Add Zombies & Enjoy…..

Pride and Prejudice is the final installment in my Jane Austen commitment.  It was the hardest to finish, but well worth it.  As with all of her novels, there is an ever present quest for both the perfect match for the lovely female protagonist.  True to its’ name, the marriage themes of the novel are pride and prejudice cause the conflicts which move the novel along.

The Bennet sisters, five in number, are in need of husbands.  Mr. Bennet is content to have his daughters live out their days at home. He seems unconcerned with the great marriage question. It is a Mrs. Bennet’s passion to find suitable gentlemen for her daughters.

Confusion and miscommunication play a role in this novel as well, but it stems not so much from social constraints as it does from their own character faults.  There is a reason why this novel’s plots has been copied and shamelessly reproduced again and again over the years, it is dam good.  The characters are compelling and although I loved the zombie version the best, it is worth more than one read.

Currently, my bedside table is a third version of the novel, the DK Illustrated Classic, complete with background information.  The history nut inside me is dying to read this version with it’s background chapters scattered through-out.

My quest to get know Jane Austen has led to where most of you who have already met her suspected it would; I admire her work and talent.  She tapped the glass ceiling of her times leaving cracks for others to exploit.

Getting to Know Jane –

My Favorite Picture of Jane

Today, or more aptly yesterday, I began my endeavors to get to know Jane Austen.  In high school, I was able to avoid her acquaintance through my English teacher’s disdain for her. None of my college professors introduced me, so I escape being forced to read her.  I am not a huge fan of romances and thus avoided her at great length.

It wasn’t until two events took place within a fortnight that I decided to introduce myself  to her and her many fine works.   The first was the invitation by theliteraryshack to join the Jane Austen Blog Fest this month.  Not being a fan, I was a little hesitant to join.  Then my students and I had our arms twisted by the gods of curriculum to read “On the Vindication of the Right’s of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft.  The essay if you haven’t read it is a discussion on how women’s education at the time only trained them to find husbands.

Jane Austen’s novels center around romance and the search for happiness in the same era.  The social commentary isn’t as bold as in Wollstonecraft. It’s presence is subtle and effective.  The social conventions of the time restricted women in such a way that success was determined their ability to marry well.  Education for the daughter’s middle class families was geared at making them more suitable for marriage. Wollstonecraft, the mother of Feminism, argued that training women only for one purpose harmed not only them, but society.

Those events led me to accept the challenge of reading an author whom I had previous avoided.  Alright, not completely avoided. I did read Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and loved it. And yes, it was my love of horror that compelled me to pick it up.

Now, I am preparing for a month of reading, writing and discussing Jane. Wish me, luck…..