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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Musing on Characters

The Artist and I are watching "Pride and Prejudice". We do that sometimes. I am paying particular attention to the action going on behind the focus of the scenes. The maids and servants and all the secondary and tertiary characters. Some of the expressions and the background scenes are grand!

At one of the early ball scenes, there is a moment between Mary Bennett and William Collins where they are talking with each other. I always thought Mary would have been an even better mate for Mr. Collins than Charlotte. But what did they say to each other? After that talk, you never see him even look at her again. Perhaps her pious talk disguised a wicked mind. Perhaps Mary grew up to be a Courtesan.

Then later, when she is playing the piano, Charlotte's younger sister, Maria Lucus, is sitting next to her singing then helping her with the music. After Maria sets "Grimstock" that Lydia requested in front of Mary, Mary gives a quick but stern look at Maria. This got me to thinking about a relationship between these two characters. Do they like each other? Do they know each other from school? Their sisters are good friends, are they thrown together often?

Mary - in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display. [She] had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached.
Quotes from Mary:
  • "I admire the activity of your benevolence,'' observed Mary, "but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required.''
  • "Far be it from me, my dear sister, to depreciate such pleasures. They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of female minds. But I confess they would have no charms for me. I should infinitely prefer a book.''
  • "This is a most unfortunate affair; and will probably be much talked of. But we must stem the tide of malice, and pour into the wounded bosoms of each other the balm of sisterly consolation. Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable -- that one false step involves her in endless ruin -- that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful, -- and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex." Elizabeth lifted up her eyes in amazement, but was too much oppressed to make any reply. Mary, however, continued to console herself with such kind of moral extractions from the evil before them.
Maria - a good humoured girl, but as empty-headed as himself, had nothing to say that could be worth hearing, and were listened to with about as much delight as the rattle of the chaise. (I could find no significant quotes from her, but I've only perused so I'll have to look deeper.)

I am thrilled at this discovery and think I will use them as the bases for two characters in an erotica story as lovers. Now should I call it "Wounded Bosoms" or "Sisterly Consolation"? What different stories each of those titles would hold!

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