People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Day 21): U is for Unhappy: Choose a book with an Unhappy ending

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O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather

I was first introduced to the work of Willa Cather when one summer I was trying to read through a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. (The same list that lead me to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Of course I never finished it:

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However, two of the book I read during that time were My Antonia and O Pioneers!. I read O Pioneers! second, not knowing it was the first book and while I enjoyed My Antonia I loved O Pioneers! more.

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And it makes me really upset that no one knows about this book.

Say What

I KNOW! It is a fantastic book but no one knows about it. It is hard to even purchase as I wanted to buy a copy for my friend, but amazon didn’t have it or Barnes & Nobles. Crazy! So why is this book fantastic? Let’s take a look.

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So the book is just under 200 pages and divided into three parts.

PART I: THE WILD LAND

The story takes place in Nebraska, the Bergsons are a Swedish family of six who immigrated to America for a better life, but found the prairie not as promised. The father, John, went into serious debt, but was finally able to pay it off. He owns six hundred and forty acres of the original homestead, and three hundred and twenty acres given to him by his brother when he pulled out. Just as it seemed he might be able to tame the land, he becomes ill and at age 46, is going to die.

Why?

Why?

For weeks he has been thinking what to do next, when he decides that everything must be left to his daughter Alexandra to control.

Whattheheck

This book was published in 1913, but takes place in 1883. And even though he has two sons who come before Alexandra he recognizes in her his own spirit. While his sons Lou and Oscar are hardworking they just don’t have the business acumen.

“It was Alexandra who read the papers and followed the markets, and who learned by the mistakes of their neighbors. It was Alexandra who could always tell about what it cost to fatten each steer, and who could guess the weight of a hog before it went on the scales closer than John Bergson himself. Lou and Oscar were industrious, but he could never teach them to use their heads about their work.” pg. 15

On his deathbed, John calls all the kids together and makes them promise to keep the land and listen to Alexandra, there will be no quarreling. When each wishes to marry they can divide the land, but until then they must follow Alexandra.

Wecandoit

Even though the boys do not like being put under their sister, they agree to their father’s wishes.

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Six months later, the Bergsons invite their friend and neighbor Carl Linstrum to visit “Crazy” Ivar. Lou and Oscar make fun of him,

I'm crazy

He’s crazy

But Alexandra values his advice and knowledge of animals.

Topthorn War HOrse

Ivar suffers from some kind of mental affliction, one not stated as most likely at that time they had no name for it. Sometimes he spouts wisdom, other days nonsense. He likes to live as far away from people as he can. While he suffers from these eccentricities his knowledge of animals is without competition. He has a pond where all kinds of birds come to visit, as they know he will not shoot them, as he has an aversion to guns.

Now one of the reasons this book is so good is the character of Alexandra. While others see the craziness of Ivan and brush him off, she listens to his advice and follows it, it turning out very well. What a person looks like, or acts like doesn’t matter to her; she values their hard work, their wisdom, and their heart. And she doesn’t care what others think of her.

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After their father’s death, the Bergsons clan did well.

Double double yay

But then the drought came, an with it three years of nothing but failure.

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It is at this time we see a divided family as to what to do next. Many people have left the “promises” of the prairie to follow the “promises” of St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Alaska, etc.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Carl Limstrom comes to tell Alexandra that his family is leaving to St. Louis. This is heartbreaking, as Alexandra and him have fallen in love. Alexandra doesn’t want him to go, but Carl won’t have him and his family be a drag on their finances, after all, Carl is no farmer. But Carl promises that he won’t forget her but will work hard for her.

“I’ll write as long as I live…And I’ll be working for you as much as for myself, Alexandra. I want to do something you’ll like and be proud of. I’m a fool here, but I know I can do something!” pg. 34

you deserve better

This is the first part of what makes this book so sad. Alexandra doesn’t care about that Carl, she just wants you! But Alexandra understands how you feel and how you don’t want to enter a marriage being a drain on your wife, you want to be equal.

And even though you really want Carl to stay with Alexandra, you respect him for not wanting to use her inheritance and enter the relationship having her take care of him. He knows Alexandra is the greatest thing in the world and wants to show her he is worthy of her love.

Fredrick Wentworth

But poor Alexandra

[To Carl’s retreating form] Since you have been here, ten years now, I have never really been lonely.” pg 35

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

The boys are worried about what will happen next with the sweet potatoes seeming to be the only thing really living on. They want to sell out and move to the cities, where opportunity really is. Or trade their land for the river as that land is much better than the kind they have.

We need to get out of here

We need to get out of here

Alexandra of course doesn’t go on feelings, whispers, or what others tell her to do. She thinks on it long and hard, researching into what would be the best decision.

Thinking Hmm

She and her younger brother Emil travel to the river to examine the land. After reviewing everything and thinking on it; she decides that the thing to do is to mortgage their land with the bank and buy up as much land as they can. The boys of course are skeptical of this plan. Six more years of working off a loan? And what if the land prices don’t soar, what if the drought continues on, what if, what if?

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But Alexandra sees the way to go:

“The men in town who are buying up other people’s land don’t try to farm it. They are the men to watch, in a new country. Let’s try to do it like the shrewd ones and not like the stupid fellows.” pg. 43

The boys know this will be going against all the others and they don’t want to be viewed by others as crazy.

But Alexandra is certain, and they follow her. Alexandra is pleased as she watches the land knowing that the future is stirring.

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PART II: NEIGHBORING FIELDS

It has been sixteen years since the death of John Bergson, now being 1899. In the years that have passed, his wife has passed on as well. The land is producing much, telephone wires zig zag the prairie, and the area is thickly populated as more have arrived to stake their home there too.

Emil has achieved Alexandra’s dream and gone on to attending the university and doing well in sports. He is tall, handsome, charming and all the girls in the area wish for a moment with him, as brief as it could be.

swoon dreamy

But he isn’t interested in any of them.

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Their old friend Marie Tovesky, now Mrs. Shabata, a Bohemian, has moved back to the prairie she used to visit as a young girl now a neighbor to the Bergsons.

And how are the Bergson’s doing? Any one could tell you that they have the richest farm on the Divide, and that was all due to the woman farmer, Alexandra.

Alexandra

Alexandra, that is.

One of the things I like about Alexandra is that Cather created a character that is intelligent, strategical, yet still feminine. With today’s modern works it always feels like an either/or situation. Either they are pretty or smart. They are intelligent and masculine or an airhead and feminine. Alexandra has extreme intelligence but also enjoys doing housework, baking, and as beautiful as she is brainy.

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The older brothers are married and have their own sections of land as they began families, but Alexandra has the most of land and wealth. Emil comes back and forth between Alexandra’s home and school; and there is one more addition.

Carl and her married!!!

Carl and her married!!!

No not Carl.

Oh darn!

Oh darn!

He is still out trying to make his fortune. No, when Ivar lost his land, Alexandra opened her home to him. Such a compassionate person, not caring what others think of him or her for having him live in the home; all that matters that there is a soul in need.

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Ivar comes to Alexandra one day, afraid that people will send him to the asylum for being different, but Alexandra doesn’t care. She knows what it is like to be talked about because you do things differently.

“Don’t come to me again telling me what people say. Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best. ” pg. 60

A lot has changed in the sixteen years with modernity. A lot of the old ways of living and being are no longer accepted. In the family, Oscar’s wife will not allow any Swedish to be spoken in the house, so when they visit the relatives only English can be spoken.

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Alexandra has not married, her heart still pining after the only one who ever truly understood her, but enjoys being an aunt and looking after her brother’s children. But as she is the wealthiest of the whole clan, she often becomes caught in a game between her scheming brothers and sister-in-laws, as they all desire different things.

One day she is with her nieces in the flower garden when a tall, handsome stranger comes on the prairie. It is Carl!

Carl and her married!!!

Carl is on his way to Seattle and then to Alaska to go gold prospecting. He stopped by to say hi and Alexandra is thrilled as she has missed him so much. The brothers aren’t as they are worried that instead of a gold prospector he might be a gold digger and after Alexandra’s wealth.

money money money

Carl admits that he had hoped to present himself as better, worthy of Alexandra, but he has nothing.

“You see…measured by your standards I’m a failure. I couldn’t buy even one of your cornfields. I’ve enjoyed a great many things, but I’ve nothing to show for it all.” pg. 77

That doesn’t matter to Alexandra of course, but Carl must prove himself.

I think Carl and Alexandra are just the cutest couple. Carl is so sweet to her and pretty much understands her (except for the having to prove himself thing because she does not care) and doesn’t find any measure of her odd or not right.

“I wonder whether I should ever be able to tell you all that I was thinking up there. It’s a strange thing, Alexandra; I find it easy to be frank with you about everything under the sun-except yourself!’

‘You are afraid of hurting my feelings, perhaps.’ Alexandra looked at him thoughtfully.

‘No, I’m afraid it would give you a shock. You’ve seen yourself for so long in the dull minds of the people around you, that if I were to tell you how you seem to me, it would startle you. But you must see that you astonish me.” pg. 83

How sweet!

How sweet!

Carl and Alexandra are just perfect:

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I want them to get together!!!!!

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Carl and Alexandra go to Marie’s and spend time with her being interrupted by her husband. No two people could be more horribly matched.  Marie is light and fun, while her husband Frank is jealous, depressing, and unfriendly.

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They meet when Marie was at school and she thought Frank was handsome, brooding, and romantic. Her father did not want them to marry, and nothing makes two people “fall in love” faster than when they are forbidden to.

Not good

Not good

She was sent to a convent, but as soon as she turned 18 left it and married Frank. Her father bought them the farm and they’ve been unhappy ever since. Marie realized that the Frank she thought she loved was one that was not real, but created in her mind.

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Emil and Marie spend lots of time together, as he often helps out with the farm, taking care of things that Frank is too lazy to. But that friendship must end. Emil can’t pretend anymore. He is in love with Marie and wants to be with her, but of course she is married.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

Carl and Emil head off to a Catholic fair, where Emil runs into his newly married friend, Amédéé. While they are gone the brothers come to talk to Alexandra about Carl. They wanted Alexandra’s land to be willed to their children when she dies, but Alexandra will not be bullied and will do what she wants with her land.

I don't think so

You have to read what they try and use to talk her out of it. They tell her things like she’s just a woman, she didn’t really do the work “even though she had the ideas”, the property always belongs too the men, she is too old at 40 to think of marrying, Carl is four years younger than her too young.

Those guys

Those guys

But Alexandra holds her ground. She tells them that she owns her land and, she was the driving force that created their wealth, and they can stuff it or go to their lawyers but nothing will come of it.

