I had been posting here three or four times a week recently, I know, and I suspect I wore you out some. I know I have worn my blogging self out also to an extent. So I took a few days away to clear my head, and to give you a break from me as well. 🙂
I was also (I felt) on a – away from a “public gaze” – writing roll, and got some (I think) nice bits more of the “first draft” done:
Among such, that last sentence above – “… and after hesitating for nearly two years about marrying Edward consented in 1799 to be his wife.” – I wrote a few days ago jumped to my mind for this post because of what had caught my eye on Instagram on Sunday.
In my Tomorrow The Grace, we are first introduced to “Edward” and “Ana’ as they and “Robert” all meet for the first time when by chance they voyage together to Amsterdam. “Edward” is “in love” with her the moment he lays eyes on her, but he also finds he is so self-conscious around her that he has a tough time even conversing with her. He may be written as he is at least in part because as a man I understand (and I suspect many other men also would) lots of how he feels…
As also we know by now, writing actual humans has become difficult enough. Now a “sub-area” in that minefield has become a problematic issue all its own. In writing of men and women and their often messy and complicated personal relationships it is increasingly possible for a writer to find themselves in really hot water:
That is apparently a lift from Tumblr on a Jane Austen devotee Instagram site. The Insta-poster, the original Tumblr poster, and that bottom commenter, all obviously missed this. “Mr. Darcy” famously surprised “Elizabeth” early on with an offer of marriage in Chapter 34. Remember?:
So, yes, he may have loved her “ardently.” But his request for “her hand” is, we know, insulting. Still it was a “request.”
Unsurprisingly, she turns him down… pretty harshly.
Much happens after that storywise, we know. Months later, he asks her again. We recall Chapter 58:
And there it is: the famous “silence me on this subject for ever” line from him. However, he has clearly approached her TWICE about that “subject.” It is this second time that he tells her that a turn down would “silence” him.
She accepts his proposal this time.
So is ONE ask and then a SECOND after an extended interval – during another era, in which relationships between men and women were far more socially “regulated” than today – to be considered another “oft[en]-stalkery” example and a man “not taking ‘No’ for an answer?”
I leave that for others to address. What is clear is given Austen has “Darcy” ask “Elizabeth” for marriage TWICE, the idea out there that he did not “pursue” her beyond a single request is therefore inaccurate. True, he was not hacking her emails or hiding in the bushes outside her parents’ house, leading her to feel perhaps even physically threatened… but he also did NOT accept her first “No” as her final word.
Similarly, I thought, I had had “Edward,” in a way, “pursue” “Ana.”
A closing personal (and real-life) thought.
As a man, and married, I believe that if you are a woman and a man you have been involved with in a serious ongoing mutual romantic relationship asks you to marry him, he has probably been thinking about asking you for some time and struggled to work up the nerve to ask the question. My future wife said “Yes” when I asked her… after she had signaled to me quite clearly for months before that if I asked her that she would say “Yes.” So thankfully I was 99.9 percent sure she would say “Yes” when I asked her.
There are always exceptions to any social “rule,” of course. However, I feel that if you say “No” to him chances are he will be crushed, hurt, and feel foolish in having so badly misjudged the relationship and will in all probability NOT ask you again. In fact, he is far less likely to resort to “stalkery” than he is to want to crawl under a rock and disappear and never see you again.
Anyway, that is what I think.
Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are.