Thursday, April 30, 2009

Week 14 Prompt


In the movie The Jane Austen Book Club, Kathy Baker's Bernadette says, "Jane Austen is the perfect antidote to life!" While most of you would agree and will go on loving Jane for years to come, there may be times when the Austen craze annoys you. Here's your chance to have a Jane Austen rant.


oh man. here it is. the rant blog.

i entirely hate how most of the novels end. i feel like i deserve more, after reading so much, they always end abruptly. her novels end so happily, after so much drama and terrible things happen to her characters, why cant we have more of the good parts, and not just a summary at the end?

at times, austen can be a little long-winded. i wonder if she spoke like most of her character do (forever). i feel like her books could be half as short, but still effective and enjoyable.

i also feel like most of the time, her heroines just settle for whoever. why cant they wait and find their true perfect match? i mean, for how much austen writes, you'd think some actual legit guy would come around. but no. its always like, well, i guess i can marry you, since everyone else sucks by comparison.

otherwise, good reads.

Week 12 Prompt


If you were to pick your perfect spouse from a Jane Austen character, who would it be, and why? Is your chosen, "perfect spouse" character, different from the type of person you in reality date? If so, which Jane Austen character is most like the type of person you end up dating, and how and why do you think this is different than your "perfect spouse"?


i would really like to date mr bingley (the only side effect being his sister...i think i could take her in a fight though). he's nice to everyone, it doesnt matter what class or status. he also seems shy, but i find shyness in guys endearing. his only drawback, besides his sister, which he cant help, is that he is probably too passive--he's easily influenced by ms bingley and darcy. sadly enough, the people i usually end up dating (if you can call it that) are wickhams, willoughbys, and eltons. a mr. bingley type would be a nice change of pace. why are these men different than my "perfect spouse?" probably because i am too much like fanny in the dating aspect: i see the guy i like, but dont do anything about it. : )

Week 11 Prompt

Compare and contrast Willoughby and Wickham. Who is the lesser of the two evils? Why?

given their situations, i think wichham is the "lesser of two evils." though he's a huge jerk to elizabeth, and probably doesnt really love lydia (he's paying for it now, im sure), i dont think he is as much as a womanizing bastard as willoughby, excuse the language. however, both had bad intentions from the start, money seems to be able to influence these characters without a second thought. and, i guess, even though it doesnt mean a whole lot to me (or garners any sort of redemption), willoughby apologizes. it just makes him seem like more of a ...dou**e (sorry, language again).

Week 9 Prompt


How does Catherine compare to the other heroines we've read so far? Why do you think Austen created her?

catherine is altogether "young" and inexperienced. i think this was a conscious choice of austen's though, it gave northanger abbey a sort of...well, comic feel (i dont think comic is the right word, more like parody...). gothic novels usually dont have naive characters, this made her story more interesting. i think catherine would make a good match for friendship with mrs bennet: mrs bennet could totally be that little gossiping parrot on her shoulder, and catherine would easiy believe her. : )

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week 8 Prompt


Catherine is the fourth female protagonist we've been introduced to in this class. How is she like her three predecessors? How is she different? Do you think her spunky, tom boyish childhood would have been appealing to readers of Austen back then, especially young female readers?


if i had been living in the time of these novels, i am most positive that i would have fallen in love with catherine (as i already kind of have). her spirit is so unlike that of emma, fanny, and elizabeth. from what ive read so far, catherine is all about being herself, taking criticism and compliments as they come without worrying too much about them. i think younger female readers of the time would desperately cling to this girl; she probably represents what most girls feel they have to hide in order to be a "lady."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week 7 Prompt

Volume one, Chapter eight is devoted, almost entirely, to describing a debate between Emma and Mr. Knightely concerning Harriet Smith, and her rejection of Robert Martin’s marriage proposal. Who do you most agree with? Do you side with Mr. Knightley, believing Miss Smith, in becoming friends with Emma, is beginning to think too highly of herself? Or do you, like Emma, believe Miss Smith’s rejection of fair deliberation?