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Alexandra tries to talk to Emil about it, but he is too heartsick he begs her to send home far away, to Mexico.

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She agrees and is sad that no one really understands her. She has no one, Marie and Carl being her only friends.

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Meanwhile Lou and Oscar go to talk to Carl and convince him he is worthless.

“What a hopeless position you are in, Alexandra!’ [Carl] exclaimed feverishly. ‘It is your fate to be always surrounded by little men. And I am no better than the rest. I am too little to face the criticism of even such men as Lou and Oscar. Yes, I am going away; to-morrow. I cannot even ask you to give me a promise until I have something to offer you. I thought, perhaps, I could do that; but I find I can’t.’

‘What good comes of offering people things they don’t need?’ Alexandra asked sadly. ‘I don’t need money. But I have needed you for a great many years. I wonder why I have been permitted to prosper, if only to take my friends away from me.

‘I don’t deceive myself,’ Carl said frankly. ‘I know that I am going away on my own account. I must make the usual effort. I must have something to show for myself. To take what you would give me, I should have to be a very large man or a very small one, and I am only in the middle class.’

Alexandra sighed. ‘I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.” pg. 114-115

In one day she loses all the men she cares about.

right in the feels broken heart

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PART III: WINTER MEMORIES

Winter never feels as cold as when you no longer have those you care about. No longer will Alexandra see Oscar or Lou because of how they treated Carl. She gets letters from Emil and Carl, but it is not the same as having them near.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Mrs. Lee, Lou’s mother-in-law and one of the old timers, loves to visit Alexandra where she can follow in the old ways of living and not be judged. Even though the brothers are no longer welcome, Alexandra still opens her home to the rest of the relatives.

Alexandra brings Emil’s letter for Marie to read, never knowing what interest lies in Marie’s light and happy heart. Marie also gifts Alexandra with a scarf she made for Emil. Little does Alexandra know how Marie really feels on the inside.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

Marie’s life has grown exceedingly unhappy. She realizes that she and Frank are not suited for each other at all. She becomes more and more unhappy and folds into herself.

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PART IV: THE WHITE MULBERRY TREE

Emil has returned from Mexico at last, and just in time for a big carnival at the Catholic church. Emil runs into his old friend Amédéé, now a father. All the girls flutter around Emil, and when he gives one of his turquoise stones to auctioned it starts an even greater flummox.

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Marie is just as crazy about Emil, but he smartly keeps his distance from her.

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Frank is angry as he is jealous and wants someone to blame for Marie not caring for him any longer. But the only one who drove the wedge was him and his cruel nature.

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When the lights go out, every girl is kissed by their sweetheart and Emil does the one thing he has wished for so long, kisses Marie.

OMG gasp

Emil is heartsick  and finally asks Marie what has been on his mind for so long, why would you marry Frank? Marie tells him she loved him. Frank was the same now as then, but as a young girl she saw him differently. And now she pays for her heedlessness, stubbornness, and naivety.  She begs Emil to leave as she doesn’t want them to sin and she can’t go.

TimingWrong

Emil is preparing to leave for Omaha to train as a lawyer, then going on to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before he departs, he stops by to see his friend Amédéé. Amédéé. is in awful pain, completely sick with appendicitis. The doctor tries to take care of him, but it is to late, Amédéé is gone.

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Emil stays on for the service and is to set off, but goes back to Marie’s to get one thing of hers to hold on to. When he gets there he discovers her lying in the grass.

Frank comes home and sees Emil’s horse in the barn. He then goes into the field and hears something. As he comes closer he sees two figures in the field and shoots. And then streaks off.

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Ivar finds Emil’s mare the next morning all worn out and not taken care of. He knows Emil would never do anything like that unless he was hurt or injured. He goes next door to get help and finds the bodies.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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PART V: ALEXANDRA

Alexandra has become so sick with grief she cannot do anything without being instructed. Her boy, her best friend…gone.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

She feels horrible for always throwing them together, never thinking what would happen. She feels so cold and alone.

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Alexandra goes to see Frank Shabata, but feels no anger at him. Only pity.

Strange Sad Have My Pity Toy Story

But one bright spot arrives, as soon as Carl gets Alexandra’s note on the death he hurries over.

He isn’t as important as he would have wished, but he does have a good buisness starting in the West. The two plan to marry, going West but eventually returning home to the prairie. At last, Alexandra will no longer be alone. A bittersweet ending

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I love this book but it is sooo sad. Just full of feelings:

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But I love it anyway and read it over and over.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

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For more on Sarah Dessen, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more on An Affair to Remember, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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For the Christmas Carol I choose Silent Night otherwise known in Bohemian as Tichá noc. This song was written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr when he was visiting Mariapfarr, Austria.

Two years later, Father Mohr approaches Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, and asked him to set it to music. Together they performed it during Christmas Eve’s mass.

In 1859, Pastor John Freeman Young translated the song from German to English. Since then the song has been translated into over 140 different languages.

I chose the version by Celtic Woman as I really enjoy that group.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more Christmas Carols, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

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I Finally Read Moby-Dick

Day 12) L is for List: Choose a book from your to-read List

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Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

So reading lists. It feels like they will never end.

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And every time I read a book, it feels as if I add ten more.

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To help keep track of that, I have a Goodreads account and I try and work through it. But then I have another problem:

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Yes, so even though I have too many books that I own and haven’t read; and too many on my to-read list, I keep getting more.

