With the weather as it has been, I recently got cozy with an old friend - that is - Jane Austen. It started with watching the movies mentioned in my last post, and eventually came around to the desire to curl up and read such a story. So I pulled Northanger Abbey off the shelf, (here most would say dusted it off, but a book never stays on my shelf long enough for this to be needed) and sat down with a cozy blanket to lose myself in the thrill of an Abbey.
This reading of the novel though, brought on many feelings and thoughts I'd never had about an Austen novel. I found myself at the point of yelling at Cathrine many times for her folly. That she didn't know how to shut her mouth when it was needed had always been painfully obvious to me. I also knew that a certain amount of niavity was necessary and endearing.
But I found myself angry with Austen for created such an ignorant yet arrogant little fool. I got to the end and thought to myself, "She doesn't deserve him. I can't believe he loves her." For the first time in my life, I truly disliked an Austen heroine.
Then it happened. The epiphany! I realized what I believe Jane was trying to get through our skulls in the first place.
We are not heroines/heroes. We don't actually live in some fantasy world, were everything turns out well, and everyone is happy and the bad guys go away. More important to realize though, is that if we aren't the lead character, that means we are the supporting cast. I mean, yes, we have a story of our own. Our Creator is writing us a wonderful story to live out if we let Him. But really? To go through life with thought only for how said story revolves around us, we would soon have no supporting cast of our own!
Think about it, in everything we read or watch, there is the best friend character who could have a whole show/movie/novel to herself (himself) because that person's story could conceivably stand alone. But for both characters, things workout better when they think of others, when they are true to the role of supporting character. No one wants the conniving "friend's" story to work out.
So from now on, I strive to be the "Catherine Morland" who lives for others. The one who wants to encourage her siblings not to believe everything you read in a book, and not to let your imagination run away with you.
Thank you, Miss Austen, for writing a character into existence that I disliked enough to analyze.