I am trying to come out of it, but it is impossible. Usually I get into weird obsessive phases with a particular interest that lasts for about a month or so. Yet for some reason, I cannot emerge from my latest Jane Austen obsession which has been going on for well over four months now. It all started with the latest Pride and Prejudice film adaptation. I assumed I would hate it, because I heard about how different it was from the book, Keira Knightley in general annoys me, and how could it ever compete with the 1995 adaptation? However, I was generally surprised with how much I enjoyed it and was quite shocked that the new Mr. Darcy could replace even Colin Firth in my mental ideal of how Mr. Darcy should be.
Well, long story short, and several viewings of the movie and the miniseries later (because almost every night I will pop it in the DVD player and watch twenty minutes or so), I am still in this obsessed phase which has caused me to re-read the book at least two more times as well as move on to re-reading all of the other Jane Austen novels and watching their film adaptations.
I think this all stems from the fact that I am just generally disgusted with the rudeness and lack of gentility that permeates modern day America. I mean, I want to live in a place and a time where people are “amiable”. What I admire so much about the Austen heroines is that they are bright and intelligent creatures, which makes them distinct from their contemporaries, but yet in spite of their assertive characteristics they still are polite and respectful. Austen does such a good job of pointing out the insincere grandstanding and moral mongering of her day (which does unfortunately appear in our day too), but at the same time valuing a society where people live according to standards of decency and respect.
Perhaps all of this stems from the fact that I have been working in family law cases where people generally exhibit a lack of character.
One thing that I am convinced of though is that there are far to many Mr. Wickhams in the world and a substantial lack of Darcys. The world is full of scoundrels, liars, and cheats. Shamefully, many of the men that I have dated have fallen into that category. They are charismatic and entertaining. They are generally given high regard over the quieter, more reserved Darcy types. Lucky for me, in all of this Austen exhilaration I have been made aware of the gratitude I have in finding my Mr. Darcy (in writing this I realize that this renders me as pathetic as the girls that were sighing aloud at the end of the movie Pride and Prejudice).