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My shelves are stuffed:

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And I have boxes full of them everywhere:

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So I tried to figure out what book to review, and settled on Moby-Dick. 

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Moby-Dick or The Whale was published by Herman Melville in 1851. At the time it wasn’t received, and by the time of his death the book was out of print and hadn’t generated that much money.

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However, readers are fickle and in the 20th century, the book became so popular it was given the title of one of the Great American Novels. William Faulkner was known to have wished he was the one who wrote it and D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world”, and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.”

Wow

Wow

I had started The Great Illustrated Classic version when I was much younger, but never finished the book. I had to return it to the library and I’m not sure why I didn’t recheck it out, but I never read, or finished reading it, ever again.

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This book has been on my to-read list since I’ve joined Goodreads, and my friend even gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday, but I had still not read it. Leaving it buried under all the other to-read books.

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But this year I decided to read it!

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So what did I think after all this time?

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I didn’t like it.

OMG gasp

I know, I feel horrible for even uttering those words…

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But it is the truth.

It's how I feel.

It’s how I feel.

So let’s go over what the story is about, and then I will share why I didn’t like it.

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Plot Synopsis:

Ishmael signs up to a whaling ship, having to share his room with a Polynesian harpooner, Queequeg. At first Ishmael is afraid of him, but the two end up becoming extremely good friends.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

The ship they go on is the Pequod, which is led by Captain Ahab. Now Captain Ahab has lost his leg to a mighty white whale, Moby-Dick, and he is incensed with revenge, planning on finding him and killing him on their journeys.

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The ship sails, and while the crew hunt for the whales to bring back their blubber; Ishmael shares his philosophies of whaling, his idea of the British, the different whales they meet, etc. The novel ends in a bitter battle as Ahab finds his prey; but will he be able to destroy it or just himself?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

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So Why Didn’t I Like It?

The biggest problem for me is that this novel is a little bit of everything and moves from topic to topic instead of being one concise story. I mean Ishmael’s thoughts seem to wander everywhere as he will switch from the adventure on the whale ship to his thoughts of religion, how the color white is evil, that the British snootily look down on the Americans but need them, etc. This random philosophizing I could definitely do without, especially as there is no segway but a real rattling on.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

I mean I really enjoyed the adventures in whaling and anything with Captain Ahab, I thought he was a great character, but sadly there wasn’t more of him.

Why not?

Why not?

What also struck me was how hard Melville was trying to make a “great American novel.” We know people from England looked down at America at this time, and you can see how hard Melville is trying to prove that American writers are just on par as the British.

“But where this superioty in the English whalemen does really consist, it would be hard to say, seeing that the Yankees in one day, collectively, kill more whales than all the English, collectively, in ten years.”

Yeah, I don’t think he is just talking about whales, it seems there is a deeper meaning under there…

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So I didn’t really care for it, but at least I finally read it! Now I can cross it off my list and move onto the next item.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

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For more Lemony Snicket quotes, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

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Today I choose the Christmas Carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. It was written by Pastor Edmund Sears in 1849. At the time he was depressed and saddened by the war with Mexico and the strife that hung in the air. His friend, Pastor William Parsons Lunt, asked him to write a poem and this was what Sears came up with.

A year later, composer Richard Storrs Willis, wrote the music that the poem goes with.

I choose the version done by Celtic Woman as they are a fantastic group.

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For more Celtic Woman, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol

For more Christmas Carols, go to Midnight in Austenland

You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol

Day 7) G is for Ghost: Choose a Ghost story

I’m not really a ghost person.

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After all I am a Ghostbuster!

Ghost stories aren’t my thing so I tried to figure out what to do and thought about all the books I like, which one could possibly have a ghost in it?

Thinking Hmm

And then it hit me:

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I know a book I love that has not one, but four ghosts!

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A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens

So I love this story.

I love it

Every year I watch a film version of this book: whether A Flintstones Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol, Muppet Christmas Carol, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, etc.; I’ve been in plays of it, and of course: I enjoy reading it.

I love it!

I love it!

A Christmas Carol was written in the fall of 1843. Originally it didn’t sell well, but became extremely popular through the public readings that Dickens did.

This book also came out at just the right time. Thanks to Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, Christmas culture changed with a whole flurry of new ways to celebrate the holiday, becoming the traditions we currently practice. For instance Christmas trees became something now done in England.

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We now see the jolly old Santa Claus, used later in stories and culture.

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And Christmas cards became a tradition and were sent out in the penny post.

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But not everyone had a nice Christmas. Many had to still work in the factories and poverty was running rampant; very grim indeed.

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A lot of historians actually attribute A Christmas Carol as being the first thing to start the ball rolling. It opened peoples’ hearts and more reforms were adopted; such as the Bank Holiday act in 1871, making Christmas an official day of rest. 19 years later, every state in America had adopted the same practice.

Double double yay

Yes like Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The JungleA Christmas Carol was more than just a novel but changed the very world we live in.

booksWordsChangetheWorld

So let’s get started with the review!

“I have endeavoured[sic], in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour[sic] with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”
Their faithful friend and Servant,
CD. [Charles Dickens]

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So the story begins with stating the fact that Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge’s old partner is dead. Without him being dead then we would not have a story.

