Nov 8, 2011

Marriageableness

This is what Ralph waldo Emerson had to tell about Jane Austen,




“Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer . . . is marriageableness.”

Which I think to be true. Not only Jane Austen. Most other novels in the genre of romance and fiction. I think they give a very wrong picture to young girls.

I remember reading Northanger Abbey as a kid and wishing I was poor and beautiful and a super rich man would fall in love with me. Now the grown up me is out of all such dreams and illusions. I don't even want such a life where the girl's only quality is her beauty and the guy's only quality is his bank balance. Relationships are never compatible if both the spouses are depending on the such external qualities in each other which are subject to change any millisecond.

It just gets on my nerves when I see so many ads and articles and jokes which propagate that the girls' only ambition in life is to be beautiful so that she is marriageable and is a  "good catch" and what that good catch means is left to anyone's interpretation.

19 comments:

  1. To be fair to Jane Austen, women had limited opportunities for careers in her day. She wrote very perceptively about the central issue facing young women of her day. These days, women can be independent and find boyfriends at their leisure. Is that what you want to do, Miss Runaway?

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  2. I have to agree with Gorilla Bananas here. Jane Austen wrote from a very different perspective and one cannot use her books as a context for today's world. Emerson's comment, when taken in context, is offensive because as a man he didn't experience the cloying reality that was a young woman's life.

    Today, we vote, we bitch, we learn, we head nations - it's a different world for us out there and yet, being a wife is something we have to think of. Your blog, my rants and the ever growing powers of websites like bharatmatrimony are testament to that.

    It all depends on how we utilise the freedoms that have been given to us to live the lives we want to live.

    As for good catch itself, well, again, its a reality we have to confront every single day of our lives. We might have acquired more and more in terms of freedom, education and careers, but men and their roles have never changed. Why would they want to look at things differently?

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  3. Even the idea that a girl's whole goal in life is to be married is repulsive to me.

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  4. Hey there. You sound like you're in the same boat as the rest of us! Atleast your story isn't as horrific as some of what I've experienced ;)

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  5. agreed with the first two comments. social context was different in her time. some female writers even used male pseudonyms then.
    there's much more freedom for women these days, and i'm glad for that.

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  6. Read the Story from a Boy's Point of View

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