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Sept / Oct 2011

The Literary Men You Love!


Editor: Charity Bishop Columnists: Eliza Gabe Ella G. Katharine Taylor Lydia Watson Meghan Gorecki Contributors: Caitlin Horton Carissa Horton Carol Starkey Katie S. Hannah Kingsley Lianne Bernardo Lydia M. Rachel Sexton Rissi C. Shannon H. Sponsor: Charity’s Place Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Tumblr

Writer’s Blogs: Carissa Charity Eliza Ella Hannah Lydia M. Meghan Rissi Shannon

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Artfully Plotted…

Paintings in Classics

Gilbert Blythe…

A True Gentleman

Edward Rochester

Passion & Purity

Nine Adaptations

of Jane Eyre

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Misunderstood!

Robin Hood

The People’s Hero

Asking Lydia

For Advice on Love

Jesus Christ

Greatest Literary Man

Edmund Dantes

Passion & Revenge

John Thornton

Distinctly Masculine

Atticus Finch

& Gregory Peck

Captain Nemo

Ever Mysterious

Peeta & Gale

The Hunger Games

Austen’s Heroes

In a Modern World

Frederick Wentworth

An Emotional Man

William Guppy

Lovelorn

Michael Corleone

Angel of Darkness

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remember my first literary crush well. He fit every ideal in my mind as to what a good man should be, and he had no time for girls, since he ―respected their intellect too much to trust them.‖ Since I didn‘t have a romantic bone in my body (reading The Scarlet Pimpernel I laughed so hard I cried and my best friend did not speak to me for weeks) this literary man was magnificent. I was officially in love! Most girls had their first literary crush via Austen or Brontë but mine was a detective at 221B Baker Street. He was the first man to catch my eye but certainly not the last; I have since met a vast number of remarkable men. Many of the heroes on screen originated in the mind of novelists. Dickens gave us an assortment of sweet gentlemen and horrific villains, Austen a collection of men we would all love to marry, and even Stephanie Meyer caused an entire generation of women to fall in love with either Edward or Jacob. There are heroes like Attacus Finch and polite sociopaths such as Hannibal Lecter. Most of us start young, finding an

affection for Ned in the Nancy Drew books, then moving on to Professor Bhaer in Little Women. We eventually discover not all men in literature are decent and many are not honorable but in spite of their flaws (and Edward Rochester has an abundance of them) we are drawn to and fascinated by them. Maybe it is a mothering instinct that drives us to have compassion for such lost souls, or secretly we suspect we could save them from themselves. Obviously, we cannot cover all literary men in this issue of Femnista (as much as I would like to!) but you will find a diverse group of men herein that you may or may not be intimately acquainted with, and more in issues to come. (Curious? Good!) Our columnists had a lot of fun with this theme. Katharine chose to discuss the role artwork plays in such classic literature as Jane Eyre, Ella contrasts the book and film Mr. Darcy, Meghan talks about the classic film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lydia tackles modernization in bringing heroes into contemporary plot lines. Throw into the mix a noble criminal, a notorious crime lord, the haunted captain of an ill-fated submarine, a gentleman with a secret locked in the attic, another who pursues revenge, the owner of a cotton mill factory, a man who waited on love a very long time, a perfect gentleman in love with a redheaded snippet, and two contemporary book heroes and it‘s no surprise that these pages overflow with remarkable men, gentle or otherwise. Enjoy! ♥

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t a turning point in plot and character development in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet stares up in ―earnest contemplation‖ at a portrait of Mr. Darcy hanging in his home. It‘s a moment that represents true seeing—she has misjudged him and is beginning to realize her mistake fully. The painting is described in the novel as ―a striking resemblance‖ of the handsome Mr. Darcy, notably wearing a smile on his face instead of the usual expression of disapproval that has characterized him throughout the book. Pride and Prejudice is not the only classic novel to use art at key moments to illuminate the characters‘ thoughts or to provide a

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By Katharine Taylor

visual symbol of conflict. In Little Women, Amy compares two portraits of Laurie in order to illustrate a point about his changing character (and not for the better!). The Tenant of Wildfell Hall‘s heroine, Helen, supports herself in difficult circumstances by anonymously selling her paintings. A portrait of her husband left in her studio is a clue to her mysterious background both for the reader and the hero of the novel, Gilbert Markham. And in the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery, Teddy is an artist. The way he draws Emily into all his compositions, even just her eyes or her smile, provides a concrete symbol of their enduring connection despite

the fact that circumstances, and personal stubbornness, have separated them. A more humorous example occurs in Emma, when the heroine decides to paint a portrait of her friend Harriet as a snare to catch Mr. Elton‘s love on Harriet‘s behalf. In the ensuing hilarious scene, Mr. Elton can‘t stop commenting on the painting despite how little progress Emma has made. Little does Emma know the painting is attracting his attention for all the wrong reasons; this is a perfect example of Emma‘s constant self-deception. The reader may also note how Emma‘s paintings reveal her character more subtly. She has a whole portfolio of unfinished works, which

show her boredom and impatience with discipline despite her talent. When the portrait of Harriet is finished, the always-truthful Mr. Knightley points out that Emma made Harriet look too tall, and ―Emma knew that she had, but would not own it.‖ Emma‘s tendency to willfully see the world the way she wants it fights against her actual quick intelligence throughout the book. Why is art such a common theme in classic books? For several reasons, perhaps. First, art pairs with literature very naturally. The visual arts and literature have borrowed ideas and themes from each other since their birth. Good writing is supposed to ―show


not tell‖ and how better to show than to provide a vivid visual illustration? Visuals also work very easily as symbols, and are memorable to the reader. Another reason for art‘s common appearance is that drawing and painting were once considered standard accomplishments for any politely-raised young lady, so it would be normal for our heroines to have artistic training of some kind. In fact, for many women of the 19th century, painting was one of the few sociallyapproved ways to express themselves. Think of Elinor in Sense and Sensibility, who is also an artist. Though her paintings do not form a major part of the plot, reading between the lines you might guess that they are as vital a creative outlet to Elinor as Marianne‘s music. This is why Helen‘s ability to making a living with painting, in Wildfell Hall, is so important to her. Without it, her position would be precarious indeed.

The fact that art was often a female form of expression might be the reason why all the examples I have named were written by women. I could not as easily think of an artistic plot point used in Dickens, Trollope, or Thackeray, for example. Perhaps no classic novel explores the idea of art as a theme so thoroughly as Jane Eyre. Visual images form a thread interwoven at key points to show us Jane‘s state of mind and character development without baldly saying it in so many words. In the opening paragraphs we meet Jane curled up in a window seat looking at pictures in a book. They are vivid, exotic, gothic pictures which ―told a story,‖ Jane says, ―mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting.‖ Through Jane‘s eyes we see the themes of the book already fixed: imagination, adventure, courage, danger. Although her real adventures are set in more mundane surroundings, the images in her picture book are representative of her emotional travels later on. When Jane goes away to school, she is taught to draw as part of her education. Her art forms an outlet for her emotions, in an environment that is strictly controlled and in which non-conformity is swiftly squashed. Her vivid imagination, transcending the boundaries of her narrow existence, is one of her strongest characteristics. This is one of the personality traits which early on attracts Mr. Rochester to her: on looking through her portfolio of paintings, he at

first hardly believes she did them without help from a teacher and then comments that her vision is ―peculiar‖ and ―elfish.‖ She seems to see accurately beyond her own experiences, perhaps much like Charlotte Brontë, her creator, who depicted depths of emotion with a

Edward Rochester from memory. As she finishes the drawing, Jane says she is ―absorbed and content,‖ smiling back at the likeness of her beloved. Without spelling it out, Brontë uses Jane‘s drawing to make it perfectly clear how she feels about him. The final appearance of Jane‘s paintings as a plot point occurs at a key moment after her flight from Thornfield. She paints a portrait of the lovely Miss Oliver, which in a neat reversal reveals the true feelings not of Jane, but of her cousin St. John. But a doodle on a scrap piece of paper next to the painting shows him Jane‘s true identity. This epiphany finally brings Jane financial independence, and universal power that still indirectly unites her with surprises readers. Mr. Rochester. Jane‘s artistic ability is And that, in the end, is the one talent of a woman the best reason for using art described as ―plain‖ with a as a plot point: art is mediocre education. The inherently revealing. ability of her work to portray Sometimes it shows the her hidden inner emotions character of the artist, as becomes even more clear as Emma‘s too-flattering the story progresses. When portrayal of Harriet betrays already falling in love with her deceitful motives. Mr. Rochester, she attempts Sometimes it reveals the to talk herself out of this subject, as Amy‘s drawings dangerous affection by of Laurie show his state of drawing parallel portraits of mind. Either way, art has the herself, ―without softening ability to see beyond the one defect,‖ and an idealized surface. Even in a time when Blanche Ingram. But though blunt self-expression was her artistic self-flagellation proscribed by social works temporarily, it cannot expectation, art could not be halt her irresistible passion. silenced; just as literature We see the progression of often holds eternal truths her feelings on her return buried in an entertaining visit to Gateshead. She story, art can show the draws, at first absentgreater and deeper truth of a mindedly, a pencil sketch of person‘s nature. ■ 5


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By Shannon H.

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n literature, there are rogues such as Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, lovelorns like Romeo Montague from Romeo and Juliet, and lying Casanovas such as Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. While I find all of these men fascinating and sometimes despicable, one of my favorite men from literature who is truly fit to be called a gentleman is Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables book series. It takes a great deal of patience and nerve to pursue the woman of his dreams, the spirited Anne Shirley, after she struck him on the head with a slate, rebuffed him when he fished her out of a river, and rejected his marriage proposal. Gilbert is my ideal of a literary man; a gentleman, a sweetheart, and at times, a scholar. The first meeting of Gilbert and Anne is less than amicable as he is too flirtatious by calling the red -headed (and highly selfconscious) Anne ―carrots‖ and tugging at her hair; as a result, Gilbert is the shocked recipient of a wellplaced blow with a slate. This incident brings him down to earth and thereafter realizing his mistake, he becomes much

more mild-mannered and respectable. Unfortunately, his numerous apologies are all in vain as the proud, unforgiving Anne refuses to absolve him of this social gaffe for years. What I admire in Gilbert is that he never gives up on Anne, who shuns him for simply ages because of the way he flirted with her. When Anne is doing a re -enactment of the poem, The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson, she nearly drowns, but is rescued by the heroic efforts of Gilbert, who happens to be nearby. For saving her life, Gilbert doesn‘t get a hug or a kiss but rather a tongue lashing by the girl he just rescued and yet he still remains unfazed and continues to treat the ungrateful redhead with the utmost respect. Literary men such as Rhett Butler or Edward Rochester would probably give up trying to win the affections of such a female but Gilbert Blythe is determined to win over Anne Shirley as a friend and romantic counterpart, despite the lack of interest on Anne‘s part.

