne could never love by halves, and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby."

    Edward Ferrars, Charles Bingley, Henry Tilney. Fabulous men! And I am very partial to Captain Wentworth. Perhaps it's because I'm so very much like Anne! I love his fidelity! That note he wrote to Anne!!!! *faints* :) Addie, Lanta, and Rose can have him, though. ;) Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley have me torn between them! :D

    I really liked Mansfield park, too. I think it says near the end of the book that Edmund didn't really suddenly fall in love with Fanny. After he got over Mary, he began to really realise how much he appreciated Fanny. And, too, I suspect that he was never in love with Mary Crawford, he was merely in love with the image he had created of her. He didn't know what she REALLY was until her brother and Maria ran off.

    Well, anyway, those are my opinions! ;) My conclusion is that I think Jane Austen created some of the most fascinating men in literature! I mean really!!!


    P.S. Sorry for the long comment. :)


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