Austen Calls Us to Pay Attention, by Katherine Reay

Austen Calls Us to Pay Attention, by Katherine Reay

Austen opens her most famous book, Pride and Prejudice, with that immortal line, It is a truth universally acknowledged…

Here we go… An eternal truth and a story of massive scale! Not so… in that same sentence she cautions readers to not be fooled. She is not going to dazzle the reader with a “universal” story, a sweeping saga with adventures across continents, great mysteries, or international intrigue. Instead, she expresses a very small truth, a personal truth – and that’s what makes it universal: A woman with five daughters, at that time and in that place, believes that every young man must be in want of a wife, because all the Mrs. Bennets of the world (everyone like herself) have daughters who need to marry them. And so the story begins…

That was “universal” for Mrs. Bennet – that was her highest reality – and Austen kept all her characters within their “realities.” They stayed in their villages – or complained about a fifty-mile carriage ride outside them – they maneuvered through kitchens, ballrooms and life. She didn’t need more canvas.

Nor do we. While the world does and should draw us to the larger stage – we need to know what is happening to our fellow humans across the globe – our actions close to home mean the most. How well we love those nearest us will determine how we help and love those far away.

 

 

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carylkane
carylkane
June 14, 2018 8:44 PM

Love this post, Katherine!

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
June 13, 2018 9:52 AM

Very profound and very true! What a thought provoking post!

kreaybooks
June 14, 2018 3:52 PM
Reply to  cindie snyder

Thanks for joining me here today!

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