I don’t even have to think about this one. As soon as I saw the question, Elizabeth Bennett’s name popped into my head faster than you could say…well…anyone else!
So here’s the set up. I’m on the elevator and by some time warp bend, Elizabeth Bennett gets on with me. I’m me, she’s…her. Because she was written over 200 years before I came on the scene, we’re a little differently dressed. I’m in jeans and an old Dartmouth hoodie, she’s in the typical garb of her day, parasol and reticule in hand. She nods and smiles pleasantly at me, then turns to face the elevator door forgetting I exist.
No way, Liz.
First and foremost, we need to have a little discussion about Wickham. For someone drawn as the “smart” one in the family, how come you were so blind to his narcissism? I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time at age 12 and even then I could tell he was a loser. You were a whole lot older than me when you first met him. You should have been able to see through his pretty-boy looks and brown-nosing ways. Think of all the heartache you could have saved your family if you’d told them all what a creep he really was.
Second, why oh why didn’t you tell Charlotte Lucas what a humongous mistake she was making by marrying Mr. Collins? You told the world she was your best friend, a compadre for life, and yet you let her lower herself by hooking up with one of the most unlikable, stupid –and by stupid I mean REALLY not smart – characters ever penned. Yes, I understand she felt he was the best she could do in life given her “advanced age and inadequate social status.” But Lizzy, a REAL friend would have told her to stand fast and never settle. Ever. Was it really so horrible she remain unmarried for the rest of her life? I know she didn’t want to be a burden to her parents, but really, Liz, you should have tried hard to convince her to reject his proposal.
Third. Okay, here we’re going to go a little deep. I have always wondered since the first time I read the book, did you fall in love with Darcy because you saw him for the man he really was, or because you wanted Pemberley? I know that’s a mean question because it puts into doubt your feelings for the man, but I really have been in a quandary about your motives. Seeing Pemberely for the first time, and Lydia’s defection, happened pretty much simultaneously. Can you separate the two occurrences? Did you ultimately fall for the man because he truly was the kind of man you wanted? Ask yourself, if Pemberely had been falling into ruin, would you still have wanted Darcy? If you had never seen Pemberely, would you still have wanted Darcy? If Pemberely were say, half the size, would you still have wanted Darcy? If Darcy had been the village cobbler, would you have wanted him? I know these questions are harsh, but I seriously have always doubted you truly loved him for just him and not all that he possessed.
Last, but surely not least. Your mother. Really? Did it never occur to any of you Bennetts to simply slap the s**t out her when she got into one of her ( daily) tizzies? I know medication was sparse back then, but I’d have been slipping laudanum into her morning tea every day and then in a toddy at night. How your poor father didn’t go insane with this woman is beyond me. Divorce was never an option back in your day, I get that. But seriously, she could have been sent away to Bath or anywhere where she could be hidden from public view.
Those are my questions to Lizzy.
What do you think she’d say?