Gilbert Blythe is one of my favorite literary men for being a gentleman and overall sweetheart. He is a true friend to those who let him be one and even makes a personal sacrifice in the name of friendship. When he and Anne have patched things up (and compete against each other for an academic scholarship), he

is given a teaching position at the Avonlea School whereas Anne receives a position at a school in White Sands. In an act of true selflessness, Gilbert allows Anne to take his place as the teacher at the school in Avonlea to be near her guardian Marilla

Cuthbert after the death of her brother Matthew, while he travels further away to White Sands. For someone to make such a sacrifice for the needs of another is admirable, especially in Gilbert‘s situation where Anne has continually rebuffed and rebuked him over the years, but in this case, she is thankful for what he has done for her. Gilbert does it because he loves and cares for her, expecting nothing in return for his kindness. He is among my top literary men because of his character. He is a gentleman, a friend, an ally, and an academic rival to Anne Shirley, his friend and eventual romantic partner. Once brash and a flirt, Gilbert was humbled by Anne after she broke her school slate over his cranium. He‘s courteous and handsome but most importantly, he is patient and kind, two things that love will always be. ■

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iterature is full of wonderful, selfless men… and then there is Edward Rochester, the dark anti-hero in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Illmannered, gruff, and deceitful, he embodies the definition of what women should not want in a man, yet we are drawn to him. Is he worthy of our pity and admiration or should we hold him in contempt for his intention to manipulate Jane? To understand Edward we must revisit his history, which does not forgive his present but does grant us a look into his soul. As a young man he made some very terrible mistakes… particularly in being forced to marry a woman he had never met to secure his father’s financial stability. Edward soon discovered his bride was a madwoman and thus was imprisoned in a marriage he could not 8

escape. Where most men would have placed Bertha in an asylum, he could not imagine subjecting her to such horrors (in those days asylum inhabitants were treated as little more than vicious animals) and made permanent arrangements for her stay at Thornfield under the care of a nurse. His faith in humanity lost and all chances of finding love and a proper wife cruelly dashed, Edward became resigned to a dull, meaningless existence, indulging in the things of the world to fill the void in his life. But the wealth, companionship of beautiful women, and endless travel did not grant him any form of lasting happiness. He resents having to provide for Adele, the daughter of one of his mistresses, whose mother abandoned her to his care under the guise that the child was his. Rather than finding joy in

her presence, he leaves her at home while continuing in his travels, and when he is present, does little more than insult her. Edward wallows in his self-pity and misery until the arrival of Jane, when he realizes he may not be beyond redemption. Unfortunately, his former lifestyle has accustomed him to pursuing pleasure without regard for the consequences, so he sets about to manipulate her into becoming jealous of his feigned interest in Blanche Ingram, so that Jane might experience some of his torment. He mistakenly believes that in possessing Jane and her goodness, he will find happiness, never realizing that to remove her purity from her would take away the very thing he loves most about her. Even so, because of her morality, he knows he cannot claim her

through blatant means so he resorts to further lies hoping to ensnare her in a marriage that according to the law is untrue. The truth is brought to light on the morning of his intended wedding. Jane is deeply injured and in spite of his tearful pleas, refuses to stay at Thornfield as his mistress. Her choice to hold to her faith and leave him in spite of her love for him are what break him to the point of redemption. If she had chosen to give in and sacrifice her virtue and principles, eventually he would have hated her for abandoning her beliefs for his sake. His guilt would have been immense, his self-loathing continuing as he discovered happiness cannot thrive in sin. Evidence of Jane’s influence on him is made apparent in his actions toward Bertha when she sets the house on fire. The


By Charity Bishop

previous Edward cared for her out of a well-detested duty and obligation (his emotional distance from Adele is a good example of this) rather than any true compassion and he would not have risked his life in an attempt to rescue her. He might have even seen her potential death as a form of liberation from his current unhappy state. But because Jane and her firm principles have aspired him to greater things, even though Bertha’s death would mean his freedom, he goes into the burning house after her, losing his sight and the use of one hand in the process. The proud, bullying Rochester is reduced to a shell of his former self, a man who must now rely on others to take compassion on him. He is further humbled at Jane’s return when he discovers she wants for nothing; her experiences

with her cousins has made her financially secure and self-assured. Jane has survived a broken heart and become stronger for it. She no longer needs him to fill the void in her life, as she has discovered family. Nor does she need him to act as her protector. No longer a governess, Jane is in every way his equal. She chooses to return to him not out of need, but a genuine love for him that transcends his broken state and permits her at last to bring him true happiness. In many respects, the novel Jane Eyre is as much a story of faith as it is a romance. Many kinds of faith are depicted in it, from the cruelty of false belief at the school to the sweetness of Helen, who helps Jane to understand that obedience to God is about more than avoiding hell. There is St. John, whose determination to be

a missionary precludes any form of physical passion or genuine love. And then there is the unwavering faith of Jane that prohibits her from being Edward’s mistress and brings about his eventual redemption. Though in the novel the themes of love and faith are inseparable, most film adaptations downplay it as much as possible and in doing so do the viewer a grave disservice. Edward and Jane are best known in the pages of the novel that first brought them to life. But the only adaptation that brings the religious undertone and conflict of the novel to the surface is the short-lived Broadway musical, full of glorious and dramatic songs that depict Edward’s torment in deceiving her and Jane’s misery in leaving him. It incorporates much of the author’s original dialogue in unique and gripping

ways and I recommend listening to the album. For me it remains the perfect version in spite of it being an audio rather than visual representation of the story. Edward has come to life many times with different approaches from a talented group of actors but my favorite is from the recent BBC miniseries. Rather than falling prey to the temptation to play Edward without a sense of humor, Toby Stephens approaches the material with flirtation and charm, in such a manner that for the first time my sense of morality was shaken just enough to hope Jane might change her mind. Therein lies the strength of the story and its power, that it asks us to choose between what our heart wants for Jane and Edward and what would be best for them. Edward is a flawed man, but made all the better in the end. ■ 9


By Katie S.

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1934 Version (Colin Clive, Virginia Bruce)

1973 Version (Michael Jayston, Sorcha Cusack)

Short, sweet and to the point, the oldest available version with sound, it is more slapstick comedy than Victorian Gothic. Jane is quite pretty, while Edward is far more Darcy than Rochester. A silly, but cute little film bearing little to no resemblance to Charlotte Bronte’s novel.

Taking pages of dialogue from the novel, often in the form of a voice over, this version strives for accuracy and faithfulness. The acting on the part of the leads is excellent but some secondary characters suffer from overacting, and if any other flaw can be found, it is that with the production values of the day it was very clearly made on a soundstage.

1944 Version (Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine) This classic does justice to the more gothic elements of the novel, and the black and white film certainly adds to the eeriness, but Jane is far too glamorous, and while Orson Welles does an admirable job of portraying Edward’s darker side, it is rushed and leaves out important aspects of the novel. 1970 Version (George C. Scott, Susannah York) Featuring an early film score by John Williams, unique sets and a lovely landscape, this feels very different from any before or after it. Unfortunately, it is marred by two actors who do a great job, but are too old for the roles to be totally believable.

1983 Version (Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke) This production has many of the same good and bad qualities of the 1973 film. The use of tape rather than film and shooting on sound stages makes for a difficult viewing experience until one accustoms themselves to it. The acting is mostly excellent and being the longest version available allows for faithfulness to the novel.

1996 Version (William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg) The beautiful music, costumes, set design and cinematography cannot make up for the fact that this version (especially Jane’s early years) have been mangled. The actors do the best they can with what they have, but both Jane and Rochester come off as exceedingly depressed the entire film. 1997 Version (Ciarán Hinds, Samantha Morton) Also short and sweet but does manage to get a fair chunk of the novel into a small amount of time; the actors look remarkably like they are described and while Jane is small, quiet and passionate, Hinds’ Rochester only manages to show his angry side, never fully grasping Edward.

2006 Version (Toby Stephens, Ruth Wilson) A beautiful version with a nice length, great acting, and fantastic production values. This adaptation focuses on the gothic elements to great success, but goes overboard by trying to make the story “sexier” and by bashing the viewer over the head with symbolism that did not exist in the book. 2011 Version (Michael Fassbender, Mia Wasikowska) Another visually stunning adaptation on par with the 1996 film. This version does the most admirable job of adapting the novel for the big screen, though is still not 100% successful due to time constraints. While Fassbender puts in a fairly decent Rochester, Wasikowska is rather underwhelming as Jane. ■

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t is a fact universally acknowledged that first impressions matter more than any of us would like to admit. A person‘s physical appearance, their social standing, their behavior and mannerisms are apt to be noticed far more quickly and easily than their innermost thoughts or psychological makeup. Because of these tendencies, our opinion on whether or not we like a person is quickly decided. Sometimes we like what we see; other times we cannot stand it. It is into the later category that Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy falls in Elizabeth Bennett‘s mind. The story is well known. Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen‘s most well known novel. It is the tale of two rich men. One is instantly likeable and sincere; he doesn‘t give an appearance of snobbery or seem very conscious of society rules. It is this gentleman, Mr. Charles Bingley, readers instantly want Elizabeth‘s sweet and demure sister Jane to be with. However, we do not know what to make of his friend, Darcy. How can we forget his arrival in Hertfordshire? He acts pompous and arrogant, refusing to dance 12 12

with any of the ladies since none of them are handsome enough to tempt him. Afterwards, all he does is verbally tear down the community of Meryton, the guests at the ball, and everything and everyone in between. We do not want the heroine, Elizabeth, to get involved with such a man. This opinion strengthens as chapters go by. We are introduced to a man who has ―all the appearance of good‖ in George Wickham, yet Darcy is shown to instantly and vehemently dislike the man. Why? The reader is led to believe that Darcy selfishly withheld an inheritance his late father left to Wickham. Elizabeth is outraged and so are we. How could we like such a man as Fitzwilliam Darcy? However, Darcy is just like every other human being, whether placed in the fictional or the physical world. He is like an onion, complex layers and all. In order for an onion to be used, you have to pull apart the skin and get to the meat. For a person, you have to look past the clothes, the attitude, the wealth and see them for

what they truly are. It is for this reason that I say Darcy is merely misunderstood. Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, around the Georgian Era. Society was run with certain rules and guidelines. There was the lauded gentry and a middle class. Rarely did the two intermingle, let alone socialize in an intimate setting such as a formal dance. Reading through the novel, I can see how Darcy might have appeared standoffish to some, both for reasons of social

standing and as an introvert. He was ill at ease in an unfamiliar setting with total strangers. Contrast his behavior at the ball with his warmth at Pemberley, where he was at ease. For a small town, social standing didn‘t really matter. To have a large enough party for dancing, ―peerage‖ members usually hung out with the common folk. Not so for families who lived part of the time in London. There were definite rules to be


