Daily Archives: May 4, 2017

Pride And Prejudice Character Review: George Wickham

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the book.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Pride and Prejudice to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

There much to be said about someone with an easy charm, a warm smile and an outgoing demeanor.  Most people would say that this person is a likable person whom they might want to spend more time with. Jane Austen was convinced that these people are not what they seem to be and should not be trusted.

As a writer, Jane Austen was known for her bad boys. Her most famous bad boy is George Wickham. Mr. Wickham is introduced to the reader in Pride and Prejudice early on in the book. Wearing an easy smile and looking good in his military uniform, Mr. Wickham catches the eye of the Bennet sisters. Elizabeth is still burning after Darcy’s diss and is all too eager to learn how Darcy ruined Wickham’s life.

If there is one thing George Wickham knows how to do well, it is to tell a sob story where he is the victim.

But looks are deceiving….

 

In the end, Wickham is revealed to be a ruthless cad who nearly married Georgiana Darcy  (who was 15 at the time) for her fortune and is paid to marry Lydia Bennet (who is the same age as Georgiana) after she runs away with him.

From a writing perspective, especially writing romance, Jane Austen knew what she was doing.  Each her books contain a similar narrative: a young woman of marriageable age who has the potential to marry one of two men: one of the men appears to put all of their cards on the table, the other keeps his cards to himself, at least in the beginning of the novel. Highly suspicious of people with just a little too much charm, Austen created her bad boys with a warning label: they may have a warm smile and an easy demeanor, but in the end, it will not end well.

To sum it up: Appearances can be deceiving. Jane Austen knew this all too well. In creating Mr. Wickham, she created a character that would not only deceive the audience, but also the other characters. Similar to a magician’s sleight of hand, while the reader (and Elizabeth by extension) was falling for Mr. Wickham’s charming smile and relaxing manner, they were not questioning if the stories he was telling matched reality. When the rug is pulled up and Mr. Wickham’s true nature is revealed, it is a shock that has sent jaws dropping to the floor for more than 200 years. That is the genius of Jane Austen and that is one of the reasons why readers keep going back to Pride and Prejudice again and again.

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Character Review, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Writing

May The Fourth Be With You

Back in 1977, a new film hit theaters. It was called Star Wars. From the outset, it didn’t look like much. Just another science fiction film set in outer space with a Buck Rogers-ish premise. Some audience members and critics might have said at the time that it would quickly leave the theaters and only been seen in the wee hours of the morning when the television stations had nothing else to fill the airwaves with.

The thing about Star Wars, is that it is so much more than the average science fiction film. This film is a statement piece. Using Buck Rogers as the basic narrative, writer/director George Lucas turned the genre on its head and created characters that go far beyond the standard 2D characters that are sometimes associated with science fiction. Intertwining history, politics and fully developed human characters, Lucas not only changed the movie industry, but he created characters, catchphrases and worlds that are seared in our collective cultural consciousness.

My first memory of Star Wars is a take on the film as only Muppet Babies can do it.

My complete initiation to the fandom came later, when I was a teenager and the original trilogy was re-released for the 20th anniversary. I was hooked and since then, I have been a very happy fan.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of A New Hope’s release. While there is much to celebrate, there is also loss. Loosing Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker last year was tough, but we remember them and we thank them for the joy and the memories.

May the fourth be with you.

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Filed under History, Movies, Star Wars, Television

Throwback Thursday-One Night With The King (2006)

For every 10 or 20 stories there are about men who overcome what seems to be insurmountable obstacle, there are only a handful of stories of women who do the same.

The 2006 movie, One Night With The King, is based on the story of the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Hadassah (Tiffany DuPont) is a orphaned young woman living one of her cousins, Mordecai (John Rhys-Davies). King Xerxes (Luke Goss) has just banished his Queen, Vashti (Jyoti Dogra) and is seeking a new wife. Rounded up with other young woman, Hadassah is taken to the King’s palace as potential bride. But there is a catch. Within the palace, Hadassah has taken on a new identity, Esther. No one knows that she is a Jew.

King Xerxes takes a fancy to Esther/Hadassah and marries her. Soon it becomes clear that Hadassah’s life and the life of every Jew is in danger as Haman (James Callis), one of the King’s minister’s has deadly plans in store for Shushan’s Jewish community. Knowing that her life and the lives of her people are in danger, Hadssah/Esther must take a risk and reveal her true identity. She could live or she could die, but she must do something.

What makes this movie stand out is that not only is the Purim story fleshed out with historical accuracy, but it is a compelling tale of courage with a female lead character who stands up for who she is and what she believes in, even at the potential cost of her own life.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday