20 May 2009

Fanny Price part deux

OK, so I finished Mansfield Park the other day. I've decided that while she was somewhat annoying at first... She was the only one in the story with any true integrity or intuition. It is written in the book that Edmund was the one that helped to mold her mind (he is the token clergyman of this story), but she was naturally inclined to be good and virtuous evenso. Her somewhat oppressive upbringing kept her in humility and when the time was right, she proved her worth was far beyond that of those around her and what one might expect.

Virtue and integrity both seem to be dying attributes of "modern" society. Virtue and integrity do not seem to have much bearing in the progressive movement. Fanny is the epitome of conservative and she was the only one that had good sense. Somehow, I don't find that too surprising.

Fanny has turned out to be the kind of character we should all emulate. She's not as quick-witted as Lizzie, no. But she is kind, patient, long-suffering, loyal and true to herself and her values. That is true character.

I believe I had a recent post that discussed settling in marriage - settling for someone that we know we should not be with, but are so in love with being in love or the idea of being married that we allow ourselves this error. Fanny was faced with this very opportunity, but because she loved another, though at the time she felt it was hopeless, and because she was loyal to her character and the values she held dear, she persevered. We should all learn from her example... we should all hold out for the hero that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. I'm not saying that there is only one person for every person, but there are definitely some people that the Lord would approve for us and some that he'd prefer we passed over - not because they aren't "good enough" but because they aren't as good FOR us as another may be.

07 May 2009

Royal Happily Ever Afters?

Perhaps the lives of those in nobility/royalty are the reason we have fairy tales today. I watched the Duchess tonight. It was not a happy movie. I've also just spent some time reading a little about her on wikipedia.

Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire was an ancestor of Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York. Interestingly, the tagline for the movie in the UK was, "There were three people in her marriage..." Apparently it is a reference to a Princess Diana quote.

And so we see that many of these royal marriages were unhappy, filled with infidelity and abuse on a variety of levels. Being forced to share a home with your husband and his mistress (who had at one point been your best friend) does not seem like happily ever after to me. It's no wonder that Jane Austen wrote often about marrying for love. Fortunately for her heroines, they not only married for love but in most cases the men with whom they loved also had money.

One of the topics that I'd tossed around in my head during my most recent bout of blog-silence was the fact that there are SO many love songs out there - that must mean that there are people in the world that have truly experienced it!! I thought of this when listening to the song, Lucky, by Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillet. I love that song. I'm also really digging Push by Sarah McLachlan right now (among a great many other ones).

It's kind of interesting really... We all want this magical kind of love - the stuff that dreams are made of. But in our quest and obsession with it, we try to force it from the first person that comes along that seems to be at least willing [to settle along with you]. I think that far too often we settle for less than what we deserve. We become so obsessed with finding a quick route to this magic that we look blindly past the truth that glares us in the eye - that a love like that - of our dreams - is worth waiting for.

In the [awesome] movie, The Holiday, Iris is told that she is behaving like the best friend when she's really the leading lady. When we start acting like the amazing leading lady, perhaps our hero, even a knight in shining armor, will gallop up and bring to fruition the hopes and dreams of all the love songs we've ever loved.

06 May 2009

Fanny Price - an unlikely heroine?

OK, so I am rereading Mansfield Park right now. I remember really liking it before. This time around, I’m realizing that Fanny is not my favorite of Jane’s heroines. She’s meek and humble, sure. But she’s got no backbone and completely lacks confidence and spunk. As I continue to write my thoughts on her, I may change my mind, I don’t know. She just seems so na├»ve, I guess. And I guess what it all comes down to, is that she has been brought up to believe that she is less than she really is.

I guess Fanny is a prime example of a lovely and virtuous woman who doesn’t understand her self-worth because the people around her have raised her to believe that she isn’t as good as those around her and have done so in order to oppress her.

Just for a little background for those who have not yet read this novel: Fanny Price is the daughter of a woman who has two sisters. Fanny’s mother did not marry as well as her two sisters and lots of kids later, ends up sending one of her children (Fanny) to live with her sister who married a Baronet. Needless to say, they live much better than what Fanny was used to (she was ten when she left home) and had 4 cousins to get used to (though she was being raised WITH them, they felt it was important to make sure that she knew she was not at their level). The third aunt lives nearby and played a key role in bringing Fanny to live at Mansfield Park, though wants credit for the idea of doing a good deed rather than actually DOING a good deed. Anyway, being that Fanny was not born the daughter of a Baronet, she is treated in a way that she won't confuse her “station” or whatever.

Fanny has a natural strong sense of propriety and goodness - which is a great quality to possess. Though, like I said, she lacks confidence and it is leaving a less than good taste in my mouth. For those who have read it, I am just finishing the part where the young people of the house were working on getting this scandalous play together. A play which Fanny would have no part, even at their begging. She keeps lucking out, though, every time she starts to reluctantly give in to do something she'd rather not do, situations tend to happen to get her out of it. She can only handle so much pressure, I guess. Though, she seriously just keeps lucking out. Don’t get me wrong, I can completely relate to so many of Fanny’s passive aggressive ways, but I guess I’m just realizing that she’s more of an unlikely heroine - at least at this point of the story. Perhaps I will change my mind again once I get to the end. I don’t recall the details of my previous reading of the novel. Those of my [like 4] readers who are familiar with the story – what do you think of Fanny? Pray, tell!

This is my random rambling from today. As I am reading, I’m underlining passages for future blog entries. So hopefully I can continue to maintain some sort of regularity with my blogging!

02 May 2009

Looking for the green on my thumb...

Well, I'm trying to grow vegetation. That's, right. Target had these cute little pots of plants in their dollar bin area. F-U-N, right? YEAH! So we'll see how they turn out! I got some tomatoes, strawberries, oregano, basil, chives and some kind of flower. I got them all planted today. They came with these little soil pellets and some seeds. I also attempted some wildflowers. I'll have to keep you updated on their progress!!