By Ella G. followed. It is with this philosophy that Darcy was undoubtedly raised. When raised in a certain way, it can be quite a culture shock to be exposed to a different type of behavior. Meryton is different from London, after all, and combined with his social anxiety, it‘s likely Darcy‘s moodiness wasn‘t complete snobbery, but in fact a combination of culture shock and a highly reserved nature. Who can forget the intense scene with Darcy and Elizabeth dancing? She has discovered ―the truth‖ about him from his old friend George Wickham, so she tries to bait Darcy with snide comments; it doesn‘t work. She tries to get him to comment on the ―size of the room or the number of couples‖; he still remains relatively quiet. Elizabeth chalks it up to arrogance and conceit. I think it again has to do with social rules. I don‘t think many couples spoke to their partner as they danced; proper decorum was that a single man did not carry on a conversation with a woman to whom he was barely introduced, so why would she expect otherwise? Words are only part of a person. As I read the novel I felt Darcy come alive through his thoughts and his actions. He was a man well loved by his servants, as he was known as an honest and good master. He would do anything to take care of his sister, even pay off Wickham to leave

her alone. Darcy went above and beyond his duties in helping Elizabeth and the entire Bennett family when they were in the midst of scandal… none of this to me sounds like a man who upon first glance appears like an Austen anti-hero. As Pride and Prejudice became more and more popular with readers and

rules and falling in love with a woman below his station. His Darcy, at least in my eyes, is one I think Jane Austen would have been proud of. After all, when you use the bulk of her dialogue, what is not to love? I also think that he looks like a Georgian Era landlord; he has a presence that causes us to be drawn to him whenever he is on

thus was made into movies and miniseries, men cast as the complex Mr. Darcy had a challenge on their hands. Because of the many dimensions to his character Darcy needs to be depicted in a certain way, and in my opinion the first one to do him justice was Colin Firth in the BBC miniseries. He portrayed Darcy flawlessly. We see many different emotions in his face; he strikes a perfect balance between following social

screen. The occasional mid 1990‘s style of filming cannot fully distract you. Firth appears to run the full gamut of emotions suitable for Darcy; he walks a line between bucking traditions (falling in love with Lizzie) and still following protocol (behaving as a gentleman towards those he might not like) quite well. At the risk of offending my readers, I must contrast Firth with the current Mr. Darcy in the big-screen

film from a few years ago: Matthew McFayden. While this is merely my opinion, I do not believe McFayden does Darcy justice. While I love the movie for its beautiful musical score and cinematography, I am not as polarized by Darcy in it. His facial patterns did not appear to change; I could not tell that there was more to him than brooding and for the first time ever, I almost believed him to be genuinely arrogant rather than simply very reserved. McFayden also ran around with his cravat off and hair mussed a great deal of the time; these actions would never have been tolerated in polite society in Miss Austen‘s day. Would she have been happy about that? Approved of him proposing in the rain or delivering a letter while Elizabeth was still in her bedclothes? Surely not! Granted, each woman has her Mr. Darcy and will defend him to the end, as well as many reasons why he is her favorite. But one thing cannot be argued: he has become synonymous with great literary men. By the end of the story, we are able to look beyond the early façade and see him for who he truly is. That is the sign of a good book (and a good onion), when you can peel back the layers and get to the core. It takes a little work, it might not look pretty on the outside, but there is so much more than meets the eye. Darcy is misunderstood no more! ■ 13 13


By Carissa Horton

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his man laughs regularly, doesn‘t react negatively when he‘s bested by a friend in a game, defends a maiden‘s honor, and wears green. Or, at least, he‘s rumored to wear green! Sound familiar? You would be right in guessing Robin Hood! Yes, that heroic thief of women‘s hearts and tax collector‘s gold, Robin Hood. Depending on the version you watch, Robin could be blonde or brunette, light eyes or dark, tall and muscular or slim and lithe. He could be portrayed by Errol Flynn or Kevin Costner or even Russell Crowe or 14

(dare I say it) a fox. And there‘s no telling exactly what his wardrobe will be! Errol wore rich green with spangles on the sleeves while Costner wore browns and muted greens to blend into his surroundings. His personality is as varied as his appearance. With some Robin Hoods you‘re hard-pressed to force them to crack a smile but others are rarely seen without a laugh on their merry faces. Sometimes their men are joyous, other times they‘re tragic. Sometimes Robin is a deposed lord and other times he is merely a warrior. Sometimes Robin

has a large group of followers and at other times it‘s just a few men. But you know something all Robin Hoods have in common? He is always a purveyor of justice! All right, that might seem a little extreme. After all, we frown on thieves and so we should. But picture for a moment a world like the one in which Robin Hood mythically (or actually) existed. The poor had no representative to plead their case, they had no chance of improving their lot in life, and what‘s worse, the king was an absentee monarch at best (albeit his cause, at least

in most versions, is a worthy one). Imagine the shock of a warrior, loyal to the crown and who has defended his home soil for years, and returns home only to find the people he fought for in absolute misery. Picture a man who‘s lived under Richard‘s reign for many years only to suddenly have that taken away and replaced with the horror of Prince John‘s green. That would be a really bitter brew to swallow! What does he do? Robin does the only thing he can do: he fights as an outlaw to protect the people of the realm until the rightful king‘s return. After all,


Prince John (some of us might remember him as a thumb-sucking lion) is not the proper king of England. While the cat‘s away, the mice will play, or so the saying goes. What is most remarkable about this heroic symbol is that, at least in Howard Pyle‘s original work, Robin killed only two men in his life. No film version (except perhaps the recent television series with Jonas Armstrong) represents this fact, but this is how the actual Robin Hood lived his life, without killing (only maiming). This original Robin was not a soldier but rather a boy and a foolish one at that. He hunted in the king‘s forest without permission, got hot-headed when he was stopped, and when he was provoked he fired an arrow at the soldiers and killed one of them. For this he was labeled an outlaw and would have been arrested had he not been clever enough to escape. So the original Robin Hood didn‘t have

the honorable beginnings of being in King Richard‘s army. He was a nobleman‘s son who made a foolish lapse in judgment and was therefore forced to live in exile. But what happened to him in that exile is remarkable! Robin Hood

plenty of extra time for thumb-sucking, he sure wasn‘t about to pay for his brother‘s freedom! So, Robin gathered likeminded men about him of humble beginnings and noble hearts who also loved the king. Together, they raised that ransom,

almost encountered a divine commandment. King Richard was taken captive and held for ransom and for whatever reason, Robin took it upon himself to make sure the ransom was paid. He knew full well that Prince John wasn‘t going to pay a ransom for his brother! Why would he? Now that he had the throne and

hence the ―robbing from the rich‖ moniker. Perhaps one thing all Robin Hoods have in common is their need to redeem themselves. Robin is a man, and while he might be an honorable one who gives all of himself to others, he still has severe lapses in judgment. At times his foolishness knows no bounds. Remember Errol Flynn waltzing into Prince

John‘s party with a dead deer, bold as brass? Yikes! Yet under no circumstances could he be deemed either a coward or selfish. Costner‘s Robin Hood aches over the damage done to the people of Saxony. He feels their pain, just like every other Robin Hood ever filmed. And Crowe‘s version has Robin as a defender of the common man against a tyrannical government. Robin could aptly be named ―The People‘s Hero.‖ He genuinely takes nothing for himself. In the end, it doesn‘t matter if he has a thick English accent like Jonas Armstrong or wears the gaudiest green like Errol Flynn. What matters is if his heart embodies the ideal of Robin Hood, to protect the weak and to serve his king. So far, there‘s yet to be a Robin Hood filmed that doesn‘t follow that creed. Whether you love to see your Robin Hood laugh or prefer the serious side of the fight, no one can deny that there‘s really a Robin Hood for everyone! ■ 15


By Lydia M.

have true love for the most beautiful women in the world. She has skin the color of wintery cream and long golden hair. She is beyond perfection. I love her so much that I worked years at hard labor just to hear the sound of her voice. Three years ago I professed my love before leaving to make a life in America for us. Unfortunately, my ship was captured by the Dread Pirate ―Bob,‖ whose motto states ―There will be no survivors!‖ I survived. For… um… for a reason I‘m not at liberty to reveal to you. After some time I went home to seek my bride only to find her engaged to an evil prince who arranged to have her kidnapped for his nefarious plans. I followed the kidnappers in my ship through eel infested waters, climbed the ―Cliffs of Craziness,‖ and met with a Fencer and Giant in less then friendly circumstances. After that I had to outwit a Sicilian when any mistake meant death to my beloved ―Peanut Butter.‖ (And as everyone knows ―Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line‖ is a classic blunder only slightly less known than ―Never get involved in a land war in Asia.‖) After rescuing her, due to a misunderstanding, she pushed me down a rock 16

ravine. After surviving the fall and a fire swamp, in an effort to ―save me,‖ my true love walked away from me hand in hand with her evil fiancé, Heimerdink. I am currently in his dungeon (a kind Albino is smuggling this letter out for me) as I recover from being

bitten by a rather large rodent. When I am well, my enemy is going to kill me slowly and painfully, marry my true love, and promptly kill her. Needless to say, it‘s been a difficult day. What should I do? Sincerely, A Boy From a Farm

Dear Farm Boy, First off, (and I‘m truly sorry but I have to say this) what is wrong with ―Peanut Butter‖? She left you for an evil prince? She‘s going to marry him? I thought you were ―in love‖? Are you sure she‘s worth it? I know

she‘s the most beautiful women in the world but still, brains and a little consistency are always nice to have. Just sayin‘… I can only surmise by you being so forgiving toward her that this must be some kind of True Love. The truly true love type of True Love, I guess.

I hope she realizes what a lying jerk her fiancé is before it‘s too late. My advice (besides trying to escape, stop the wedding, and ride off into the sunset with your beloved) is to stick it through as best you can. In the event of your situation getting any worse (I can‘t see how it could get any worse, at least without somebody dying) I think the power of True Love will always sustain you. It‘s the most powerful force in the entire world, you know. Since your situation is so terrible, I highly recommend (which I normally don‘t) finding a Miracle Man and seeing what he can do for you. Do you think you could possibly get the Giant and Fencer on your side? They might be helpful. My girlfriend is extremely smart and very pretty. Her hair is a shade that some people call titian, some auburn, some red, others blonde, and some think it‘s brown. N.D. says she is ―just a normal 18 year old American girl‖ but after some thought I‘ve decided that isn‘t quite true; she‘s actually quite talented. She rides horses, tap dances (occasionally in Morse code), deciphers codes, speaks several languages, plays the piano, and the violin. She paints, sings, sews, bakes, swims, acts


and cooks. She knows first aid and is a skilled bridge player. She is a superior chemist, quite proficient in art, literature and music, and has studied psychology as well as everything else. She can land an airplane, skillfully maneuvers her car at high speeds, and is an excellent shot. She also has an uncanny ability to discover hidden staircases and rooms. She‘s a brilliant amateur detective and I‘m very happy to be what she calls her ―special friend.‖ The problem is, I feel inadequate next to N.D. I‘m just a highly intelligent, tall, dark, handsome athletic star on the college rowing, swimming, football, basketball, and baseball teams, and I also golf and bowl in my spare time. I feel like a nobody next to her. It bugs me that all the men she meets fall in love with her. N.D. has always been true to me but it still worries me because I secretly wish to someday marry her, but she never commits to anything in our relationship! Whenever anybody asks her about it, she coyly changes the subject. We‘ve been together for forever and I‘ve assisted her on many of her cases. But nothing ever seems to change. Does she really care about me? What if she meets a guy just as talented as she is? I‘ve heard there‘s a pair of brothers down the river who

are detectives, I can only pray she‘ll never meet them. While on cases N.D. has a knack for always breaking our dates and then getting into dangerous situations. I tell her to be careful but she‘s always getting kidnapped, or lost, or left to die. Sometimes I wish she would stop being a sleuth but N.D. only seems happy as a junior detective and I want her to be happy, but I also want her to be safe, and commit to our relationship. I

you are rightly distressed since lopsided relationships are never healthy. You seem to adore N.D and want a deeper relationship, but has she ever shown any non―special friend‖ affection for you? The way it sounds to me, N.D. probably just likes you as a close friend and nothing more. Will you be happy with just being friends for now? If you can, then let the relationship continue as it has been, and let things work themselves

won‘t mind if she could be just a little less talented. Do you think I am making a big deal out of nothing? Please help, Football Star

out. If you want more than just friendship you should try to make N.D. tell you her real feelings. But don‘t hurry things, you‘re still young and you‘ll both grow up eventually, it‘s not like she‘ll be 18 forever! Also, you don‘t seem so bad yourself. N.D. may be inhumanly talented, but you are an all-around athlete, and sound like a good chap, although not overly modest. The bottom line is: If you want her to be happy, you