Marley has been dead for seven years, with Scrooge carrying on the business. Scrooge is a cold-hearted businessman who only cares about money. Everything from appearance, demeanor, and personality is cold, cruel, harsh, and sharp.

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No one liked him and all avoided him, as who wants to poke the angry beast?

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Scrooge is miserly, and one way he is tightfisted is to keep his door open to make sure that his clerk does’t try to add more coal to their fire. Poor clerk, Robert “Bob” Crachit. It is freezing outside and even colder in the presence of Scrooge.

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That evening Scrooge’s nephew Fred comes to call on him. He wants to invite Scrooge to his house for Christmas, but Scrooge refuses. He doesn’t keep Christmas at all and sees no reason to celebrate.

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He also pokes at Ned’s “poor” life and wife.

“What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ’em through a round dozen of months, presented dead against you?”

You know I’ve seen a lot of posts lately by my age group saying the same thing. Christmas isn’t anything special but just having us be a year older, poorer, and unhappier. I think it is horribly sad.

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Let’s not Scrooge around, but be Freds instead.

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After Fred leaves, wishing Bob a merry Christmas, Scrooge is approached by charity workers. They appeal to Scrooge for help, but he refuses. He thinks the workhouse and poorhouse is substantial (I’m sure that sentiment was shared by many others before reading this novel.) He even goes on to say that if people die because of their poverty, than things would be better as less people on the Earth is best.

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Scrooge gives Bob a whole day for Christmas (his question now making sense as I earlier stated that it wasn’t a law to give people Christmas off until 1871), although angry at missing out on the extra work. But even though he is given his day to celebrate, Scrooge warns Bob that he must be in, even earlier the next if he wishes to keep his job.

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Scrooge then heads home that night and that’s when things get…a little creepy. As he goes through the foggy streets

Stay out of the forest!

The door knocker on his home changes until it becomes the face of Marley!

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But then it becomes a knocker again, just a figment of his attention.

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But later that night Marley appears. Scrooge tries to convince himself he isn’t real, but the Marley’s ghost is here!

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Marley has come to him to warn him. Scrooge sees the chains wrapped around Marley and is astonished. Why does he have such horrible things on him.

“I wear the chain I forged in Life,’ replied the Ghost [Marley]. ‘I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on, of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it…’Or would you know,’ pursued the Ghost, ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you wear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured[sic] on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!”

Scrooge tries to console Marley, that while he didn’t help others he was a good businessman. But that is not what life is all about. As the bible says:

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25

That love of money separates us in our relationships, as the greed consumes our soul.

“Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business…At this time of the rolling year,’ the specter said, ‘I suffer most: why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed star which led the wise men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!”

Marley warns Scrooge that he still has time to change. He is to be given the gift of three spirits He leaves and the air is than filled with ghosts, all those he knew in life and all covered in chains.

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The first spirit, The Ghost of Christmas Past, comes a young boy but also an old man.

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He has him touch his robe and the two travel back to Scrooge’s boyhood.

Scrooge is at school and alone as everyone else is gone for the Christmas break. As he sits glum and alone, a woman comes in to the room…it is his sister Fanny! He loved his sister dearly, and she him. She has begged her father to bring him home and he has finally agreed. They leave the boarding school to spend a very merry Christmas together.

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But Fanny didn’t live in the world long. She died after giving birth to her son Fred.

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Later they visit his old boss Fezziwig. Unlike Scrooge, Fezziwig always liked to treat his clerks right; having them stop on Christmas eve and throwing a party for all his employees. It only cost a little, but he understood the true meaning of Christmas. To give.

“He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome: a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up-what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great, as if it cost a fortune.”

Now as you can tell I love the language of this book, the characters, the moral–but I also love how when you read the book you see how the change starts in him so early in the adventure, transforming him at every step. Looking at the young boys, he wishes he was nicer to a boy singing Christmas carols. And seeing how great Fezziwig was, makes him ashamed of his own conduct with Bob.

Hmm...

Hmm…

But then he is taken on and sees the broken engagement of his fiancé, Belle. She breaks it off, as Scrooge no longer cares about her anymore. All he cares about is money.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Matthew 16:26

Man, I just think how hard that would be. To give up someone because you know it won’t work, and poor Scrooge. He really missed on a winner.

In the next scene he sees how much he missed out when he sees her, her husband, and the family all gathered in one very happy, merry Christmas bunch.

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On the second hour we have the Ghost of Christmas Present. The Ghost of Christmas Present is a giant, jolly and dressed in holly chowing down on Christmas treats.

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Scrooge touches his robe and off they journey. It is Christmas morning and many are at work in their shops or readying their homes. Christmas Present has a torch, that when he sees anger, quarrels, or any unhappiness; sprinkles fire from his torch bringing good humor and Christmas cheer.

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They go down to the Cratchit house, a family of eight, very poor, but full of Christmas cheer and happiness. They wear threadbare clothes poorly patched: have limited food and call it a feast; thank Scrooge for providing the feast even though he is cruel; and the youngest, Tiny Tim, is crippled yet is proud that in his body he can remind others of the miracles Jesus did and the true reason for the season.

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Scrooge becomes invested in the scene before him and little Tiny Tim. When he asks about whether he will live, Christmas Present tells him that looking to the future his crutch is the only thing he can see.

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They visit others, and then find themselves at the home of his nephew where he is having a fun Christmas dinner. They have lots of fun laughing, singing, and playing all kinds of games.

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After all:

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself.”

