Wednesday, June 12, 2013

12 Reasons Why We're Like Jane Austen Heroines

Drinking tea at a bridal much more Austen can we get?
A little while ago, my roommates and I were watching Becoming Jane (and, of course, in order to get fully into the spirit of things, we followed up with a good ole Jane Austen movie marathon). Upon conclusion of our immersion in all things Austen, we decided that we here in Papua New Guinea are remarkably similar to her feisty Elizabeth’s and sensible Elinor’s. Since I know you are curious, here are twelve reasons why we qualify as Jane Austen heroines.

(I hope you’ve figured out by now that this post is not going to be particularly theologically deep or culturally enlightening…)

1. Lots of mud. Everywhere.
“My goodness, did you see her hem? Six inches deep in mud. She looked positively medieval.”
(Caroline Bingley, Pride and Prejudice)
2. Expensive Beef.
Mrs. Dashwood: Surely you're not going to deny us beef as well as sugar.
Elinor Dashwood: There is nothing under 10 pence a pound, Mama. We must economise.
Mrs. Dashwood: Do you want us to starve?
Elinor Dashwood: No. Just not to eat beef.
(Sense and Sensibility— film)

3. Lots of opportunities to get caught in soaking rain.

Margaret: It's going to rain.
Marianne: It is NOT going to rain.
Margaret: You ALWAYS say that and then it ALWAYS does.
(Sense and Sensibility— film)
 (however, we seem to rarely catch our death of cold or twist our ankle and having a charming gentleman ride up on a horse to rescue us)
4. Reading is a key form of entertainment
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!" (Caroline Bingley, Pride and Prejudice)

5. Getting home when it’s raining or dark is often dependent upon the generosity of others

"Can I have the carriage?" said Jane.
"No, my dear, you had better go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain; and then you must stay all night." (Pride and Prejudice)

6.  Maintaining the high opinion of impeachable social propriety is essential.
“Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable — that one false step involves her in endless ruin — that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful — and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.” (Mary Bennet, Pride and Prejudice)

7.  We walk (almost) everywhere.
“Tell me, do you and your sisters very often walk to Meryton?” asked Mr. Darcy.
“Yes, we often walk to Meryton.” (Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice)

8.  Dining with friends for meals and tea happens several times a week.
“We have dined nine times at Rosings, besides drinking tea there twice! How much I shall have to tell!” (Pride and Prejudice)

9.  People like to try to marry us off  :)
Mrs. Jennings was a widow, with an ample jointure. She had only two daughters, both of whom she had lived to see respectably married, and she had now therefore nothing to do but marry all the rest of the world. (Sense and Sensibility)

10. We communicate with family primarily through letter-writing (err, email-writing).
 At length she spoke again. “I have just had a letter from Jane, with such dreadful news. (Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice)

11.  Our clothes are not of the highest fashions
"Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel.  Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and her daughter.  I could advise you merely to put on whatever of your clothes is superior to the rest--there is no occasion for anything more.  Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed.  She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved." (Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice)

12.  And last, but not least...
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  (Pride and Prejudice)

Or, in Ukarumpa-speak, it would be rephrased as “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man who comes to PNG to serve with Bible translation, must be in want of a wife.”  'Nuff said. :)