She looked around at the sea of faces that she didn’t know. Most of them were foreign to her and in a way, that gave her courage. It’s been a long day. Beautiful, but long. Her family was bigger now and would only continue to grow. Her brown eyes land on her brother at the center table and stay there, captivated by the way he is whispering to his new wife.
She feels the smile tugging at her lips and can’t help but to relax. She’s been waiting for this moment and now that it’s here it feels as though a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. Slowly, she stands. The younger of her newly minted sisters picks up her spoon and not-so-gently taps it on her glass. She freezes for a moment as all of the eyes in the hall land on her but, when the oldest of her new sisters wraps a warm hand around her own, she relaxes.
When she speaks it is hesitant but strong.
“It’s been a long time since my brother and I have been surrounded by this many people. I never thought we’d be this lucky again. When our parents died, it felt like the world had ended. It was just the two of us and I was still too young to really understand what that meant. I thought that once you graduated high school you became an adult. You automatically had this lexicon of maturity installed into your brain and that if you made a bad decision it was just because you were too dumb or too stubborn to listen to reason.
I didn’t realize that, like me, my brother was just as lost and alone as I was but so much more was expected of him. I did my best not to take him for granted. I watched him transfer schools, abandon the life he was building to step into the role of CEO of our parent’s company and still manage to make it home to have dinner with me every night. He sat with me until my homework was done and left again after I had gone to bed.
He was always there when I needed him, even when I did my best to push him away. There were times that I thought I hated him and times where I did my best to hurt him. He bore all of it with the strength of parent. A parent he should never have had to be.
You asked me once, Lizzie, why I wanted to be your friend. I told you that nothing you had said about him was anything I hadn’t said to his face. That was true, but it was more than that. I watched him change. The day our parents died he became a new person. He buried himself in order to do what he had to do to pick up the pieces of our lives.
The day he met you was the day he began digging himself out. I got to watch the lights come back on. He was no longer this person who had only his responsibilities to live for. He was finally thinking about himself again. I had never seen him look at anyone the way he looked at you and it was more than I could have asked for.
I felt so guilty, for so long because he had given up so much for me. Now he…we…have you and this brand new family. This group of loving, open, crazy people who saw two orphans and thought they were worth opening their hearts to. I have nothing but admiration and love for you Lizzie because you not only gave me a family, but you gave me back my brother.
William, I am so unbelievably proud of you. You gave up everything for me for so long and seeing you this happy is the best reward I will ever get. Thank you for everything. You deserve all of the happiness in the world and I’m so blessed to be here to share it with you. Mom and dad would have been so proud of the man you have become and this new family you have created.
I love you both so much. Congratulations. I know your future is going to be amazing.”
There was a long silence. Somewhere along the way, tears had worked their way free, but she didn’t care. She had finally been able to say what had been in her heart since the day she began watching Lizzie’s videos. She made an attempt to sink back into her chair but Jane’s hand kept her firmly in place. She hadn’t noticed Lizzie and William make their way over to her until she was enveloped in arms and tears. There was crying and laughter and as she felt her brother gently take her face and kiss her forehead she knew he was back for good.
We should never diminish the power of fictional stories. Do not apologize for being moved by movies, TV shows, theater, art, books, or even a webseries that puts out 5 minute episodes twice a week. Jump into them whole-heartedly and let them transform you. Let them be your friends. Why not? They want to be yours.
In chapter 11 of Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy and Caroline are reading on a sofa and she is much too preoccupied by his progress than trying to pay attention to her own book. She ends up interrupting a discussion that Lizzy is having with Bingley about his intentions of hosting a ball at Netherfield. When the conversation doesn’t end as she would like it to, she moves on to her next tactic. Caroline asks Lizzy to join her in a turn about the room. Lizzy agrees immediately and Darcy takes notice while closing his book. He is invited to join them but declines stating that they could only have two motives for walking around the room. The first is that the women have secret affairs to discuss. The second is that they are aware of the fact that their figures look better while walking. If the reason be the first, he would be in their way. If it be the second, he can see them better from where he is sitting.
Caroline’s reaction is to punish Mr. Darcy for saying such things. Lizzy suggests teasing or laughing at him. Darcy and Lizzy go back and forth in what ends with him saying that he has tried to avoid weaknesses in life that would lead to ridicule. Lizzy states, “Such as vanity and pride." He replies that vanity is a weakness, but pride is under good regulation as long as there is a superiority of mind.
Caroline asks Lizzy what her result is after examining Darcy. Lizzy finds him to have no defect, said sarcastically I might add. (Jane Austen was brilliant with sarcasm.) Darcy claims that he made no such statement about himself, but when it comes to others he cannot easily forget their follies and vices, nor their offenses against him. His good opinion once lost, is lost forever. Lizzy states that Darcy’s great defect is to hate everyone, while he says that her’s is to willfully misunderstand them.