Scrooge would like to stay there, but that spirit’s time is over and he must return, the new one coming next.

The next is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, truly frightening figure in a black cloak that covers him and silent as the grave.

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The first place they go is to a dead man’s home who’s items are stolen by employees in the area. No one liked this man, his funeral had barely anyone and the items stolen went unnoticed. Debtors are happy that he is gone as the next master may be kinder.

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They then stop by the Cratchits, who are mourning the death of Tiny Tim.

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They stop by his old haunts, but he is not there. The spirit takes him to a graveyard where his tombstone lies. The man they all hated that are thrilled is gone, is him.

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He pleads with the spirit for another chance, for time, to be able to be a new person.

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Scrooge awakens to find himself home, in his bed. All the adventures having been done in one night and it being Christmas morning.

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Christmas time

He decides to begin making amends as soon as possible. First he orders the hugest turkey to send to the Cratchit family; he finds the charity workers from the day before and promises to give them a lot of money; and to top it off goes to his nephew’s house for dinner. They spend a wonderful night together.

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The next day he awaits Bob, who comes late to work. At first Scrooge acts angry, like he was going to fire Bob, but then wishes him a Merry Christmas, raises his salary, adds more coal to the fire, and helps all in every way he can.

“He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.”

Scrooge becoming a new person

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“And as Tiny Tim observed,

God Bless Us Every One!”

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I love this book. From beginning to end, the characters, the language, the writing, the descriptions-oh. Just a fantastic read!

 

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

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For more on Charles Dickens, go to The Taxman Cometh

For more on ghosts, go to They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

For more Cassandra Clare, go to Drug of Choice

For more bible verses, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

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So I know the book mentions the Christmas  carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, but I’m not going to talk about that carol as I already reviewed it last year.

So as Queen Victoria adopted her husband’s Christmas traditions, making the tradition of Christmas Trees a global tradition, I decided that is the song I am going to go with.

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Except I’m going to go with the traditional German version, O Tannenbaum.

This is an old song and wasn’t originally it wasn’t a Christmas song as Tannenbaum means fir tree and is instead about its symbol of steadfastness and constantcy. However, in 1824 Ernst Anschütz updated the song, changing the words to make it about Christmas; paired at just the right time when, as said before, Christmas trees were added into the culture of Christmas instead of just Germany.

I choose the version by Celtic Woman as I think this group is extremely talented.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more Christmas Carols, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

 

Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

So you all know how much I love Disney:

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And how much I love Jane Austen:

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So one day I was thinking about Disney and thinking of Jane Austen, when it hit me. If the Austen characters were Disney characters who would they be?

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So I thought and thought and thought some more. And below is my list of the perfect Disney/Austen crossover.

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A Prideful Beauty & the Prejudiced Beast

(Beauty & the Beast meets Pride & Prejudice: scenario one)

So Beauty and the Beast was the natural choice for the Darcy/Elizabeth storyline. In Pride & Prejudice Elizabeth becomes angry at Darcy, hurt by his comments on her looks, therefore fueling her dislike of him. Darcy, on the other hand, realizes he was wrong and falls for Elizabeth, slowly having to show her he is a good man, despite his bad first impression.

Just like in Pride & Prejudice, Belle has to work through her own misgivings of the Beast, his looks and her anger at him imprisoning her father. The Beast, first rude to her, realizes his mistakes and works on showing her his true heart and soul under the ugly exterior. Just like in P&P Darcy is seen as “a beast”, rude and cruel; but by the end of the book, and Disney film, we are loving both men.

Elizabeth Bennet = Belle

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Both Belle and Elizabeth Bennet are avid readers, close to their fathers, and not afraid to speak their minds. They both come from middle class family, as they have land (and farm but not for necessity). The Bennets have the estate of Longbourn, and Belle’s father Maurice have their country land. Maurice must have some money from his family as his inventions don’t work very well enough to bring money in.

As mentioned before, both characters create judgements on Mr. Darcy and the Beast based on their initial view of looks (Darcy’s scowl & Beast’s beastiel form) along with their behavior. However, over time this opinion is changed as their heroes save them (Elizabeth’s family saved when Wickham marries Lydia, and Belle is saved from wolves); along with both realizing there is much more to the man than their prickly personality.

Mr. Darcy = The Beast/Prince Adam

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Like Beast, Darcy is the only son raised in a wealthy family with a lot of power and expectations of him. Darcy also has a temper, but it is more controlled than the Beast’s. Both have to learn a lesson on character, the Beast’s inability to see more than the outer shell of a person, while Darcy’s is more of getting past a preconceived notion.

While they initially are prickly characters they change themselves in order to win the woman they love. Both also are willing to do things for the woman they love with no expectations. For Darcy he saves Elizabeth’s family for Elizabeth, and while he still cares for her, he doesn’t use that as a bargaining chip for marriage, allowing her to act on her own feelings. The Beast lets Belle out of the deal they made and allows her to leave, even though it breaks his heart. He doesn’t try to use their contract or the fact that he saved her life to try and manipulate her to stay.

Mr. Wickham = Gaston

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Although in the Disney film Gaston doesn’t play as much a love interest to Belle as Wickham was to Elizabeth; he is instrumental in painting an ugly picture of the Beast and getting the town riled up to destroy him. Yep, just like Wickham does. In fact I think this is one of the best Disney pairings. Both men are arrogant, care only about their outside appearance and women who will provide something for them. For Wickham he uses Elizabeth to spread lies about Darcy, and then tries to go after the very wealthy Miss King to have a poke at her money. For Gaston, he wants Belle to gain the ultimate trophy and to have children as good looking as him. Both care only for themselves, and use others achieve whatever they want.

