Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Dear Jane, from Liz
I can hardly begin to describe how happy it has made me to see bloggers spend the past month celebrating you, your work and the adaptations it has inspired. To have so many people with whom I can discuss (or gush) about your work is a wonderful thing, and I am happy that you have so many fans. It is true that any day of the week I will blather about your heroes or the humor of your work.
However, I recently learned that while these may be factors in my adoration of your novels, that your characters and the struggles have inspired me over the years. As I write this letter, I think particularly of the romances between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice and Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey. Both of these are marriages which your characters went into, knowing that family members disapproved because of wealth and social stature. Yet they allowed love to triumph anyways, instead of doing what was expected of them.
I am very lucky. I have a family who would be supportive if I married someone with less wealth than I, so the truth is that I will likely never find myself in the same situation as any of these characters. However, I continue to love these characters because they are bold and defiant for the sake of their own happiness. I’ve just graduated from college and while I keep busy volunteering during the day, I’m still working out a larger plan and at times, watching friends graduate to internships and paying jobs made me feel a bit inadequate at times, and like I’m not quite doing what I should.
No, I’m not defying expectations in the same way that your characters did, but I think I’ll ultimately emerge from this awkward transitional period and be happy, just as your couples are at the end of their stories. Your novels remind me of a question I often ask myself: “What kind of world would we live in if people only did what others wanted them to do?” And ultimately, they remind me that this world would be boring, and probably not one I would I want to live in. Thus I continue doing what I think will allow me to make the impact I want on the world and provide me with happiness, with the help of your guidance. Thank you.