Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sense & Sensibility

I watched Pride & Prejudice recently and have written about it here.

'I have just been to see "Pride & Prejudice" and was reminded that in this novel, the characteristic of follower was not considered to be the domain of the woman, but of the loyal and malleable friend. Bingley, the follower, marries another like hmself; and Darcy, the leader and quiet philanthropist, chooses someone who will not follow him, but resist and stand up to him. Only the irreverent Lizzie is suitable to be his mate.

The movie was a visual pleasure but don't forget how the novel closes.

"Pemberley was now Georgiana's home; and the attachment of the sisters was exactly what Darcy had hoped to see. They were able to love each other even as well as they intended. Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world of Elizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her lively, sportive, manner of talking to her brother. He, who had always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry. Her mind received knowledge which had never before fallen in her way. By Elizabeth's instructions, she began to comprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband which a brother will not always allow in a sister more than ten years younger than himself."

I don't propose this as theology but the story of 'Pride & Prejudice' has lasting human appeal. And it comes from a social setting briefly preceding Lady Powerscourt's.'

A few weeks later I got together with some friends to watch Sense & Sensibility. Again the male and females roles interested me. The older and life weary Colonel (Alan Rickman) marries the beautiful but now worldly wise teenager (Kate Winslet). (We could not imagine this today.She was supposed to be only 17!) And then the motherly manager Elinor (Emma Thompson) marries the modest Mr. Farrar (Hugh Grant, the eternal teenager), who is honest to a fault but not interested in a leadership role in life.

In Pride & Prejudice one scenario is worked out. Leader marries leader and follower marries follower. In Sense & Sensibility another pattern emerges. Leader marries follower and follower marries leader. These are not models of Christian ideals but they are portraits of life. They are a mirror held up to their era. I especially enjoy these insights into the world of 19th century England since a person raised in the Plymouth Brethren ultimately feels shaped by these mores.

To their intense regret the women in Jane Austins' novels were not in a position to support themselves. They lived in a different age, an age of class and dependence, experienced by men and women alike. Think of poor Farrar who has to be rescued by the Colonel.

I find that other Christian women like to blog about these movies and derive different but not conflicting lessons from them. They are the Ladies against Feminism. That's fine by me. The post is about honesty and many other good things. And here.

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