For  more on Pride & Prejudice, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Number Two Look Just Like You

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A Little Prideful & Prejudiced Mermaid 

(Pride & Prejudice meets The Little Mermaid: scenario two)

Now you may wonder why I included this as another avenue for Pride & Prejudice. While I don’t see Jane as much of a main character in the novel, her role is important and I felt that Beauty and the Beast didn’t capture the whole of Pride & Prejudice, specifically her part.

So both The Little Mermaid and Pride & Prejudice address people of two different worlds falling for each other and others trying to keep them apart.

Jane Bennet = Ariel

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Out of all the Disney characters I see Jane as Ariel. Both are kind, naive, the prettiest of the family, and don’t always understand other’s views of them. For instance Grimsby heavily disapproves of Eric spending so much time with this unknown girl, of which Ariel blindly does not see. She also can’t tell that Ursula is EVIL. Mr. Bingley’s sisters despise Jane’s family and are rather cruel to her, but Jane too cannot see this, instead always giving them the benefit of the doubt. Both Jane and Ariel fall for a man out of their league: in Ariel’s case a human, while for Jane a much wealthier man; however that doesn’t stop them as they go after what their heart desires. Both also have issues with a parent: Ariel her controlling father and Jane her controlling mother. But in the end they are able to get win their man and happiness.

Charles Bingley = Prince Eric

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Prince Eric is a sweet, kind character, who follows his own ideas but is still susceptible to what others advise; just like Bingley. While Eric cares for Ariel and is set on making the girl who saved him his wife, he still listens to Grimsby’s cautions and of course is completely controlled by the Sea Witch’s hypnosis. Bingley tolerates all the negative things his sisters have to say, planning on persuing Jane, but he finally gives way to Darcy’s powerful persuasion. But both men when they realize they have made the wrong choice, go back and do all they can to win the woman of their dreams. Both marry girls that are below them (Jane financially, Ariel literally as in under the sea), but yet their equal (Jane and Bingley same personalities, Eric and Ariel are both royalty).

Caroline Bingley = Grimsby

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Caroline and Grimsby are very similar. As a sister to Charles, Caroline is constantly giving her opinion on matters. She is the one that criticizes Jane (and her family), along with pointing out what is improper. Grimsby is an advisor to Prince Eric, doing the same thing. Both aren’t listened to, as Charles and Eric ignore their rules and suggestions to follow their heart and own ideas.

Both Grimsby and Caroline also disapprove in the matters of the heart. Caroline sees Jane as too far below their family, along with carrying the extra baggage of her mother and embarrassing sisters. Grimsby also doesn’t approve of Ariel as they know nothing about her, and she can’t talk. Grimsby wants Eric to settle down, but with a more suitable person, liking Vanessa (secretly Ursula), just as Caroline wants someone better than Jane for her brother, Georgina Darcy. In aligning the two, she hopes that she and Darcy will grow much closer.

Mr. Darcy = Ursula

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I know, I know you are probably thinking what? Yes in this scenario of Jane Austen/Disney, Darcy doesn’t get a favorable character. Then again it is fitting that he is paired up with the villianess as if we were to look at Pride & Prejudice from Jane’s view, he is kinda the villain of the story.

Now the two aren’t exactly similar, Darcy has his best friend’s interest at heart while Ursula is after global domination. However, both are similar in the fact that they don’t want the romantic leads together. Darcy feels that Jane has a lot of baggage (mother + sisters) but that she also doesn’t really seem to care strongly for Charles. In The Little Mermaid, Ursula wants Ariel to fail to get Eric’s kiss and heart so that she can have her as a slave and exchange her life for Ariel’s father’s powers.

Now here is where the real similarity comes into play. These two are the only ones capable of true persuasion. In Pride & Prejudice, Caroline and Bingley’s other sister have done everything they can to point out why marrying Jane would be a bad idea. They constantly criticize, point out every faux pas, etc; but Charles will not listen. He’s in love. That is until Darcy advises him. Charles clearly relies more heavily on Darcy than his own intuition, and leaves Netherfield for London. In The Little Mermaid, Eric isn’t set on marrying Ariel, but he definitely starts thinking about her as more than a friend. He won’t listen to Grimsby, who keeps saying that it is a bad idea to get involved with a girl you know nothing about. The only thing that steers him away from Ariel, is Ursula’s transformation into Vanessa.

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective

For more The Little Mermaid, go to The Little Moreland

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A Frozen Sense & Sensibility

(Frozen meets Sense & Sensibility)

So I am pretty sure you saw this one coming, after all how many Disney films have two very close sisters (in relationship and age)? I couldn’t think of that many. Both Frozen and Sense & Sensibility revolve around sisters, one who’s feelings are heavily regulated (sense) while the other is more out and sharing whatever comes to mind (sensibility). A parent’s death strongly affects the family and shifts everything about them. One sister falls for a horrible guy, but luckily for her the real deal is waiting nearby. There also is a real comedy about a couple trying to match two off.