i agree with mr. knightley. throughout the novel, it seems like he has everyone's best interests in mind, and knows the limits of society for all characters, whereas emma seems pretty biased in that area. i dont think harriet thinks "too much" of herself, i believe she's only acting according to please and more importantly, keep her newest bff. but i also dont think it was fair deliberation. harriet is the type of person to just be a push over, to let her friends influence her to the point of not going with her own instincts and judgements (and on the other hand, harriet is a very gentle soul, and probably doesnt see that such influences are taking place). mr. knightley is correct in thinking emma has too much power over harriet, but to come to emma's aid, she let harriet have the final word on martin's proposal and only approved of harriet after she chose "correctly."
i think all the characters are a bit too meddlesome anyways. theyd fit right in with a scoobydoo episode.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week 6 Prompt


What would Emma's Facebook look like? (who wouldn't choose this one?)


emma's profile picture would be a picture of only her, probably a three-quater profile. nothing too flashy, but provoking enough for people to add her (since her page would be private, of course). She would write on someone's wall everyday, most likely mrs weston, and have all the popular applications. especially top friends, which would probably be edited every month or so. emma would have definitely been extremely upset about the switch from old to new facebook, and probably would have signed the petition against it. her notes would be every once in a great while, because she's too busy commenting on her friends photos and statuses. she would like to check her notifications at least three times a day, but limits herself to once a day, so as not to over-indulge.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Week 5 Prompt

It is clear that the character of Fanny Price in Rozima's film is much different from the Fanny in Austen's novel, Mansfield Park. How does this change the story? Do you tend to feel more sympathetic towards the film version of Fanny or the novel version and for what reasons? Do you think the film portrays the ways in which Austen's readers would have liked Fanny to act or do you think the film completely distracts from the truth of the novel by changing her so much?

changing fanny's character in the movie "based on" mansfield park, for me, made her more likable. i enjoyed fanny's character in the book, but thought the movie placed her in a more amiable light that more people could relate to. being an aspiring novelist, im not too partial to having a movie screenplay destroying its novel counterpart, but as a whole, mansfield park when looked at as a movie retains the spirit. i do however feel more sympathetic to the movie fanny (and also feel that the novel fanny wouldnt like sympathy): her wit and humor is cute and the obvious dislike the others have for her makes her even more likable. while avid fans of austen are sure to be displeased with any changes a movie makes on the novel, there is still a good amount of aesthetic value the movie holds. the way in which movie fanny behaves is the way i would like the novel fanny to act.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week 4 Prompt

Do you think that Fanny Price is a strong or weak character? How does she face adversity? Does she make an effective protagonist?

i definitely think fanny is a strong character, anyone willing to be themselves no matter the situation has got to have a backbone. i think so many critics claim Austen's character fanny to be weak and annoying simply because she is so vastly different from her other protagonists, when i think strength comes in many different shapes and forms. because everyone around her is constantly keeping her "in her place," i believe this only adds to her being an effective protagonist. maybe following elizabeth bennett didnt place her in the greatest light, but we have to remember that Austen is trying to portray reality, and whats that without a little fanny?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Week 3 Prompt

Compare and contrasts your favorite movie version of Pride and Prejudice with the book. Do you like either one better? What makes the book or film better than the other?

the 2005 version is hands down the best version. not only is the cinematography and musical score great, but the actors nailed their roles to the T. i hadnt seen the movie until last year, and it honestly made me want to read Austen's pride + prejudice novel (and especially since i hadnt read any of them anyway). even though ive seen the movie before reading, i still enjoyed the book more, the humor in it always caught me off guard, in the best way. im not so sure that the movie gave insight to Austen's wit.

yet the movie is still true to the basics of what the story is about: that pride and prejudice (obviously) can blind a person just as much as love can. though the book never expressed much, if at all, sexual tension, the presence of such in the movie made it much more modern and therefore relatable to current culture. so if you like wit, read the book, and if you like matthew macfadyen and kiera knightley in the rain, i suggest the movie. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Week 2 Prompt