Dear Mr. Football, Ummm...are you sure this girl is real? When does she have time to eat and sleep? (When do you have time to eat and sleep?) Where your relationship is concerned,

are going to have to put up with her sleuthing, including the broken dates, regular almost dying and having every guy fall in love with her. I find most female detectives have a knack for those things, my apologies. By the way, I‘d watch out for the detective brothers. They sound like competition to me. Dear Madame, I, your humble servant, am humbly requesting any help that you might be able to give me. I am a man of the church. I live quite comfortably in my parish (with the help of my patroness, Lady C.). On the occasion of his death, I am going to inherit the estate of my cousin. Although we have never been close, when I heard that Mr. B. had five eligible daughters I decided to marry one of them. You see, my patroness, Lady C., has advised me to marry, and I have set out with great haste to do her bidding. When I first entered the house I noticed the eldest girl, whose beauty is spoken of widely, and gave her my attentions. Then Mrs. B. informed me she thought Jan was to soon be engaged. Beth isn‘t as handsome as her sister, but she seemed to fit the description Lady C. gave me of gentlewoman who has not been brought 17


up too high. I began courting her. She reserved my attentions modestly, as young ladies who secretly welcome the attentions of an admirer are apt to do. Thereafter, I solicited a private audience with Cousin Beth and gave her my reasons for marrying: 1) A respected clergy man like me should marry. 2) It would add to my happiness 3) Lady C. had advised it. (In hindsight, I should have mentioned this first) I told her I was sure Lady C. would appreciate her wit and personality as long as it was tempered with silence and respect; how it would help Mrs. B when after her father‘s death if she could live with her daughter in her own home. I said it mattered not that she had hardly any money, and I would never speak of her lack of fortune 18

during our marriage, which was I thought kind of me. I am sure you think she accepted me without qualm. (I have been told I am quite a catch for any young lady.) You will be shocked to hear that she declined me, twice! A lesser man would have been upset by these refusals but I flatter myself on knowing human nature and young ladies often decline men they hope to marry. I told her she could probably not find a better match, her fortune being so small and her looks unremarkable, and I was the only man who would ever wish to marry her. I said I would not take her refusal as the finality on he matter (as she wished me to do). During this, Cousin Beth tried to dissuade me from my suit but I stood firm. I knew she would come along in the end. Or… so I thought. If she is this

stubborn now, how will she be later? Now I‘m not sure I should have asked her at all. I am yours Madame, A Respected Clergy Man Dear Mr.R.C.M. Your letter really doesn‘t deserve to be answered, because you‘re not in love. But I was ―not brought up too high‖ as to refuse help to the less fortunate. I have some foundational points I‘d like to get across. While proposing, do not: a) Call her ―Cousin Beth‖ In fact; don‘t propose to your cousin at all, it‘s gross. b) Assume she will say yes to your proposal. c) Mention her father‘s death d) Tell her no one else will ever want to marry her. e) Only want to marry her because your employer told you to.

f) Talk about inconsistency of females in general. g) Talk about how wonderful you are. I was not surprised she refused you as for goodness sake you were after her older sister! She sounds like a independent young lady who knows her own mind. I say: ―Hurrah!‖ for her for standing up to you when you thick-headedly would not take no for an answer! If I were you I would leave town at once, and stay away, but I‘m sure you won‘t take my advice since, as I could tell from your transcript of the proposal, you sir are not very good at listening. I was wondering, did this extraordinary proposal proceed from the impulse of the moment or was it the result of previous study and arrangement? Please don‘t write me again, Lydia ■


Across 6. A foundling raised by the Earnshaws 10. Feed the poor 11. Father of Scout 12. ―Frankly, My Dear, I don't…‖ 14. Spoken the famous phrase ―To be or not to be‖ 15. Had his soul pierced by a Jane Austen heroine 17. Became a count after spending 20 years in prison 20. 16 years older than his girl

Down 1. Elementary, My Dear Watson 2. Had something broken over his head 3. Had something hidden in his attic 4. Son of Arathorn 5. Discovers his Jewish heritage in a Huge Dancy movie 7. Secret identity of Kal-El 8. Dicken‘s Our Mutual Friend is a man of many names 9. Falls in love with Miss Havisham's adopted daughter 13. Should have checked to make sure his girl was dead 16. Once known as ―_________ the Grey‖ 18. Appreciator of Fine Eyes 19. Broke up the most famous couple of myth & legend 19


By Eliza Gabe

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oday, I‘m afraid this is more than just an invitation to the past. I‘m going to break the rules and invite you to the future. Can I do that? I hope so! Dr. Lockridge once stated in a sermon that a certain man was the loftiest in literature. Of all the ideas and men in literature, who would be so? There are several ―lofty‖ literary men. From Sherlock Holmes to Superman to Harry Potter to Mr. Darcy, they and many others have become a lasting part of our society for their charm, uniqueness, and attraction. When faced with these literary men, it really is a matter of opinion on who is the best. You can argue all you like with your friends as to whether Mr. Knightly is better than Mr. Darcy or Edward is preferable to Jacob. However, I propose to you that I do know who the greatest literary man is, and not because I‘m smart or anything particularly special on my own. The man is there at the beginning of the book but you don‘t really get to know who he is until much later. In fact, he has to take on a physical form in order to be the man we all know. At the beginning of his story, which takes place more than two thousand

years ago, a young virgin woman named Mary is betrothed to a man named Joseph. Betrothal in Jewish culture was legally binding and considered ―marriage‖ in many regards, but without any physical contact. But before they were united in an official marriage ceremony, an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear the son of God and name him Immanuel, which means ―God is with us.‖ She in faith accepted this task. Joseph, a simple carpenter, knowing she would be shunned for being pregnant (and knowing he had not touched her), was going to divorce her quietly. He did not want her to be shamed. In those days, that was all he could really do for her—or he could say another man was the father and she might be stoned to death. However, he had a dream and in it, an angel told him the name of the baby, Immanuel. Joseph then knew all would be well. After some months, circumstances became even more difficult for Mary and Joseph. The Emperor was in search of a certain man, a man who was prophesied to lead the Israelites and be their King. The Emperor feared this, so a nation-wide census took place. Everyone had to return to the town of their birth. Joseph and his wife traveled to Bethlehem

but when they arrived, there was no room in the inns. They were led to a stable, and there Jesus was born. And yes, he was to be the King—a king born in a stable, born of a virgin, and not destined just to lead the Israelites, but all who follow Him. Why is this man, born in a stable, the greatest literary man of all time? Is it because He is the Son of God? Because He did miracles and healed the sick? Or is the greatest part of the story that He is real and He died for you? The greatest literary man was a real human being and He is still alive. He is sitting on the throne beside God, His Father. He is the King of a great Kingdom, people of all races and eras, all ages and backgrounds, and all nations and all languages. When you read His book you are reading history, not a story. He is the only person who can love you unconditionally, since He will never forget about or disappoint you. When you read about Him, you are reading about someone you can know, who will be your friend for life, and knew you even before you read about Him! He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and He took

our punishment on the cross. When another real, important literary man (Adam, the first human) sinned, humanity was forever separated from God. But Jesus closed the gap by dying on the cross. The reason I said I wanted to invite you to the future is because I want you to know that if you follow Jesus, you will have eternal life. When Jesus returns to Earth and creates a New Heaven and a New Earth, there will be an eternity of life existing the way God wanted it to be, with no sin whatsoever, and Jesus will be our King. I hope to see you there someday. We‘ll have an eternity together, you and I, worshiping God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Three in One. I hope that if you have only read about this literary man as a character, or have never read about Him at all, you will do so knowing that He loves you and will accept you into his Kingdom if you understand that without Him you are separated from God. When you ask Him to forgive you, He already has for he paid for your sins already! Our merciful God has provided a way for us spend an eternity with Him, and others of the Kingdom, without sin. Will you come? ■

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here is a moment when Alan Rickman confidently strides across the screen as Colonel Brandon and glimpses Marianne for the first time; he is completely lost to her. Highlighted in that short scene is an expression of a man besotted, and to this day it is one of my favorite moments in cinema, not merely for that millisecond expression but also because of his long-suffering and gentle patience with the woman he ardently loves. Few leading men leave such a lasting impression on those of us who want a man to be just that and in doing so define how God intended the male sex to be. We want them to be masculine and kind but also unafraid of romantic gestures, and above all in leading Christ-like example in the household, to form a complete union between a man and woman. Most often a hero is memorable enough for the length of a story but how many stick with us into adulthood? How many romantic comedies emulate the type of man we would want to find in a mate? How many jump off the pages of a novel and become real? Hollywood‘s idea of a romantic relationship is so skewed that it really should not be a model by which anyone would want to base their relationships on but since media in any variety is such a popular form of 22

communication, I don‘t think many of us can help just how much we do relate to such things. Girls especially dream, giggle, or wish for one of their cinematic heroes to step off the screen into their living room and sweep them off their feet. But most often the male lead has something about him that is in need of editing– he is too cocky, too brooding, even too perfect. So we must travel back to the age of literary men to find any fictional gentlemen worthy of a second glance. Although she never married, Jane Austen, the author whose novels have made a place among the classics, put pen to paper many years ago and created a handful of swoon-worthy men for generations of women, but the one fault with her characterizations is that screenwriters have had to further develop what

she started, considering she never did write from the hero‘s perspective. She brought us Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, Col. Brandon, and even a scoundrel or two. Margaret Mitchell created an icon (to many) in the Southern Rhett Butler, Charles Dickens

wrote dozens of leading men and who could forget the foppish Sir Percy? And then there is the often forgotten Alexander Dumas character of Edmond Dantes. Among many more recognizable literary men he is a discarded hero but once


introduced to him, he is hard to forget. His story starts as an ambitious young man who, while not wealthy is carefree in his current station of life. He has the love of a beautiful woman and is best friends with the heir to a fortune. As a representative of a ship‘s owner, Mondego comes along on Edmond‘s voyage.

isn‘t who you want to look up to or be compared to, but it isn‘t because he is a jerk, rather that he clings to a grudge that does nothing to help him readjust to normal civilian life, not to mention his psyche. When it comes to seeing someone represent this iconic character, the only person who comes to mind is James Caviezel. While I have

parents brought home an illustrated children‘s version of the book, I was tickled only to be crestfallen at the changes… where was the romance? The excitement? The adventure? Something was off in the work of fiction that had inspired one of my favorite Hollywood pictures. The biggest changes in the two are Edmond‘s attitude

(none of us are) but by the time he recognizes the pointless satisfaction getting revenge leaves, it is too late: his scheme is complete. I do like the significance of the ending of the film: it features a repentant Edmond back at the place where his revenge and knowledge were born, one to be used for the good, the other for evil purposes.

