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."