This week we read chapters 13 to 25 in our Pride and Prejudice Read Along. Much of these chapters had to do with Mr. Collins and his proposal, and with Mr. Wickham's appearance and his story about Darcy. Also, we had some more classic encounters between Darcy and Elizabeth.
Here are a few things I highlighted as I read:
- "And though prepared, as he told Elizabeth, to meet with folly and conceit in every other room of the house, he was used to be free from them there." This is Mr. Bennet thinking about his library. Have you noticed that his library is his sanctuary? I so totally relate with him! He can run from Mrs. Bennet here, and have solitude. It so bugs him when Mr. Collins invades that privacy.. poor guy. Anyway, I love this quote.
- "Upon my word!" Another phrase from the time that I feel the need to bring back! We do use "my word" sometimes or "Oh my word!!" It's fun to see that modern day variation of this older usage. Still... I like upon my word, better!
- "The moment of her release from him was ecstasy." Wow... it really MUST have been a trial to dance with Mr. Collins! I wonder how many of us have felt this very way about any sort of akward social connection?
- I love it when Elizabeth tries to get Mr. Darcy to talk while they dance saying that she has mentioned the dance, and now it was his turn to mention the room or the couples. Again, one of my favorite scenes.
- And later he tries by saying, "What think you of books?" Now... you can't help but like him, yes?? And Elizabeth cuts him off and says that they could never talk about books since there's no way they'll agree and he says, " I am sorry you think so, but if that be the case, there can at least be no want of subject. We may compare our different opinions." And there is the whole purpose of book clubs and book blogs and book discussion in general, don't you think? Way to go, Mr. Darcy!
- Don't you ever feel just a little bad for Mr. Collins? Granted, he didn't love Elizabeth at all, but still he was hoping so bad that she didn't know what she was saying when she says no! Funny.
- "We are all in an uproar!" Mrs. Bennet and her reaction to the whole Mr. Collins proposal makes me laugh. And then when Mr. Bennet says to Elizabeth, "From this day yo must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do NOT marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you DO!" Don't you just feeling like cheering at that point?
- Charlotte's philosophy of marriage is sad, but mostly likely the norm. "Miss Lucas accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment...."
What are Elizabeth’s first impressions of Mr. Collins? What does she base her judgement of him on? Do you agree with her initial assessment of him? In chapter 14 we learn about Mr. Bennet’s opinion of Mr. Collins. What does Mr. Bennet think of his visitor? After learning more about Mr. Collins in subsequent chapters, what is your opinion of him?
Mr. Collins for me has always been a fun character to hate.. or rather, to make fun of. He's a pretty awful sort, though I don't think he means to be, really. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for him. The dude that portrays him the movie has him SO spot on, it's hard to not read these chapters without totally getting him in your head. I always wonder if they would have picked a nice looking guy for this part, and still had him act this obnoxiously, would he still bug us all as bad? I wonder. Anyway, I think Elizabeth just brushes him off as a nuisance and doesn't take him too seriously, however, her dad knows that it's actually pretty serious to welcome him because he will be inheriting the estate.
Who is Lady Catherine de Bourgh? What does Mr. Collins think of her? Does Elizabeth agree with Mr. Collins views on Lady Catherine? Why or why not? What are your impressions of her? Mr. Collins talks a great deal about Rosings Park, Lady Catherine’s home. What are his thoughts about Rosings? How does Rosings contrast with Longbourn?
Lady Catherine is a most irritating character. We haven't actually met her yet (have we? I didn't QUITE finish the assigned reading!) but from Mr. Collins goings on, we can tell she is pretty shallow too. Rosings is obviously superior to Longbourn in so many ways! According to Mr. Collins anyway. These comparisons never fail to make me a little nauseated every time I read them! Ugh.
In this novel which frequently draws attention to appearances and how appearances can be deceptive, how would you describe Mr. Wickham’s appearance? The Bennet sisters, including Elizabeth, are initially attracted to him. What is it about Mr. Wickham that attracts them?
Mr. Wickham is.... can I say what I think of him without giving it all away? I think not. At first, I can see how he would be sweeping everyone of their feet. He looks nice, he acts nice... bottom line, that's all it is with him. Well, there's some more stuff too, but we'll get to that later.
When Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy happen to meet in Meryton, how do the two men respond to each other? In chapter 16 Mr. Wickham explains his troubled relationship with Darcy. What is the relationship between the two men, according to Wickham? What does Wickham claim that Darcy has done to him? How does Elizabeth respond to Wickham’s account of his past experiences with Darcy? Jane’s response to Wickham’s account differs from Elizabeth’s. How does Jane respond?
Ah, Wickham has Elizabeth hook line and sinker at first! What a sob story he gives her! He's nice, Darcy isn't, so Wickham must be right! Jane feels there's two sides to the story, and let me just say, she is right.
Elizabeth is eager to meet Wickham at the ball given by Mr. Bingley at Netherfield, but her high hopes are not actualized. Why not? Why does Elizabeth not dance with Wickham at the Netherfield ball? Who does she dance with? What happens between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth at the ball? How does Elizabeth feel about Darcy at the ball? How does Darcy feel about her? What happens between Jane and Mr. Bingley at the ball?
It's kind of funny that everyone wants to dance with Wickham and then he doesn't show up! I love that. I love that it forces her (Lizzy) to dance with Darcy and she accepts him before she realizes what she's doing.. oh and to get away from Collins of course! Elizabeth is tolerating the experience, and I think Darcy is trying his best. You know... he is a bit of SHY sort, don't you think!?? As far as Jane and Mr. Bingley goes, it appears that all is well and things are set! Well, we shall see...
All this fun stuff! Hopefully I can keep up with the reading and pondering even as my month falls apart these next few weeks. We are now planning a watch along sometime in August. Hopefully a few of us can meet IRL to watch, and we'll let you know in case a few of you would like to join with us virtually on Twitter too. I can't wait!