By Rissi C. Following their return to land Edmond is made captain, causing jealousy towards him to take root in Mondego‘s very being, a man who has every earthly comfort and is accustomed to getting his way in things. Through a series of events, Edmond is wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit, carted off to the Chateau d'If prison, and held in captivity for fifteen years. Naïve and the uneducated son of a pauper, the imprisoned years do little to hamper Edmond‘s anger and he becomes obsessed with exacting revenge. Miraculously, he escapes captivity and with wealth garnered through hidden treasure, he becomes fixated on holding those responsible for his years of misery. At first glace, Edmond is not exactly the ideal man. He

yet to see any other actor depict Dumas, his portrayal is impressive and he does the role justice, even though the story takes on its own loose interpretation of the source material. What many readers of the novel might recognize is the blatant differences in the story‘s end. In the book, Edmond takes a different approach in demanding revenge, especially where his former best friend Mondego is concerned; in the film, he shows a form of mercy at the prompting of a revelation before his anger is refueled by a vindictive threat against those he loves. The film is a dashing swashbuckler (to say nothing of the equally dashing hero!), exciting, romantic and one of the first ―grown up‖ films I ever saw. As such, it made an impression on me. When my

towards those who, in his view, stole everything he had achieved. The book almost makes him seem a little less redeemable in his quest for revenge because while he did not physically end someone‘s life, he helped facilitate it through the schemes he unleashed. His actions ultimately spurned much more heartache than had been taken from him, and he was only too pleased to stand back and see it all unfold. His elaborate schemes took away far more than wealth from his torturers. Edmond‘s vengeful crusade fed him; it became his only reason for living, otherwise he merely existed. His endgame was only concerned with the pleasure taking revenge would bring. Turns out, he is terribly disappointed. Edmond isn‘t a saint

As unfortunate as it may be, at times we must experience something before realizing the unhappiness it will cause. Hopefully, it will be a lifealtering transformation that will bring one to their knees in genuine repentance. In this respect, the novel has a better conclusion for those wanting to see Edmond‘s story end without a complete happilyever-after. Instead, he leaves behind his finery and sails off alone, callous about his own circumstances because the Count accomplished what he set out to do: he ruined anyone who ever hurt his family and Edmond Dantes was already dead, to the world and to himself. Despite his faults, I must be allowed to ask, doesn‘t Edmond cut quite a debonair figure in those evening jackets and duster coats? ■ 23


By Hannah Kingsley

f all the characters I have discovered in 19th Century novels, the one that has been the most believable as a male figure is John Thornton, of Elizabeth Gaskell‘s North and South and the BBC miniseries by the same name. In books there are male characters who fight deftly with swords, men who recite sonnets and are of feeling; men who are heroic, witty, cunning, or kind. And then there is Mr. Thornton. He has many traits but in a manner that proves distinctly and realistically male. This is likely why Gaskell‘s creation of him has become one of the most popular of literary men. In the beginning of the story, we encounter John Thornton as the master of a factory. To outsiders such as Margaret Hale, he seems to be overbearing, authoritarian, and even cold. In the book, Ms. Hale initially describes him as ―a great rough fellow, with not a grace or refinement about him.‖ It is true that such a man would probably have seemed rough to those accustomed to the tranquil beauty of the south. In contrast to feeling at home in the niceties of a country house, Mr. Thornton is at 24

home beneath the smogfilled sky, and in the cool grays of the surrounding cityscape. In Milton, the people rush, ideas are exchanged, and life seems to breathe as much as through the cotton-fiber filled lungs of factory workers as through the

in Milton. He rose from nothing with a father who was a disgrace to become the owner of his own little empire in the form of a piece of the cotton industry. As long as the hum of his factory can be heard in Milton, it speaks not only to his prosperity,

machinery that supports their way of living. Here is more chaos and less literacy, more progress and less beauty. Mr. Thornton has reason to be proud of his existence and way of life

but the hard work it took him to obtain it. The book recounts the years he spent saving money and providing for his family when his father was no longer living. This also explains the strong bond

Mr. Thornton has with his mother and why she views him as a success with such queenly satisfaction. His mother has every right to be proud of him, she figures. He is the utmost of a self-made man. In North and South, the author gives us the unique vantage point of reading Mr. Thornton‘s thoughts and views, unlike earlier female novelists such as Jane Austen. Thanks to Gaskell‘s writing style we learn far more about John Thornton than we might otherwise. For example, it becomes clear throughout the book and mini-series that John Thornton is not the cold-hearted master that Ms. Hale first thinks him. Instead, his true character comes to light. While sometimes he can seem pretentious or cold, in fact much of his actions are based on a concern for other people and their well-being. He may not always go about displaying his concern for others in the most visible of ways, his kindness less of the gentle kind, but his true intentions can be discovered in his working away at his desk into the late hours far after the factory has closed for the night. He tries to keep accounts straight and make sure that his


employees will be paid. When hard times hit, he figures this is the best way to preserve the livelihoods of the people under his care, as well as the running of the factory. This is something that at first his love-interest Ms. Hale does not realize. Mr. Thornton‘s character runs deep. He is a private man with strong values and an appreciation for the truth, even in business practices. He avoids participating in schemes and ―speculation‖ (glorified gambling) that might jeopardize his employee‘s welfare, and bears the insults of others when his moral fortitude brings him up short of the winnings that could have been his if he had gambled. His integrity includes the way he behaves toward his family, as he quietly bears the mortification of his sister‘s behavior and is respectful of his mother. John Thornton need not ever fear of the strength of his good reputation anywhere his name is known. Mr. Thornton is believable as a man because his characteristics are so

traditionally male. He desires to be a protectorate. He is strong but capable of being gentle. When he makes a mistake, he tries his best to fix it. These and

to be a romantic—and he knows how to be truthful without being cynical. He cannot escape the details of his factory‘s business, nor the tentativeness of life in

other traits set him apart from other male characters; somehow he is less separate from the world that he lives in than other fictional men. He balances well the reality around him and his ability

the city. He has likely suffered more days of forehead-creasing and worry than experienced days carefree enough to incite a smile. This is the world of life in the north of

England at such a time in history: but at once it feels as if it is also real, as if Mr. Thornton were in many ways a caricature of men in the modern world thrust between a desire to survive and to thrive. Perhaps the greatest thing about him is that John Thornton appears to do both. In the city, he does not want for female admirers, but though even Ms. Hale must gradually admit to his handsome demeanor, it is not his appearance that is most attractive, but the strength of his character that endures and continues to grow. His soul is not stagnant, but is open to learning. His mind is not stagnant either, as the pursuit of his lessons with Ms. Hale‘s father attest. Mr. Thornton is always improving himself, always questioning, never willing to settle into merely existing. He may have had hard times and times may continue to be difficult, but a part of him never gives up hope. Like days of clouds make you appreciate the sun, or earth helps you to appreciate the promise of heaven, John Thornton seems to know that there are still some reasons to smile… if you hold on long enough. ■

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are countless T here heroes in the world of

literature and film who have captured the imagination and hearts of the public for years. Some dwell in the privileged circle of the Regency Era; other are cast in darker, gothic stories; in Anglo-Saxon England or across the pond in the United States during the Westward Expansion, Civil War, or in the deep South. Rhett Butler, Robin Hood, Darcy, Heathcliff and Ivanhoe are just a few of the great men in novel and film! Clark Gable epitomized the role of Rhett Butler; Errol Flynn was a swashbuckling rogue in more than one film, and Lawrence Olivier was the very first Fitzwilliam Darcy on screen. These heroes of classic literature, portrayed multiple times over, are beloved by the public not because they are perfect or even believable, but because they tell a unique, magnificent story that whisks us away into another time.

By Meghan M. Gorecki

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One such fictional man may not be thought of as a hero in the traditional or even romantic sense of the word, but because of his understated, simple wisdom, he is a revered, respected, and much loved character. His name is Atticus Finch, a central figure in Harper Lee‘s 1960 Pulitzer-prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The setting of the story is in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama during the Depression. Harper Lee writes from the first person perspective of Jean Louise Finch (otherwise known as Scout) who narrates the story by looking back over her childhood and recalling the many high jinks and memories of the years in the sleepy small town. The strongest and most admired character in the story is Scout‘s father, Atticus Finch, attorney at law. He is a steady presence full of understated, simple grace, love for his children and wisdom. Atticus stands up for what he feels is right, without thought to the era‘s prejudices, and teaches his children to do the same. One thing Atticus is passionate about, no matter what the cost, is being a good example to his children. Here, Atticus is speaking to his bewildered sister as to one of the reasons why he stands up for what is right, no matter what the public opinion is in that time:

―Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I‟ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him...if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn‟t meet his eye, and the day I can‟t do that I‟ll know I‟ve lost him. I don‟t want to lose him and Scout, because they‟re all I‟ve got.” Perhaps one reason he stands out so starkly against modern society is because he stands unashamedly for what is right and places a high value on respect. character, and honesty. When it comes to classic literature being turned into a two-hour film, I have to admit I‘m skeptical and typically biased in favor of the book. For instance, Olivier‘s portrayal of Darcy in the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice was hugely disappointing to me. In the case of the 1962 film adaption of To Kill a Mockingbird, I was happily surprised to find I enjoyed the book and film equally, mainly because of how true the script was toward the book, and the great actor Universal Studios cast as Atticus. It was certainly no small task to fill the shoes of such an exemplary character. In more ways than one, at the time Gregory Peck was the Atticus Finch of Hollywood. He already had quite a

career behind him when he was approached with the role. In the first five years of his acting career, Peck was nominated four times for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. When he came into a room or onto a big screen, people noticed. In the highly acclaimed but controversial Gentlemen‟s Agreement he plays an undercover reporter

focused on, Peck noted, “Entertainment is all right, but entertainment with an idea behind it is much more important.” This would be one of the mantras he would live and act by the rest of his career. Gregory Peck purposely chose challenging roles to play; he struck a stately look and tone in each role but played every new

working to research and uncover anti-Semitism in the American workplace. Speaking on this film and the controversial subject it

character with a unique style to stretch his abilities as an actor. He starred in westerns and the occasional romantic comedy, along with more