Caroline opens episode 32 by greeting Lizzie’s viewership and telling them that she is trying to convince Lizzie to talk about the night before. Lizzie isn’t willing at first and Caroline tells her that she should use her video diary to vent her frustrations. Lizzie objects a bit more, so Caroline uses many tactics to get her to talk. The one that works is when she mentions Charlotte. Lizzie agrees to talk and says she doesn’t know what she’d do without Charlotte.
Lizzie starts the story from the beginning. She had walked into the lounge the night before to find Darcy working and talking to Caroline. Lizzie admits the whole thing was rather dull until Caroline had her walk around the room with her. Caroline claims to have done it to distract Darcy. She hoped to get his attention, what with them being two lovely ladies walking around the room. Caroline asked Darcy to join them, but he wouldn’t as he saw through their "deceptive motives”. Lizzie recalls what he said and Caroline places the Darcy hat on her head as she does. He said that they were either walking around to banter about secrets or because they were aware that walking shows off their figures. He states that if it be secrets, he would be in their way. If it be to flaunt their figures, his view from his seat was fine.
Caroline proceeds to egg Lizzie on in the Darcy bashing. Lizzie voices that walking around the room was strange, but Darcy was rather pompous. Caroline tries to get Lizzie to say that Darcy’s arrogance should be punished. Lizzie feels his arrogance is rather comical and it should just be laughed at. Caroline claims that Darcy would just label that as a weakness, part of his vanity and pride. Lizzie says vanity and pride are probably part of the Darcy family crest. Caroline quotes Darcy as saying, “Vanity is indeed a weakness, but pride is an earned trait.
Caroline proceeds to ask how Lizzie feels about Darcy. In a back and forth between Caroline and Lizzie, Lizzie uses adjectives such as short temper, stuck upness, and unforgiving personality. Caroline says that his good opinion once lost is gone forever. Lizzie adds that having no capacity for forgiveness, means hating everyone, which is no way to go through life.
Darcy finds flaws in Lizzie, the major one being that she intentionally misunderstands people. This seems to send Lizzie into the rampage about Darcy that Caroline was looking for. She asks Lizzie if she feels better, and as it turns out, after her outburst, she does.
Lizzie closes the video herself saying she has never hated anyone as much as she hates Darcy. She doesn’t understand how Bing and Caroline get along with him so well. Her theory is that Caroline is just being nice and the better person. Perhaps Caroline really hates Darcy, but is nice to project politeness. She definitely isn’t confrontational with him, even when he’s being a stuck up ass. Lizzie closes by thanking Caroline for everything and tells her she is a better woman than herself.
In this comparison, Darcy & Caroline are reading on a sofa in P&P. It’s actually more like Darcy is reading while Caroline is trying to draw his attention away from his book and on to her. Meanwhile in LBD, Lizzie enters the lounge where Darcy is working while Caroline talks to him.
Both P&P and LBD follow the same line in what happens next. Caroline persuades Lizzie to take a turn about the room with her in order to get Darcy’s attention. She asks him to join them, but he refuses on the premise that they are either telling secrets or trying to flaunt their figures. Caroline feels that Darcy’s reaction should be punished and Lizzie suggests laughing at him.
As a result, Darcy and Lizzy go back and forth on the subject, ending in him claiming to have tried avoiding weaknesses that would lead to such treatment. Lizzy suggests that qualities such as vanity and pride fall into that category. Darcy admits that vanity is a weakness, but that pride is not as long as there is superiority of mind to accompany it. In LBD, it’s Caroline who indicates that Darcy would find the reaction of laughter to be a weakness, as it’s part of his vanity and pride. To quote Darcy, "Vanity is indeed a weakness, but pride is an earned trait.”
In P&P, Caroline asks Lizzy how she feels about Mr. Darcy and she sarcastically states that he has no defect. Darcy denies this, but admits that he does not easily forgive others, especially when they have wronged him. Once his good opinion is lost, it is lost forever. Lizzy and Darcy insult each other by pointing out their greatest defects. She believes he hates everyone, while he believes she intentionally misunderstands people.
Similarly in LBD, Caroline asks Lizzie how she feels about Darcy. In modern lingo, Lizzie finds him to have a short temper, stuck upness, and an unforgiving personality. Caroline speaks of losing his good opinion once, means losing it forever. Lizzie feels that not being able to forgive means hating everyone, which is no way to live. Lizzie shares that Darcy feels she intentionally misunderstands people.
Lizzie falls right into the trap that Caroline has set for her. In P&P, getting Lizzy and Darcy to argue helps to put Caroline in a more favorable light and Lizzy in less of one with Darcy. In LBD, Caroline eggs Lizzie on in bashing Darcy until she completely flips a lid. She lulls Lizzie into a sense of friendship while enhancing her hate of Darcy. Lizzie doesn’t see it that way. She believes that Caroline is putting on a front in order to be polite when it comes to dealing with Darcy. Lizzie is pleased with the friendship that Caroline has given her. It seems as though Caroline has convoluted plans of her own and they are working.
That’s all for now, until next time, my name is Joslyn Dechant and this is Pride & Prejudice vs The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.