Check Out the Curb Appeal on Mr. Darcy

#1

We might as well face this head-on. There's no hiding from it. We spend an hour of this podcast discussing, in detail, our discomfort and ambivalence about the way our heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, begins to turn all the way around on Fitzwilliam Darcy when she sees his mansion. Is she being influenced by crass material considerations? What do we make of this weird, almost mythologized connection between Darcy and his estate at Pemberley? We discuss Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Austin's slashfic about Peter Parker and Darcy. We also dig into both the creepiness of Wickham, and the ways he is still misjudged and his dangerousness under-rated even after his character has been revealed, plus Mr. Bennett's maddening complacency. We learn Natalie has trouble with imagery and metaphor, Danielle might be a bad roommate, Rob is a bootlicking landlord apologist, and Austin has a worrying thing about wolves.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/eve7ez/check-out-the-curb-appeal-on-mr-darcy
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#2

DW, I hear Jeff Gerstmann and Dave Lang are gonna fix wolves.

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#3

@imweasel09 Dave Lang rejects anyone’s idea of sticking to a podcasting schedule. :joy:

This might be my all-time favourite Waypoint series…and it’s about a Jane Austen programme that I used to detest.

Growing up, I’d do my school homework in the front room on a Sunday afternoon because it was the only way I would do it without getting distracted. My mum would be doing the ironing at the same time and would always have Pride & Prejudice (or another programme of the same ilk) on in the background. I saw P&P with such frequency that I can quote it word for word.

At the time, I absolutely hated it, but now I associate the programme with comforting memories of my mum and being at home. I still remember the smell of ironing starch every time Lady Catherine de Bourgh storms off after sending no compliments to Lizzy’s mother (she deserved no such attention!).

I can’t thank you guys enough for doing these podcasts and creating even more fantastic memories to associate with the series!

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#4

I’ve gotten a lot out of this series because I was never able to enjoy Pride & Prejudice because I tried to read it right after Crime and Punishment because I had to read them both for AP class.

It’s really, really hard to give a shit about how disagreeable Mr. Darcy is when your mind is full of the grinding, dehumanizing poverty portrayed in Crime Punishment.

It further didn’t help that the book literally changed my life, helping to broaden my very narrow view of morality as informed by my Baptist upbringing.

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#5

austin…
write this plz

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#6

I am just losing it at this Bleak House names rundown.

What this podcast has made me realize is in positioning Wickham as a predator in a town, how difficult it would be to reveal him as such when he seemingly has a good reputation. It made me think about the difficulties women today face when reporting harassment, although Elizabeth and Jane aren’t victims of Wickham in that sense. I used to just read it as Elizabeth not wanting to reveal it since she didn’t have permission and it could reflect badly on Georgiana’s reputation if it got out that she eloped.

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#7

With all the talk of the estate and how it’s used as a synecdoche for Mr. Darcy himself, I had a question. If there was a Space opera/mech anime adaption of P&P, would Pemberley be the name of the Darcy ancestral Mech, the title of said mech’s Super Mode, or the name of the Carrier spaceship housing all of that?

#8

One thing that has come up in previous discussions, and comes up again in this discussion, is Darcy’s stilted behavior. While it strikes some people as out of character, I read it as Darcy being an intense introvert. I am intensely introverted, and watching Darcy in social situations is like looking into a mirror for me.

For me, I have two very distinct modes of operation: In comfort zone, and Out of comfort zone.

When in a comfort zone, social interaction has no cost, and I feel free to be myself. I can interact with people as long as I have energy, and will be friendly the whole time. The key part is whether or not I feel in control at the time. Sizes of gatherings have little impact, so I can feel completely in control at an event like PAX, but not at a ten person dinner.

When out of my comfort zone, things can go bad quickly. I have a finite amount of social energy, that depletes more rapidly as expectations on me increase. When it gets low, my ability to pretend to enjoy something that I would rather leave disappears, and I get snappy. People coming up to me and telling me to “just relax” or “chill out” make everything much worse.

When we see Darcy at the various social engagements around Heartfordshire, I find it very easy to see Darcy in the same light. He’s forced by society to attend social events he would rather not, and is stuck having to act a certain way. Every minute, he seems to be thinking about how much he’d rather be somewhere else, and has wound himself a tight as possible by trying not to slip in a social setting. It’s why he’s to stilted and awkward in these scenes, and why everyone refers to him being a different man in private.

I know that if I were in Darcy’s place, my behavior would be very similar. This does not excuse the behavior, but completely explains why for me.

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#9

Listened to this last night before going to bed. Dreamed I was in a locker room (post-MMA workout) discussing class privilege with Danielle.

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#10

This is like being back in high level literature courses in college. I love this series, and it got me to finally finish this damn book

When I found out the full extent of Wickham’s villainy, I genuinely felt my heart racing. Victorian novels have an incredible ability to lull you into a false sense of security that makes their High Drama even more sensational.

#11

So…I haven’t read the book, but I wonder with the talk of how Mrs. Bennet is the one looking out for the future of the girls and Mr. Bennet is abdicating his responsibility…is it not the case that the male relation who does inherit the Bennet estate would have had some familial obligation to look after them?

I honestly don’t know if that’s the case or not but it seems to me if that is at least a little true, then it becomes easier to take the less sympathetic view of Mrs. Bennet being after status or wealth.

I mean what do I know maybe the book establishes early on that even if there was such an obligation the particular relation that inherits is an asshole, but it did seem an unaddressed point in the discussion, at any rate.

#12

I just started rereading the book, and the opening chapters are extremely cruel to Mrs. Bennet. It pretty nakedly calls her stupid. I have not gotten to the section on obligation and the entailment in a big way, but so far the Miniseries seems much more balanced in it’s approach to most characters than the book is.

That may change as I get further in, but that’s my interpretation after about 13 chapters.

#13

Watched the whole series after listening to the first Be Good and Rewatch It about this(had that terrible flu that’s going around, was good to have something to watch).

I’d seen the movie beforehand, and my impressions were basically that it was a drama of misunderstandings that get satisfactorily resolved at the end. Also, Kiera Knightley playing Liz Bennet really unbalances the plot point of her sister being the striking beauty of the family. I think overall I liked the TV series better.

Love the focus on the rediculous food, that salami pie that keeps showing up esp. Also, meals at the Bennet house include a cheese wedge bigger than a human head.

Pemberley is the big turn around for Mr. Darcy and it did make me raise an eyebrow this time. Visiting the stately manor, looking at fine oil portraits of Darcy while his servants upsell him to high heaven, it’s all a lot.

Also, can’t watch this without thinking about Kate Beaton’s comics
http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=363

#14

I am enjoying your podcast on Pride and Prejudice. I have read all of Jane Austen’s book several times and I have seen most of the movies and tv productions of her books. I did enjoy the 1995 series as well as the 2005 movie but I notice no one has mentioned the original 1939 film starring Laurence Olivier as Darcy. As far as I am concerned Olivier is the greatest portrayal of Darcy. Olivier portrays Darcy with charm, wit, and humility when necessary. You should watch the movie which is easily available in libraries and is regularly shown on Turner Classic Movies.

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