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controversial dramas made to stir the conscience of the country, not to mention in his later years playing Abraham Lincoln! After his string of hits in the 1940‘s, Peck decided to only choose roles that interested him. Audiences were not disappointed. One such memorable film, Roman Holiday, marked Audrey Hepburn‘s film debut; Peck, ever the gentleman, insisted she receive top billing. In three films, Gentlemen‟s Agreement, Designing Woman, and Roman Holiday, Peck plays a reporter out for an angle. I‘ve personally seen all three of these movies, and in spite of their similarities, he creates a new angle for himself as an actor and stays true to each unique character. Off-screen, Gregory Peck was a simple man who enjoyed his work, family, and friends. He never once let the fame, fortune and success go to his head, as evidenced by the way he immersed himself in humanitarian and political work. In old Hollywood, Peck was considered a liberal, a term holding slightly different connotations than its definition today. He was heavily involved in the civil rights movement and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. He publically spoke out against the Vietnam War but nevertheless supported his son who was stationed

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overseas. After receiving a prestigious Academy Award for humanitarian work in 1968, Peck set the press straight when he said, ―I‟m not a do-gooder. It embarrassed me to be classified as a

Atticus, producer Alan J. Paluka remembers, ―He called back immediately. No maybes... I must say the man and the character he played are not unalike.” In the first few moments of the film, when he strolls out of the

humanitarian. I simply take part in activities that I believe in.” This is a classic example of the humble, dignified gentleman that he truly was, never worried about what other people may think of him. Just like our character, Atticus Finch. After Gregory Peck was approached with the role of

white clapboard house with a deep, southern drawl you know you are really seeing Atticus, not merely an actor. His presence and the film‘s brilliant direction instantly transport the moviegoer into Harper Lee‘s world. Mary Badham plays little Scout expertly, although with considerably less colorful

language than her character in the novel. Her tomboyish attitude softens around her father, I imagine because of how he is always so honest, transparent and respectful toward his children. Scout and Jem greatly look up to him in spite of not always understanding his lawyerly manner of speaking. Gregory Peck looks and talks to his onscreen children as if they were his own; when Scout or Jem repeatedly asks, ―Huh?‖ as he is trying to make a point, he does not lose his patience but refines his speaking to their level with grace and a charming, lazy grin. Peck is remembered for his deep, riveting voice and dark looks. Though he was forty-six years old during the filming of To Kill a Mockingbird, he played the part of Atticus Finch with more gusto than any of the roles he took on in his younger years. Aside from the fact that he was strikingly similar in personality to Atticus Finch, he also shared some of the same passions our fictional hero did: love of family, transparency and racial equality. When Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson (a black man accused of raping a white woman) Atticus‘ expression shifts from calm, geniality to a glimpse of hesitancy, to resigned honor to defend what he believes in, even


though the case may prove hopeless. Lawyers today still remember Atticus‘s courtroom defense of the case, while in the 1960‘s, the topic of racial injustice and segregation was a highly touchy subject. When Gregory Peck spoke in the courtroom speech defending Tom Robinson, moviegoers then, movie buffs, film historians, lawyers and judges today remember it: ―There is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any

college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.” As his dark eyes rove about the room to each member of the jury and those in the stands, it is glaringly apparent how fervently he believed in the cause for justice and how he could deeply relate to Atticus Finch. If you only watch that single scene out of the entire film, you will walk away not only fully realizing Atticus‘ passion

for equality and justice, but Gregory Peck‘s own. Gregory Peck put his all into every cause he lent aid to and every role he played, relating to them all on many different levels. On winning the elusive Academy Award for Best Actor in 1962 for Atticus Finch, he humbly said, ―I put everything I had into it, all my feelings and everything I‟d learned in forty-six years of living, about family life and fathers and children … my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity.” Ironically, in 2003, the same year of Peck‘s death, Atticus Finch was named

the top film hero of the 20th century by the American Film Institute. Later in his life, Gregory Peck claimed the role of Atticus was the favorite of his career: ―I can honestly say that in twenty years of making movies, I never had a part that came close to being the real me until Atticus Finch.” I firmly believe that when someone loves their work as much as Gregory Peck did, it shines through every facet and makes what could have been just another character one to remember and endure through history. Just like Atticus Finch. ■

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C

aptain Nemo from the fanciful novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has always fascinated me. He‘s definitely not the good guy, yet he‘s not so easy to place under the term ―bad guy,‖ either. So what is he? We first meet him when he shows himself to three newly captured prisoners, Professor Arronax, his servant Counseil, and a famous harpooner named Ned Land. Though the men beseech him in French, Latin, German, and English to let them go, he does not respond. Yet the second

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time he approaches them he reveals that he knows all four languages. He also speaks another language with his crew, one he has invented; it is the only language the crew speaks. Thus, he has a strong hold over the men on his submarine, the Nautilus. Only once in the entire story does a crewman cry out in another language, French, and that is when his life is in danger. Nemo takes great pains to keep his past hidden; when a ship approaches the Nautilus, he sends his three

prisoners below decks, then drugs their food. When they awaken, a battle has been waged, leaving one man dying. Even near the end of the book, when an enemy ship appears, Nemo does not tell his prisoners who the enemy is, and as the ship flies no flags, they cannot find out. There are clues to his past, though. Nemo is a very rich man. Yes, he can dive to the ocean floor in his submarine and plunder lost ships of their gold and jewels, but there are many lavish artworks and a large

diverse library, compiled before Nemo and his men forever abandoned the world above. Also, the ship must have cost millions to design and build. Far ahead of its time, the Nautilus is covered in impenetrable plates of steel, takes in sodium from the sea and converts it to electricity, and has huge reservoirs to store air should it be needed. Complex diving suits await those who want to explore the ocean floor. For all the excess on board the Nautilus, Nemo is a very reserved man. He


guards his secrets, and his room is Spartan—a bed, a rug, and an organ. Above his berth hangs the picture of a woman and two small children, a tie to his past. Though he has cut off all connections with the world above, he has not lost all his compassion. When he and Arronax happen upon an oyster diver Nemo gives him a bag full of pearls; though he allows Land the pleasure of hunting shortly after he becomes a prisoner Nemo won‘t allow him to hunt some months later, as there is plenty of meat on

board and the animals Land intend to hunt are few in number because they have been hunted aggressively. Then there‘s the man who died during the attack by the unknown enemy. Nemo cares for him tenderly and when he dies, Nemo, along with two companions and his prisoners, take the body to an underwater cemetery. There they dig a grave and bury him, forever a part of the sea. Arronax, Counseil, and Land are prisoners aboard the Nautilus for ten months and it is only through a

hurricane that they are able to escape. Before they flee to a boat that Land made ready in advance, the last thing Arronax sees and hears is Nemo kneeling before the picture of his lost family crying out for forgiveness. Then Arronax runs to the escape craft. They wash up on shore, but Arronax has much to thank Nemo for—Arronax was able to write a book compiled from all that he saw under the seas. He and the other prisoners have had experiences and seen wonders no man besides

Nemo and his crew will ever have or see. The end of the book leaves you uncertain as to whether Nemo and his crew survived the storm. I choose to believe they did, because even though Nemo wasn‘t the ―good guy,‖ who among us hasn‘t grown weary of this life and longed for escape? Who hasn‘t longed for something more? Though he didn‘t always make the right choices, Nemo was simply a flawed man attempting to make a new life for himself. ■

By Carol Starkey

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S

ince the popularity of Harry Potter shifted into high gear, the category of books known as young adult has steadily increased to become a major profitable section of the market. The Twilight series was a huge success and the number of entries aimed at teen readers has grown even more recently. Fantasy and paranormal romance remain fixtures in this type of writing, but another genre has appeared

States has collapsed and been replaced by a nation known as Panem. In this place an oppressive Capitol rules over twelve separate Districts. To keep rebellion in line, each district is forced to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to a televised fight to the death called The Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen is the central female character who tells the story in firstperson narration. She has

Tributes) draws Prim‘s name. Without hesitation, Katniss takes her sister‘s place. The male Tribute turns out to be Peeta, the son of the local baker who is the same age as Katniss. She remembers that at the darkest moment after her father‘s death when the family was about to starve, Peeta risked the ire of his mother and purposely burnt two loaves of bread to give them to Katniss when she was weak and collapsed

He is personable, talented at striking the perfect tone while answering questions. This is also when the romantic storyline of the series begins, as Peeta admits in an interview that he has feelings for Katniss. I won‘t spoil the action of the Games for you, but life-or-death drama never lets up. At the same time, Katniss tries to discern if Peeta‘s feelings are real. At first the problem is they are all in the Arena to kill each

By Rachel Sexton and taken off in popularity: the dystopian thriller. The main character usually faces an oppressive future government and must fight for their lives and those of the ones they love. One of the earliest examples of the dystopian fiction boom is one of the most critically adored and will soon have it‘s own film adaptation. The Hunger Games trilogy manages distinctive character development amid a furiously-paced plot and the characters of Peeta and Gale leave a unique and memorable impression. The Hunger Games begins in a desolate nearfuture where the United

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been the provider for her household since the death of her father in a mining accident caused her mom‘s mental breakdown. Though her mother recovered enough to resume her nursing activities, she still isn‘t able to be the main provider. Katniss hunts well and manages to help her family avoid starvation; she also gets a hunting partner in the form of older Gale, a boy who lost his father in the same accident. He is her best friend and a fellow survivor. When Katniss is 16, the Reaping that chooses the competitors for the Games for her District (called

nearby. This is the state of Katniss‘ interaction and relationship with each male as this trilogy begins, but many changes are in store. Gale is introduced first but Peeta has more page time in the first installment. Though the reader is with Katniss the entire time, Peeta is well established before the Games begin. Publicity surrounds all the Tributes, with each getting personal stylists and televised interviews before being transported to the Arena. The interview is the time when Peeta reveals the central characteristic of his nature: his charm. He is a natural before a camera.

other, but after the Capitol decrees that male and female Tributes from the same District can win together, Katniss focuses on getting them both out alive. All the Tributes are mentored by past winners from their District, and hers is a middle-aged, alcoholic, Haymitch. Katniss realizes that he, through the timing of gifts sent into the Arena, is letting her know that a romance between herself and Peeta is the best way to get Panem on their side and both of them home safe. She finds Peeta and nurses him through a bad injury, all the while wondering how much of their


connection will be real after the Games are over, assuming they survive. The second installment, Catching Fire, begins shortly after their return to District 12 and the romance shifts into a triangle when Gale makes his interest in Katniss known with a kiss. In this book, the evil president of the Capitol threatens Katniss‘ loved ones, including Gale, if

she and Peeta don‘t fight as a team and play by the rules. Gale is already showing revolutionist tendencies, and it is he who informs Katniss that the fabled District 13, which rose up against the Capitol and caused the creation of the Hunger Games after being defeated, may not have been wiped out after all. This is Gale‘s defining trait: he‘s a fighter. He survives by hunting with Katniss and chafing against the

