Since Ms. Daisy did such an excellent job on outlining the attributes of a hero, I decided to compare and contrast a couple of heroes of Jane Austen’s world. I actually have a t-shirt that says Colonel Brandon > Mr. Darcy. Before you think I’m getting into a war of Alan Rickman vs. Colin Firth, let me set you straight. I’m talking about the characters in the books, not the actors on the screen.
Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice was arrogant and not very kind to Lizzy in the early parts of the book. He denigrated her, her looks and her family. He wasn’t a nice guy at all. Over the course of the book, we did learn that internally, he was very heroic in scope. He found himself in love with Lizzy and did all he could do to save the reputation of her and her sisters when the youngest eloped. It was at a great financial cost to him. But it still sticks in my craw that he was so cold to Elizabeth Bennet in the beginning.
Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility was a much gentler hero. He was in love with Maryann Dashwood almost from the moment he met her. He was always cordial and kind to her. Even when she fell for Willoughby, all the Colonel wanted for her was for her to be happy, even if it meant she would find that happiness with another man. A man he didn’t believe to be worthy of her. This is very heroic in my view.
A third hero of Jane Austen’s work was Mr. Knightly in Emma. He was kind of a mixture of Darcy and Brandon. He was gentle and kind to Emma but, when necessary, he called her out on her bad behavior. All in all, I think this man, this balanced hero, is my favorite of all the Austen heroes. (and we won’t even talk about Jeremy Northam- LOL!).
So, as you can see, my idea of a hero is a man that can be strong when he needs to be but can also be kind and gentle most of the time. Jane was very talented at making her heroes diverse and very different. Someday, we’ll talk about the Wickhams, Willoughbys and Frank Churchills of Jane’s works. The bad boys, as it were.
Over and out from the Tuesday fox. Today is my youngest son’s 17th birthday. I’m aging not too gracefully!