Austenites Unite!

If you remember, I am working on completing my 30 by 30 list (30 things I want to accomplish by the time I turn 30 in December). One of those goals was to read every Jane Austen novel.

I. Love. Jane. Austen.

I know I’ve mentioned this before. She is seriously my soul sister.

When my actual sister and I went to England, we went to Jane Austen’s house in Alton. It. Was. Awesome.

I can’t think of any other way to describe it except that it was a “spiritual experience”. I credit visiting her home as the genesis of my desire to be a writer by trade.

Look how happy {and thin, I might add!} I look!

Look how happy {and thin, I might add!} I look!

Anywhoo, back to the 30 by 30…

I finished Northanger Abbey a few weeks ago and started on Mansfield Park soon after.

Of all of Austen’s novels, I have to say that these two are my least favorite…why? I’ll tell you. {Warning: slight spoilers ahead}

Northhanger’s protagonist, Catherine Morland, is a sweet girl. She’s friendly, kind, has good manners but she’s…how do I put this diplomatically? Um…simple. Yes, that’s it: simple. She’s easily persuaded by everyone around her and incapable of seeing people’s true intentions. She doesn’t stand up for herself, nor is she decisive. It drives me batty!

Mansfield‘s leading lady, Fanny Price, isn’t much better. She’s a lot like Catherine–sweet, kind, caring–but does not let her feelings show and is almost forced into a loveless marriage because of it. She allows herself to be pushed around by everyone (including her beloved cousin, Edmund) and its incredibly frustrating for this reader.

I guess I’ve been spoiled by other books that have “look-at-me-wrong-and-I’ll-kill-you”, strong female leads. Or maybe I’m turned off by the meek and mild main character because I was pushed around a lot in a past relationship. Whatever the reason, I find myself internally chastising the Catherine’s and the Fanny’s for not standing up for themselves (and likewise punching the other characters in the face for walking all over them).

 

What about you? Have you read any Jane Austen novels? Which were your favorites? Why?

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