Good morning! I’m so glad you’re here. You look lovely !!! How’s your day going so far ?!?
Mine is going rather … energetically, as you can see. I wish I could say this was
because I went to bed early last night after previously staying up past my bedtime watching BBC programming, but the truth is, I’ve now gone so far beyond tired that I’ve moved past exhaustion and come out the other side to awake again. I blame Steven Moffatt. Do you guys know how many “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” clips you can find on Youtube ?!? And do not even get me started on the soundtrack compilations that are out there.
Ok. Now that you’ve allowed me to indulge my inner fangirl for a moment (thank you for that – I feel so much better now) we can get on with the articulately reasoned, intellectual discourse of the day:
Ugh. You guys. Emma Woodhouse, like, so totally gets on my nerves.
If you missed it when I announced my 2014 Reading Challenge, you can catch up here. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
The first novel on this year’s list is Jane Austen’s “Emma” and I have to say that so far, things are not going well for Ms. Woodhouse and I. I know she’s intentionally unlikeable at the start of the novel (apparently Austen has been quoted as saying, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.”) so as to make her transformation by the end more dramatic and satisfying for the reader …
… but knowing something about an early 19th century novel and appreciating it are two different things. Particularly if you’ve only read a few chapters and are prone to making comparisons to certain other Austen heroines (Hi, Lizzie!) in your mind. Not that I consider fictional characters to be close personal friends, or anything. Ahem.
Aside from the fact that I clearly need to get out more, what I’m taking away from my reading experience so far is that it looks like I maybe probably just might not be as savvy and forward and enlightened as I imagine myself to be, and that I might actually, in fact, hold my
friends fictional characters to certain expectations and standards of behaviour that are based on deep-seated gender stereotypes.
Or, to take off my geek glasses and put it another way: I only like it when the fictional men in my life are unlikeable. John Luther, Gregory House and Jeff Winger make me swoon, yet Emma Woodhouse only makes me snarky. The media seems to be having a bit of an “Emma” moment: people are reacting in similar ways to a number of female characters featured in narratives right now, such as Lady Edith on “Downton Abbey” or the cast of “Girls” and it’s definitely something that I’m going to try and be more aware of as I’m reading, and will come back to in my review of the book.
I haven’t unpacked what all this means to me yet, and how it’s going to make me view and participate in my relationships going forward; but I will. And in the meantime, I have to admit I love knowing that the catalyst for what’s sure to be a great discussion involves mentioning a 2014 Golden Globe nominee in the same breath as an author born in 1775.
Is there a fictional character who made you re-think some of your own assumptions about the world? Tell me all about it in the Comments!