This semester I took a course called Politics and Literature where I was introduced to the works of Jane Austen in an entirely different light than they are usually presented. We read Pride and Prejudice and discussed what statements it was making about society at the time. It was filled with humor and sarcasm, plus it had a main character who is wholly wonderful while the love interest is awkward and adorable. It’s safe to say that I am now fully obsessed with Jane Austen.
You’d think that someone who wasn’t interested in love stories would find little to enjoy within the period pieces that portray Austen’s work, but for some reason I find myself drawn to them nonetheless. Two nights in a row I have stayed up absurdly late to watch the BBC versions on Hulu because why not. Tonight I’m considering turning on Sense and Sensibility because it’s there and I haven’t watched it yet.
The appeal is the women. They are lively and allowed to live, speaking their mind at every turn and never degrading themselves just to find a husband. Unlike a lot of women at the time, they get to be real. This problem has continued into the present with women just existing within stories to be a love interest so it is nice to see the role reversed.
To the person who pointed out that Austen’s books don’t pass the reverse Bechdal test, you’re my hero.
To the professor who placed the book before me and forced me to read beyond the language and endless descriptions to see to the story and how well Austen was mocking society, thank you.