I recently read Little Women immediately followed by Pride & Prejudice, each chronicles the lives of growing young women in a bygone era, so I thought I would review them in tandem for my first daily post. I will try to express my opinion of each book without spoiling the story for the uninitiated. Each review will receive one of these final ratings: No Bueno, Bueno, or Muy Bueno because Im random like that.
Little Women reads like a long winded fairy tale where you form a bond with the narrator who occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and the March family who we follow through adolescence and young adulthood. The main characters are the four young Marches, each seemingly embodying a distinct personality: Josephine the tough, Amy the lady, Beth the kind-hearted, and Meg the mature; their household is completed by their mother, affectionately called Marmee throughout, and a belligerent servant who speaks like a rapper writes. This book was meant for mothers to read to their daughters for lessons in patience, self-respect, self-esteem, and all the positive traits we wish upon them. Two problems, first, if were preaching life lessons including acceptance, then Josephine is clearly a lesbian, which shouldnt bother anyone, and that opens the possibility that Beth is a special needs child. Second, the religious undertones and re-enforced gender roles: Josephine the lesbian is the only little woman interested in working, and none of these girls appear to be educated in any of the sciences, preferring inaudibly rousing speeches instead of intellectual debates. Alas, I am clearly not the target audience; and yet, I found the story endearing and the family likeable overall. Bueno.
Pride and Prejudice is a bit more grown up. My favorite quote opens the book:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
The scene continues with Mrs. Bennet begging her husband to marry her daughter off to the neighborhoods newest rich young bachelor. Quick tangent, when did parents stop arranging their childrens future? The Bennets have four daughters, the son-less theme continues; were primarily concerned with the two eldest Bennet daughters: Elizabeth the protagonist and Jane the beautiful. Their hearts-for-swords fencing partners are Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, each of whom are wildly rich and terribly sought after. I took a particular liking to Mr. Darcy, because much like myself, we have a prideful air about us that regularly leaves people with snobbish impressions despite our disassociation. The Prejudice arises due to the Pride, were treated to plot twists and loads of pensive thoughts; quite frankly, too much pensive thought, and for adult affairs, this drawn out mystery thriller is lacking sexual tension. If lust isn’t required with your love, then this is the book for you: adult problems and mea culpa solutions without any passion. At least Jane Austen painted better villainy and deception in the world than the terror of science, and a little woman’s malaise. Bueno.