Really, Was Darcy and Rochester Any Better Than Today’s Romantic Life?

Reality is so depressing.

Why is love so awkward and unstreamlined in real life? Can’t we all just be as brave as Mr. Darcy, or Mr. Rochester, or Jane Eyre or Lizzie Bennett?

I read this recently on Tumblr when I was hunting pictures of Mr. Rochester, aka Michael Fassbender.  I sat there for a while, thinking, oh this is a great line.  Why isn’t love like those books.

Then I got thinking.

It wasn’t really so clean cut.  In both Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, everyone is so vague.  No one just comes out and says, “Hey, I like you, wanna go get a cup of coffee?”  They talk in riddles and vagaries.

It takes Darcy forever before he actually tells Elizabeth that he wants her and he prefaces it with an insult .   Granted, it’s not the world’s worst statement, but a woman would take it as an insult, and I kind of think she should.  I would take it as an insult.  Yes, I would want to be told: “His sense of her inferiority–of its being a degradation–of the family obstacles which had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit..”

Okay, sure, what he’s saying is that despite all of those obstacles he still wants to marry her, but really, do you want a man that is going to insult you?

And after watching Jane Eyre, and enjoying the film, though I thought there was much that they could have from the book, I found Mr. Rochester  a bit of a jerk.  Now, I have yet to finish the book, though I find I am enjoying it, and I have a feeling there will be more ‘meat’  than the film which seemed to leave much of the conversations out.

While I don’t doubt that Rochester loves Jane, he’s cruel at times, insulting, abrupt, and well, deceitful.  You want him and Jane together, because you can see the purity in Jane’s love, but you know she really needs to leave.  It’s heartbreaking for Jane because she has to leave the man she loves.

When she finally returns to Rochester, a woman grown instead of a somewhat starry-eyed young governess ; a woman who doesn’t need a man to take care of her, the love has changed.  Matured in some ways.   Of course  it took some extreme circumstances, but it’s better.  But the fact that it (the story)  had to go through so much ‘drama’.  And they say people have drama now.  What about Jane and Rochester?  Now that is drama.

Don’t get me started on Emma.  Why, if Mr. Knightly loved Emma, did he wait forever to tell her?  You almost think he’s never going to tell her.  You get so anxious that it’s not going to turn out okay.  I’ve yet to read Emma, it’s on my list, and I’ve not finished Pride and Prejudice, but I have finished Persuasion. Thank goodness for the films, otherwise I might not have gotten through them. The films are the only reason I actually read Persuasion.  Had I gone by just the book, I might not have finished it. Same with Jane Eyre. I had to see the movie to see what I was struggling to get through in the book.

I can relate though to that feeling Meg Ryan says in You’ve Got Mail.  “Confession, I have read Pride and Prejudice two hundred times. I get lost in the language, words like ‘Thither. Mischance. Felicity.’ I’m always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together.”   I feel that way with all of the Jane Austen stories. I felt it with Jane Eyre as well. You really are in agony over whether or not it’s actually going to work out okay, even though you know!

Well, I’m sorry, life is confusing enough. I don’t want a love where I’m in agony over whether or not it’s going to turn out okay.  I was in a relationship like that.  It wasn’t fun. I want to know when a guy likes me. I don’t want to have to sit and guess.  And it wouldn’t hurt if he’s kind, loyal, trustworthy.

So, do I want a Mr. Darcy.?  Only sort of. I would much prefer a Mr. Darcy that won’t insult me. That being said, I still get a delightful thrill thinking about both Darcy and Rochester.

Signing off

~Kate

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6 thoughts on “Really, Was Darcy and Rochester Any Better Than Today’s Romantic Life?

  1. I completely agree with everything you’re saying! Darcy and Rochester are such huge romantic figures, but are they really that romantic? There is definitely something to be said for forthrightness.

    I really hope you enjoy the rest of Jane Eyre. There is so much in the book that they completely leave out of the movie!

    • Oh, thank you so much for your comment. It’s one of those conundrums of the quote, ‘Romantic Hero’. And while I wrote the post sort of berating both heroes, I still like both heroes. I just don’t think they are the perfect role models. And yet, I can’t not get all squealish when I think about Darcy. My heart sighs. It’s terrible.
      I am loving the Jane Eyre book! It’s so much better than I thought it would be, and unlike Jane Austen’s work, not terribly wordy. I love the writing style. I can see how much already they left out of the film.

      • It’s impossible not to get all squealish about Darcy! He’s fantastic! I highly recommend checking out the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube if you haven’t already. Absolutely awesome.

        Fantastic post, by the way. I totally connected with it. 🙂

        • Ah, Darcy, he really is fantastic. LBD! I LOVE LBD! They are incredible. I am about to episode 40, I think. They are superior modern P&P. I so want them to do an Emma one.
          Thank so much for your comment. I’m glad you could connect to it. I think women in general just have this undying connection to all things Jane Austen. Like tea. 🙂

    • Thank you. I still like aspects of it, and don’t. It’s a mixed feelings movie. Some say the Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly is lacking a lot. Since I have yet to finish P&P, I don’t see it. I am loving the Jane Eyre book. 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting.

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