Pride In 'Prejudice'
200 Years Later, Austen's Powers Have Not Diminished
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Perhaps Mr. Bennet never properly prepares his daughters for their suitors in the original Pride and Prejudice, but he most certainly does prepare them for zombie attack in Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After losing the colonies to an incorrigible gang of yankees, the Brits must surely be up in arms about this American bastardization of an English classic—especially considering Jane Austen is credited as a coauthor. A considerable digression from the subtlety of 19th-century literature, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies unabashedly restrings Austen’s novel to work in the context of a zombie-ridden English countryside. In a morbid restructuring of events, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy gradually let go of their “pride and prejudice” as they de-brain, decapitate, and otherwise dismember the pesky undead population alongside each other. If Jane Austen’s original tale can only address the reluctance of love, this 21st-century masterwork speaks to its fullness of it integrity, in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, nonetheless. – J.W.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Modern, fun, and fresh, Bridget Jones’s Diary takes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and turns it into a lighthearted romantic comedy. Before it was adapted for the screen, the 2001 movie was actually a best-selling novel by Helen Fielding. The storyline, of both the book and the film, follows a British woman, Bridget Jones, through a process of self-improvement, in which she is determined to find love. In order to do so, however, Bridget must reconcile her prejudices—recorded in her personal diary—against Mark Darcy. Through a series of entertaining ups and downs, their relationship develops in a story that is intentionally analogous to Austen’s cherished, original plot. Though the film stars big names such as Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant, it was the casting of Colin Firth—the original Darcy—that made the symmetry between the two versions especially exciting. A Pride and Prejudice veteran, Firth truly enabled the film to bridge the gap between old and new, garnering the adoration of several distinct generations. Bridget Jones’s Diary, dealing with timeless themes, is just another example that attests to the durability of a classic story like Austen’s. – A.I.