For any story, the audience’s connection to it is of upmost importance. If the reader feels no relation to the characters or plot within, then the writer might as well stop, go back to the drawing board, and try again. How do you relate to the characters within Pride and Prejudice? How do they help you to connect with the story? For instance, do you identify with Jane’s shyness, or do you feel in opposition to Mr. Darcy’s apparent pride? Feel free to focus on a single character if that helps.

i agree, the reader's connection to the story's characters is one of the most important aspects when considering a novel. i mean, just look at J.D. Salinger's work. His pieces would just seem like a bunch of crazy people in the same room if there was no character traits the reader couldn't identify with; identifying with characters make them believable.

so reading pride + prejudice is going pretty well so far. i feel like i can see myself as numerous characters, especially in the qualities of the bennet sisters. jane is a nice, quiet soul who goes about things at her own pace. though i don't think i'm quite as humble, relating to her is easy. elizabeth speaks her mind, and if placed in society today, would probably be labeled a free spirit. i like to think i have her qualities, if only on a minute level. i'm certainly not as outspoken with strangers, but feel comfortable enough with friends to be elizabeth-esque. There are times also when i feel as giddy as kitty and lydia and others when i find a relaxing solace in mary, that she is content to spend her time doing things she enjoys, even if no one else does (i always feel terrible at the part when she is performing at the party and everyone wishes she would stop, how sad!). seeing myself in the characters, if only partially, creates a real world, not just words on a page.

conversely, having both similarities and differences when relating yourself to a character helps you see a different perspective of life. sure i feel shy like jane most of the time, but i don't think i would react to situations in the same ways as she does. it is interesting to see how differences in character effect so much of how one's life plays out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week 1 Prompt

Week 1 Prompt
Think about the topics from your "What I don't know" or "What I think I know" historical list--some mentioned in class were "what did they write with?" "why didn't Austen marry?" "was there pressure on men to marry?" I'm sure many other questions surfaced in your own mind. Choose one topic and search out the full answer on the web or in the library. Write about what you discovered. Did it surprise you? How has what you learned affected your reading of Pride and Prejudice so far?

i am almost certain that Jane Austen did a majority of her writing with a "quill pen," but am also certain that she was using whatever was common for the era. so when pen changed to metals and not feathers, it is most likely Austen was writing with it. when time passed with her novels, her characters would be writing letters with whatever was fashionable or what was available.

the quill pen doesnt surprise me. i mean, how many countless pictures have we all seen of a woman writing with some feathery romantic pen? knowing what Austen had writen with paints a better picture of what her characters look like (as writing letters back and forth is a major occurance in her novels).

Legit Information + Sources
"Raven or crow feathers were chosen for the finest work. In 1792 Jane Austen used a crow quill to write a poem as a gift for a friend."

"The slit in the nib of the pen allows the ink to travel easily from the barrel storage to the tip when light pressure is applied....Variation in pressure produces thin and thick strokes."

"No two quills write in the same way. Because of the development of the shaft and the carving by the quill maker, each pen is as unique as the writer. So, in Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy’s ‘no thank you I always mend my own’ response to Miss Bingley’s offer to mend his pen ‘remarkably well’ could simply be that he preferred to write with a nib of his own making. But it has always seemed more to me that he was rejecting an attempt on her part at an intimacy he did not welcome."

"By the 18th century the metal pen emerged – a manufactured imitation of its natural predecessors – though it was not in very wide use until the second quarter of the 19th century when advances in production methods made it possible to manufacture them in number."

"Writing implements included the quill pen, an inkstand filled with ink, pen knife, and sometimes a writing box."

"Creating quill pens was an art, since the nib had to be carefully cut with a knife so that the hollow core would hold just the right amount of ink and release it steadily under pressure. If the writer wrote for any length of time, fingers on the writing hand would often become ink stained. Quill pens, most commonly obtained from the wing feathers of a goose, had to be sharpened often with a pen knife. The average quill pen lasted for only a week before it was discarded."