“Timing is everything, in education as in many other fields. It’s not enough to teach well. You have to teach well to kids who are ready to learn, kids who are developmentally ‘ripe’ for learning.”
- Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax

Monday, November 10, 2008

RTH: Pride and Prejudice

The Reading Through History book for October was Pride and Prejudice. This month we are reading Jane Eyre. Feel free to join in! Head over to the RTH blog for more information.

I loved reading this book, it's one of my favorites! The character you have to feel sorry for is Charlotte. I couldn't believe it at the beginning of the book when she said that "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." It is hard to believe, but that is really how it was back then. So many people had to marry because of status or money that often you weren't able to marry the one you really wanted. I am so grateful that we have the freedom now days to marry who ever we please. And I do believe that happiness in marriage, and in life, is a choice that we make...not a matter of chance.

It is amazing that the Bennets raised daughters that all turned out so different...but I suppose that is the way it always is. One part I liked was when Lady Catherine was being critical of Elizabeth's education, and the fact that she never had a governess. Elizabeth replied, "Such of us as wished to learn, never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary. Those who chose to be idle, certainly might." So again it's about the choices we make. Elizabeth and Lydia both had the same environment and the same parents, but they made different choices. Lydia obviously chose to be idle and to waste away her time with flirtation. I also like the message that we are in charge of our own education. We are not victims of circumstance.

The last quote I'll mention is when Mary says that "vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." So, pride isn't always a bad thing, it's more important to avoid vanity. Mr. Darcy may have been a proud man, but I don't believe he was vain. Sure he had some lessons to learn and he needed to humble himself some, but he only knew the life he had been raised in. At least he figured it out, once Elizabeth told him that he wasn't behaving like a gentleman! :) He finally realized that he didn't need to be so judgemental of her family.I think this book has some great lessons about the way we treat others, and to not always go with our first impressions (good or bad). We also need to humble ourselves when we realize we have been wrong about someone.

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