Capitol‘s many restraints. While he has more page time in Catching Fire, Gale isn‘t as clear to the reader as Peeta is, which makes deciding between the two young men difficult. But what happens thereafter

male protagonists have been deftly moved into opposing sides of a love triangle for the heroine. The final installment, Mockingjay, proves to be the deciding one for these two guys. Peeta‘s recovery

says a lot about each of the men and should help the audience decide who the heroine should be with. The plot stays focused on the action, but these two

from the aftermath of the Quell is very complicated and lengthy but he is beside Katniss and Gale in the rebel stronghold of District 13 when the revolution

against the Capitol reaches its zenith and accompanies the rebels as they go into the Capitol itself to end the oppression once and for all. Gale benefits mightily from increased page time in this final book and we see that the strategic mind that serves him so well as a soldier can have a stark and cold tone that truly sets him apart from Peeta. Gale has a ―fire, kindled with rage and hatred‖ but Peeta stands for ―the bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.‖ The physicality of Gale and Peeta mirrors the difference between them—Peeta is blond and of a medium build while Gale is dark and tall. Both are handsome, something the film no doubt exploits. The actors playing Peeta and Gale have been cast quite in keeping with the novel‘s description of their looks: Peeta is being played by Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will be Gale. Now it is up to these two performers to portray the different personalities of these characters as they are written. As the Capitol says to the Tributes, may the odds be ever in their favor. ■

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I

f there is one author who could be said to have created some of the most memorable and desirable men in literary history, it would be Jane Austen. It is hard to find a woman who isn‘t familiar with the likes of Mr. Darcy, Colonel Brandon, or Mr. Knightly. Whether our familiarity stems from many readings of her novels or film incarnations of the men played by striking British thespians, Austen created unforgettable characters. They are so well written, they haven‘t remained in Regency era England. She perfected the idea of a romantic comedy in many ways. Even if her books are not always considered as such, she created romances not only able to stand the test of time in her books but also in modern day films. In fact, many may have seen these great literary men in some of the most unlikely films without realizing it. One of these odd places is a film that highlights the best and more often the worst of the 90‘s fashion and pop culture and is now a pop culture flick in its own right, Clueless. Unless the viewer is aware they are watching a modern day interpretation of Emma, it might go overlooked. But 34

on closer inspection it isn‘t hard to see the similarities or understand why this film has retained its popularity. Young Cher Horowitz is young and popular at her high school, wanting for nothing because of her rich lawyer dad and constantly annoyed by her former step brother Josh. Like Emma, Cher is very attached to her father as well as her social standing in school. When she makes a match between

two older teachers, Cher begins to think of herself as a matchmaker. So when she meets Tai, Cher knows she has to rescue this poor girl out of her downward fashion spiral and find her the perfect man, not skater boy Travis. Much like Emma of the novel, Cher stumbles in hilarious and embarrassing ways, finally learning in the end how to be a better person and finding true

love in the person we all wanted her to love to begin with. Austen masterfully created the dynamic between Emma and Mr. Knightly in the novel, working the reader up to their final declarations of love. And much in the same way, Clueless does this as well. Josh (Mr. Knightly) suffers in many of the same ways as the character he was modeled after. Whether he‘s


By Lydia Watson watching Cher flirt with other seemingly more interesting guys or just trying to be her friend and in the end finding it too difficult, he still comes across as a romantic hero, and when Cher finally realizes where true love is, we all breathe a sigh of relief with Josh much as we did for Mr. Knightly. Another Austen story turned into a modern day film is Bride & Prejudice. Though it has become more well known since its 2004 screen debut thanks to dedicated Austen fans passing it from one friend to another, it still remains relatively unknown despite being one of the most creative re-interpretations of an Austen novel. Set in modern day India and staring one of India‘s most popular and highest paid actresses, Aishwarya Rai, it transports the viewer from a traditional English setting to Amritsar, India along with many of the Bollywood film tropes. Whether it‘s the random song and dance numbers in the middle of a scene to the fact that none of the lead actors and actresses kiss, watching this film is one of the most fun ways to see a different side of Austen. However, you can‘t have a Pride and Prejudice story without a Mr. Darcy. And if there is one film translation that provides a Mr. Darcy comparable to Colin Firth, it would be this one. Rich, handsome and distant, he is exactly what a modern day Darcy should be. Arriving in India with

his friend Balraj (Bingley), Will Darcy isn‘t sure how to handle the poorer side of India, and especially the traditional yet untraditional Lalita Bakshi (Lizzy). Their dynamic is instant. Whether they are arguing Indian politics, arranged marriages or finally falling in love, these two portray exactly what you think of when reading about Darcy and Lizzy, showing that Austen‘s themes and characters have no bounds. And where would Pride & Prejudice be without Mr. Collins and Wickham? Austen is best known for her dashing romantic leads but she could also write romantic foils, whether it‘s Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility or the aforementioned men of Lizzy‘s world. The figures of Collins and Wickham in this version demonstrate that no matter where the story takes place, these two characters are still essential and create some of the most memorable scenes. Mr. Kholi (Mr. Collins) is living in America and has come back to Amritsar to seek a wife. His nice house, pool, and green card are something Mrs. Bakshi is desperate for one of her daughters to marry into. But of course just like the original story, Lalita will have none of that and Kholi provides for many laughs and as well as story development.

This film is much more obviously taken directly from Pride and Prejudice unlike Clueless or even Bridget Jones Diary (a far looser modern translation with morals to match) but it still adds its own unique contributions to the story. All Bollywood films have song and dance numbers and this one has some very memorable ones. After Mr. Kholi dines with the family and makes it clear that he‘s seeking a wife, the sisters sing No Life, Without Wife, one of the film‘s funniest and most quotable songs. Though there are some odd musical moments, particularly when Lalita and Darcy are walking along a beach followed by a choir of gospel singers, it still remains a fun and cute interpretation of a classic story with a charming look at Indian culture and song.

No matter if it‘s a look at the 90‘s, life in India or one of the many other modern adaptations and translations of Austen‘s works, it is clear that Jane Austen created characters, and especially romantic leads, that we all want to fall in love with. Though these films may not be for the Austen purist, for all else who enjoy seeing how well these dynamic figures translate into different times and locations, they are well worth a watch. Whether you laugh at the fashion statements of the 90‘s in Clueless, or sing along with the catchy tunes of Bride & Prejudice, it won‘t take long for you to fall in love with Austen‘s world—and her leading men—all over again. ♥

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H

e was at the time a remarkably fine young man... full of life and ardour... headstrong.‖ This is how Jane Austen first describes Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion. Young, confident and smart, Wentworth is one of Jane Austen‘s most charming and energetic heroes... and perhaps her most emotional one. All her leading men are deeply emotional beneath the social conventions that prevailed during the 19th century but Wentworth‘s feelings throughout are particularly fascinating because they affect and motivate his actions in a more apparent manner. In fact, his emotions are often far easier to read than many of the other characters in the novel save for Anne Elliot‘s since the story is told from her point of view. This allows a unique perspective and understanding to his ultimate character. Wentworth shares a past with Anne filled with pain and disappointment. Eight years before the events of the novel, he left to serve in the Royal Navy after she rejected his proposal at the persuasion of loved ones. Those eight years brought him status and wealth but not comfort or healing from his disappointment and heartache. This is apparent when he first appears on the scene, having returned to the region to visit his sister 36

By Lianne Milan Bernardo and brother-in-law, staying at Kellynch Hall. Unlike Anne, who mentally prepared herself for the inevitability of meeting him in person and encountering in the same social circles, Wentworth was not ready.

what happened between them but also that he has no intention of rekindling any relationship they had. While this is a way of protecting himself and his feelings from further disappointment it is nonetheless painful to

Even after the initial shock of seeing her again recedes, he shows no signs of having adjusted to her presence, nor does he actively pursue any opportunity to converse with her; all remains cold and formal between them. His behaviour not only shows he is still angry over

observe, especially from Anne‘s perspective. This hurt and disappointment coupled with her presence also manifests itself in other ways. He is often in the company of Henrietta and Louisa Musgroves, who are young, energetic and shower him with attention and

praise. He has no history with them, which makes it easier for him to socialize with them. He announces that he is ―quite ready to make a foolish match … a little beauty, a few smiles and a few compliments to the Navy and I am a lost man.‖ Given what Anne says about Wentworth‘s personality, I cannot believe he would commit to just any woman for a wife, and the offhand remark could have very well been made only because Anne happened to have been dining with the family the evening the topic was brought up. It comes off more like a light-hearted way of convincing himself that he is ready to settle down but is not concerned as to what kind of match he makes. Had he been truly serious in the idea of marrying, he would have been more aware that the Musgrove girls were vying for his affections and therefore would have been more conscious of the impression he was giving to the girls and their family. Despite such declarations and actions during his time with the Musgroves, he is not completely uncaring toward Anne. On more than one occasion he silently helps her out of some uncomfortable situations, illustrating that despite of his anger over the past, he cannot stand back and act indifferent as she struggles.


It takes a grave accident in Lyme and an example of Anne‘s levelheadedness to prompt him out of a cocoon of hurt and disappointment and remind him of all of the qualities about Anne that he loves. This impression leads to a transformation evident in the second half of the novel. When they run into each other again in Bath later on, he is far more approachable toward Anne. Whatever initial discomfort he felt in renewing their friendship vanished by the night of the concert, where they discuss a number of subjects with openness and calmness. But some of the things he says still reflect his former hurt, like when he remarks about his friend Benwick‘s upcoming nuptials that ―A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not—he does not.‖ But this time his remarks also carry the possibility that he is ready to reach out and rekindle their relationship once more. The fact that he is also able to converse with Anne without detachment or ―cold politeness‖ is a sign of his renewed determination. This growing confidence and improved disposition is short-lived, for when news reaches him that Mr. Elliot intends to marry Anne, his behaviour becomes abruptly cold and distant again. This change even surprises Anne: ―Jealousy of Mr. Elliot! It was the only intelligible motive. Captain Wentworth, jealous of her affection!‖ His jealousy not only prompts him to abruptly

leave the concert halfway but renders him strangely detached when he delivers Admiral Croft‘s message concerning their lease to Kellynch Hall days after. This episode unmistakably shows he was profoundly affected by the prospect of losing Anne again. His first reaction is to emotionally retreat, reminiscent of his earlier behaviour. But the last few chapters of the novel made it clear he

finally chooses to make that one last effort to win her back, he confesses this aspect of his behaviour to her: ―...unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.” He also later admits he “was proud, too proud to ask again...I shut my eyes, and would not understand [her], or do [her] justice.‖ His feelings about the entire matter are so strong that he is unable to

was merely acting out of what had happened before. The abrupt changes in his behaviour and feelings for Anne can be confusing and frustrating at times but it is easy to forget that he was not the one who ended the engagement eight years ago. His entire behaviour over the course of the story is a way of bracing himself from further pain, which in turn stems from how deeply he loved Anne. When he

understand her decisions in any rational manner. While the power of his emotions in influencing his behaviour in the first half of the story make him seem proud or even cruel, it ultimately shows that he is a person capable of feeling deeply who has his own flaws. Furthermore, his actions towards the end of the novel show that he is capable of overcoming his feelings of pride and hurt in

order to find the courage to reconcile with Anne and achieve complete happiness. Compared with Mr. Elliot‘s good manners but otherwise unfeeling disregard of others, Wentworth is a fully realised individual who has the capacity of emotionally connecting with other people. This is an aspect of his personality that Anne is especially drawn to, given her loneliness and isolation from the rest of her family for most of her life. She even observes at one point that Mr. Elliot has no such capacity to feel, a value she cherished in other people. His behaviour shows he is very much driven by his feelings, particularly for Anne. In a time where such feelings were conveyed only through decorum and a particular set of mannerisms his feelings of negativity dictate his actions in a way that may not have strongly affected other Austen heroes. There is a passion that runs through him that no matter how steely his resolve, made him incapable of completely masking his emotions. His actions are so often far more readable and open than Anne‘s, whose own feelings of sorrow and regret remain hidden and manifest primarily through her physical appearance. Despite his flaws and his emotions ability to direct his actions, Captain Wentworth ultimately shows that he is a man complete with a range of strong and deep emotions and his own set of fullyrealised flaws. ■ 37


