More Elisabeth Bennet and Less Anastasia Whatever

I won’t be reading that 50 Shades thing, and don’t argue that I don’t know what I’m talking about then.  I know Chick Lit when I see it. It’s insulting. I hate chick flicks and chick porn literature.

Fifty Shades is nothing new, just  more explicit. Don’t those romance novels, Twilight, and all those Sparks things have the same appeal? Messed up selfish guy suggestive of danger. Vacuous female helplessly attracted. I have never been able to relate to these people.

The intended effect on the readers is the same too. Be honest. It’s designed to rev you up about some loser fantasy male, and it does, and that’s why you read it. I won’t even bother to examine all that’s wrong with training yourself to find that kind of guy attractive and desirable. It’s so far from the real thing you can have in the gift of the man God may give you, that you’ll have a hard time navigating your way back. And if you’re a married lady, you’re eating cheap candy out of the garbage can when the table is spread with a gourmet meal prepared for you by Someone Else.

Long lost is the understanding of the sublime power of sexual intimacy as it was designed by a loving God. To our modern mind, sex equals my satisfaction.  If we’re really selfless it means (hopefully) yours as well. We have reduced the most deeply intimate, spiritually refreshing and emotionally exhilarating experience to a quick physical rush. Once the physical orgasm becomes the sole reason and purpose of the act, then any act which results in its attainment is one of just so many equivalent options.

Let’s not be persuaded to think that the sort of things on display in the Fifty Shades thing are on a continuum of normative sexual experiences along with your basic sexual intimacy.They are a cynical distortion.

There are many reasons to love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice but the number one reason for me is that it endorses the nobility of both sexes in relationship.  It travels in precisely the opposite direction than Chick Lit does.  Mr. Darcy seems at first like the tall, handsome, wealthy Bad Boy with a short temper, a type apparently attractive to millions of women.  But Elisabeth Bennett is repelled by him. Citing “your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others,” she declares,”I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” She is clearly looking for someone who would ennoble her life.

The novel’s original title was to be First Impressions. Elisabeth grows to love Darcy when she discovers her first impression was quite wrong.  Under the public face of Mr. Darcy’s reticent haughtiness hides a character of real nobility. Privately he is kind, magnanimous, self-sacrificing, a doting brother to his younger sister, a generous master to his servants and tenants, and a longsuffering friend, hoping for the redemption of truly profligate Mr. Wickham.

When she pieces together the puzzle of his true character, she falls into deep respect, relieved appreciation, and finally, abiding love. She hopes desperately that he thinks well of her.

We ought to value noble character above hot indifference. We need to cultivate in ourselves more Elisabeth Bennett and less Bella, Anastasia or any of the other host of hapless doomed women who seek their own destruction and misery.

2 thoughts on “More Elisabeth Bennet and Less Anastasia Whatever

  1. Wally Fry

    Help me understand Madelyn. The consensus in Worpress is that this is just awful. On the other hand, this book or books, and the movie are amazingly popular…even with some “christian” women. You know, it’s not healthy for us guys either. I mean, The Bible teaches us one way to behave(which of course is the correct way)..then we have this book teaching more or less that the bad boy wins…no small wonder we are confused.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m not the least bit confused. I am so blessed with my own marriage I can’t even see straight. I just meant men in general.

    Liked by 1 person


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