First Impressions…

18 Jun

I title this blog as such, because that is what Jane Austen originally named her classic novel Pride and Prejudice, and after watching 2005 movie adaptation of this tale, aside from thinking that I need to buy the stellar soundtrack to this film, I also thought about the nature of romance and how it has changed since Austen’s time period.

We live in an age where men and women are equally forward with one another. It is rare to see a man pursue a woman as Mr. Darcy or Mr. Bingley pursued Lizzie and Jane, and even more rare to see a woman today act with patience and propriety. Not to mention that I find it refreshing that men and women of that age fell hopelessly in love without much physical contact, which is so far removed from our society’s acceptance and encouragement of pre-marital sex and the like.

I myself have pursued men in the past. But what happened to a female being pursued by a man? Now, that doesn’t mean that the man has to do all the work, not by any means. In the case of Jane and Mr. Bingley, she was so shy and guarded, and didn’t encourage his affection, so others persuaded him that she did not love him. What happened to that kind of modesty?

I go back and forth. So many people label the strides that women have made in the last century as progress, and in many instances, I agree. Women do deserve education and rights, just as much as any man. However, what price has been paid so that women could be considered men’s equals? The pursuit of careers, money and fame often leave women lonely and without love, having to sacrifice romance for the purpose of bettering themselves. I’m all for education and the pursuit of a career; I wouldn’t be trying to get into graduate school if I didn’t support those kind of endeavors. However, lately I’ve just been wondering about the cost in the long run.

Some would say that the romance of Darcy and Lizzie is outdated, that it doesn’t make sense in a modern-day world. Some might even argue that their relationship could have been considered oppressive, as he was rich, and the only way she could be guaranteed a good life was to be married. I guess I just see things differently. In the end of the novel, Elizabeth found a man who challenged her and made her feel more alive. She found a man who loved her “most ardently”. His declarations of love to her are enough to make any woman long for that type of romance.

Despite the pain I’ve endured in past relationships, I still believe in romance and love. I still believe that two people can overcome any obstacle to remain happy together for the rest of their lives. Most people today consider monogamy ridiculous. I consider it to be one of most precious gifts that God has given us as human beings. To love someone you consider your best friend, to support them and encourage them in a lifelong commitment, that is something beautiful and rare indeed.

So in honor of the romance of Austen’s era, here are some videos I found of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, from the 2005 film, Pride and Prejudice.

The first proposal scene, where both characters have false impressions of one another:

Don’t give up on the pursuit of romance. I believe that this kind of love still exists. I trust in that.


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