E

nvision, if you will, a young man, puzzling in appearance and dedicated to his art. He wears clothes of a mixed nature, a tall, unsightly hat, well tended coat with tails, and fashionable cravat. He marches hither and thither with a purpose, papers in one hand, hat held firmly down by the other, only taking time off for a lunch of lobster ‗n‘ lettuce at a local establishment. He is justly proud of his accomplishments: his position and pay are rising and he is able to afford a 38

nicer home for himself and his mother to reside in. Yet, there is one thing lacking in his life: a wife. This is the unfortunate, lovelorn tale of Mr. Guppy, the gentleman no woman wants to marry. If there had been modern dating services in his time, in the 1850s, he might have put something akin to this on his profile: I am an engaging young gentleman with rising prospects and position in the world, seeking an enchanting young lady who also has matrimony on the

mind and who likes to eat the occasional bit of lobster „n‟ lettuce for lunch. All replies to be sent in care of Mr. William Guppy at Chancery firm of Kenge and Carboy‟s. Though perhaps not the absolute best bit o‘ brass on the market, Mr. Guppy, in theory at least, should have been able to obtain a proper wife. So why exactly were women rejecting him in Bleak House? He proposed most avidly to Miss Esther Summerson, to the point of being slightly annoying, yes, but his intentions were

honorable. He was thinking of her low position in life and that she might also be lonely in her singleness. She told him directly that she would never think of entering matrimony with him, and across the globe, many modern single women all thought the same thing: ―Stupid ninny.‖ Even now, we have the hardest time attracting the attentions of even one male of a marriageable age and Miss Summerson, for all her lack of parentage and finances, had three. Perhaps now the


“I can make a lord, but only God can make a gentleman.” —King James I

By Caitlin Horton problems have swapped genders but back then a good wife, capable of running a smart house and maintaining a tight budget, was what every man thought of once his fortune was made. The husband might have brought home the bacon, but that piece of meat was carefully scrutinized and every possible bit of it used by the wife. And in most cases, there was genuine warmth and love, several children, hot meals with crusty pudding and fresh bread, and many wonderful, joy-filled days and evenings.

It would appear the case and his wife sit in front of a in self-pity. He always picks of the ―lovelorn single‖ is not crackling fire, he reading the himself up, dusts off his coat, confined to one era that tends paper and she knitting a pair puts on his hat, and to fantasize about days when of socks. straightens the rather floppy ―everyone‖ got married. It However, that is only in cravat about his neck. In was a condition that afflicted our imaginations; the end of being able to carry on he many at all times and shows his true nature, often there was “Love is all we have; the strong, steadfast, and absolutely no cure. It‘s noble. His heart only way that each can quite sad that time-travel breaks but he always is not possible, because stitches it back help the other.” —Euripides Mr. Guppy would together with thread probably find a bevy of and a needle, none the modern single women Bleak House is no comfort. worse for life, though maybe willing to become his Mr. Dickens seems to enjoy a bit wiser. And so it would housewife. We can only hope leaving at least one character seem, then, that Mr. Guppy that his story does end in misery per story, but it ever was and always shall be, happily, with several little should be noted that Mr. the lovelorn gentleman of Guppys running about as he Guppy is not one to wallow Bleak House. ■ 39


I

have a soft spot for bad boys. My philosophy is without a villain, the hero would not become heroic, thus we need an antagonist to bring out the good in the hero. Fortunately for my mother‘s state of mind, my appreciation for the vast intelligence of literary antiheroes does not carry over into real life, but that does not prevent me from being fond of them on screen or in the pages of a decent book. I am not alone. Most females have at least a little bit of an attraction to the bad boy. Maybe it is in our nature, but I think it says a good deal about ourselves. Let‘s talk about one of the most infamous men in history, Michael Corleone, from The Godfather.

Our introduction to him is as a young man who has severed all ties with his father and is pursuing a life outside the mafia. When Vito is nearly assassinated, Michael carries out a hit against those responsible. From that moment on, his life changes forever and through subsequent events, he sinks further and further into darkness. Many find it difficult to understand him, but if you realize all his decisions are based on logic devoid of empathy each choice he makes becomes clear, from how he deals with his family to his methodical tactics with the other Dons.

Michael is complicated. There are times his actions paint him as a hypocrite but in his mind, all his choices are justified. His decisions reveal his intentions and ambition: Kay was from a traditional background, which would have been useful if Michael had become a senator like his father wanted. He left behind those intentions in

By Charity Bishop

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his flight to Sicily, where he becomes enamored with Appolonia. She fits into his new vision of his future as a proper, demure Sicilian wife. He is as drawn to her as a symbol of purity as he is thinking of the future. She is the opposite of Kay, who will challenge and confront him about her traditional role as a wife and the mafia. Appolonia‘s death plays a major role in reaffirming Michael‘s initial belief that safety is synonymous with power—that to be secure, he must be so powerful that others fear you. This blunt philosophy causes him to become ruthless and cold. It is in this approach that he differs most from his dad; in the areas Michael fails, Vito succeeds.


Michael is devoid of compassion but his father relies heavily on it and it weakens him as a Don as a result. Vito makes fatal errors in judgment, from his daughter‘s choice of a husband to his inability to control his sons. He is loved by family and friends and respected by the Dons, who know his word is true. But Michael inspires fear in his enemies and hatred in his family. His decision to have his brother-in-law killed for participating in the murder of Sonny is rational; it sends a message that betrayal will not be tolerated but makes his sister a widow. After Fredo‘s betrayal, Michael‘s decision to have him killed is a warning to their enemies there is no mercy for those who turn on the Family. Where Vito chose to offer reconciliation to his enemies to stop the violence, Michael hits them hard. In many respects he is a superior Don but Vito is by far the better man. Yet it is his treatment of Kay that truly undoes him. It takes him over a year after his return from Sicily to contact her, indicating uncertainty in her ability to fit into his life and a lack of interest in her. He marries her out of need more than desire; he must have heirs and she can provide them, without him wasting time finding a new wife. He makes a tragic mistake in underestimating her. He is accustomed to Sicilian girls who do not question his methods and content being uninvolved in his affairs.

Their story involves a reversal of naivety. Kay is naïve as to the methods of the mafia and Michael‘s involvement. Her love for him blinds her to the truth, but as the consequences of his actions become evident, she distances herself to the point where she feels ―no love for [him] at all.‖ Her affection fades during his preoccupation and he fails to realize the extent of her disapproval and dislike. Where Vito participates

reaction reverts back to his Sicilian code of honor: it‘s not personal, it‘s business. Killing an unborn child to prevent it from becoming like its father is personal. Thus Michael can justify his murders while hating Kay and her rejection not only of his Family but him as a husband and father. ―Fascinating‖ is the one word that best describes The Godfather. All find it interesting even if it is not to their taste. The Sicilian

in violence for the ultimate preservation of the Family, he remains a loving father and husband, Michael uses violence to achieve power in order to protect them, at the cost of all relationships. He becomes so focused on his goals that the discovery of how much Kay despises him and the Family take him by surprise. Learning she has aborted their son, Michael banishes her from his house and his life. Kay blames him for the murder of their child, saying that if he had been a better man she would have gladly given him another heir. His

emphasis is on protecting the Family; if a matter does not impact its safety, then it is unimportant. In the novel Michael‘s sister goes to her father with a complaint that her new husband beats her. Vito coldly answers that she should ―stop giving him a reason,‖ implying he is within his right to correct his wife with brutality. Her older brother Sonny is far more protective of her and retaliates against Carl, who eventually ends up dead… but not for spousal abuse. Yet there is a strong sense of loyalty and affection in other relationships.

The contrast of the sons with their father is terrific, each revealing a different virtue or strength of Vito: Sonny is his emotional side and love for his family; Fredo has his innocence and kindness; Michael has his intelligence and drive. Their fates revolve around the success and survival of the Family, and all survive or perish based on their ties and the strength of loyalty. Though we would never condone Michael‘s actions, he fascinates us and we want to save him. We want him to make the right decisions. We want him to avoid evil. We want him to be safe and his family protected, so entering his world provides us with a moral paradox: our fondness for him and his family fight against our belief in right and wrong. Michael is attractive because he is wealthy and powerful, driven and intelligent, certain of what he wants and unafraid to go after it, masculine, and respected, an unchallenged protector and provider. These things are attractive to us because normally they are virtues, but unfortunately Michael is a twisted version of what God intended a man to be: a powerful spiritual leader. Francis Ford Coppola says the films are about the deaths of the brothers and their impact on Michael but I think the series is about his spiritual death. It is his initial attempt to be a good man that makes his gradual descent into an angel of darkness a tragic thing to watch unfold. ■ 41


There are two writing spots left! (Need inspiration? We don’t have anyone writing for Moonlight, Sleepy Hollow, The Wolfman, The Vampire Diaries, Tangled, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Teen Wolf, or Supernatural.) Due Deadline: Oct 20th IN THIS ISSUE: Beastly, Buffy, Dracula, Harry Potter, Red Riding Hood, Pushing Daisies, The Secret Circle, Twilight, etc.

There are nine writing spots left! Make sure your favorite investigator isn’t left out of this issue of cops, FBI agents, and PI’s. Is it Jane Rizzoli? Olivia Dunham? Dana Scully? Veronica Mars? Lt. Columbo? Christopher Foyle? Due Deadline: Nov 17th IN THIS ISSUE: Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, Hercule Poirot, the Thin Man, the art of Sidney Paget, and Brenda Lee Johnson.

femnista@charitysplace.com

Femnista Sept Oct 2011  

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