26 September 2016

Swipe Right for Fictional Men

I recently sat around the kitchen table with my cousin, discussing which Austen man would be best for each of us. This is a game I can play for hours, as many times as necessary. We went through the merits of each man, and in doing so had to closely examine our own selves and our own hearts and desires. Mr. Darcy is rich and eventually thoughtful, but is he too serious? Edward Ferrars is sweet and attentive, but is he too quiet? What am I looking for?

Of course, they are all good men, and to end up with any of them would be a better match than many. The game, though, got me wondering how most people construct their idea of the partner they want. In an age of hook ups, clearly the men of Austen are not the model of attainment. Captain Wentworth, after all, feels so guilty that he even gave the impression of favoring Louisa Musgrove when he didn’t mean to. He would never have used her physically with no intentions.