Elinor = Elsa

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Other than the ice powers, Elinor and Elsa are very similar. Both are the eldest in their families and trying to keep everything together in their home after a parental death (Elinor her father, Elsa both parents). While their younger sister is allowed to be more freewheeling, Elinor and Elsa do not share the same luxury. They control their emotions because if they didn’t either the family would fall apart (as in Elinor’s case she is the one taking control of everything) or there could be a lot of destruction (Elsa’s ice). Both experience moments of total release that shock all closest to them, Elinor when she reveals the pain she has experienced of her love for Edward, and Elsa’s finally “letting go”. In the end both stop keeping such a harsh rein on their emotions and allow themselves to open up and love.

Both also care deeply about their sisters, especially in the love department. Elinor is the only one who doesn’t trust the relationship with Willoughby, as she thinks Marianne is moving way too fast with a boy she just met. Elsa is the same way, refusing her blessing on Anna marrying a guy she just met and only knows a few things about. Besides that, both girls care deeply for their sisters.

And let’s not forget a similarity in names. (Just saying!)

Marianne = Ana

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Both are romantics who don’t believe in reigning in their feelings but expressing everything. As feelings guide them, they tend to rush into things not clearly thinking them through and acting on their heart. Marianne gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, and later when brokenhearted tries to go to after him in a storm, nearly killing herself. Anna also gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, along with trekking after her sister in a storm, whilst wearing summer clothing.

While both have bond with their sister they also are very distanced. Marianne doesn’t understand Elinor’s sense and feels she cannot express all her thoughts with her. She also knows her sister would disapprove of much she does. Ana has a more physical separation, as her sister avoids her, but also shares that sense of not understanding Elsa’s actions, along with being afraid of what she might think of her (check out that awkward ballroom scene where they run into each other).

Now let’s move back to their love interests. At first Marianne falls for a handsome, romantic hero guy she has just met, only to find out that he is only interested in one thing: money. As Marianne doesn’t have it, he leaves her. At first she is broken hearted, but she later realizes that she is better off without him and instead ends up with the guy who started out as just a friend, but turned out to be the grand prize. Ana follows a similar route as her “first love” turns to be false as he is only after her kingdom, dumping her when realizes he can get it another way. She too is hurt initially, but quickly realizes that her friend who liked her all along, is the real deal and perfect for her

They too share similar names. I’m sensing a theme here Disney.

Willoughby = Hans

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First of all sideburns. Seriously did Disney decide that Austen made better source material than the original fairy tale Hans Christian Anderson wrote?

Moving past that, both are men who are after a good time and searching for the women who will net their fortune. For Willoughby, he loves Marianne, but he loves his money much more. After spending all his time with her and making her believe he loved her (which some argue he did have strong feelings for her, his love of money just overpowered it) he ends up leaving her, trading her in for a model that could support his expensive habits. He also proves to be a true scoundrel, sleeping with other women and abandoning them with a ruined reputation and no hope of marriage or a happy future.

For Hans he too is lacking the wealth, being the 13th son, and is setting his eyes on a woman who will provide the lifestyle he wishes. While originally planning on marrying Ana, when an opportunity comes where he can have everything without her, he quickly dumps her for his second plan. His character is darker than Willoughby’s though, as he actually plans to murder both sisters to achieve his means.

 

Colonel Brandon = Kristoff

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While they may different financially (Colonel Brandon with his manor house and wealth while Kristoff is an ice cutter) everything else about them is very similar.

Both share sad backstories: Colonel Brandon losing the girl he loved, and after her death caring for her child from another man; and Kristoff being orphaned and on his own with a reindeer (although later adopted by trolls).

Both men are rugged outdoorsmen: Colonel Brandon does fencing, horseback riding, a falconer, a soldier, etc. Kristoff is an ice cutter, sledder, etc. They match brain with brawn, a winning combination. Both are also loyal, intelligent, appreciative of beauty and fine craftsmanship.

Unfortunately for them, they also are surrounded by well-meaning people that actual harm their chances rather than help them. For Colonel Brandon, he and Marianne were becoming friends and getting along very well…that is until Sir John and Lady Middleton try to push them together; upsetting Marianne and making her not want to consider Colonel Brandon out of spite. For Kristoff, the trolls don’t damage his chances as much, but they certainly do not win him any consideration from Ana in the moment they attempt to wed them off.

But how they are the most similar is the way in which they love so whole-heartedly that they are willing to do anything to ensure that the woman they love has her happiness. For Colonel Brandon, he loves Marianne but when he realizes that she cares for Willoughby he steps aside. He knows tons of damaging things about him, has enough money to pay him off, could do countless things to get rid of him; but if he makes Marianne happy that is all he cares about. He later does challenge Willoughby to a duel when he breaks Marianne’s heart, and of course does all he can to help her; never pushing or manipulating, but allowing her to make the decision of whether to pursue a relationship or not. With Kristoff he loves Ana, but as he knows she is engaged does nothing to truly hinder the relationship. He helps her get to Hans, as he wants only her happiness. But just like Colonel Brandon, when his lady is in trouble he is there to help her, coming to her rescue.

Both characters also have a scene where they are carrying the women they love through a storm as she grows sicker and sicker. Wow these are some serious parallels.

Sir John and Lady Middleton = Trolls

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These guys are like carbon copies of each other I swear! Sir John and Lady Middleton are sweet people, who heavily assist the downtrodden and financially insecure Dashwoods. They provide the family with a place to live, food they cannot afford, trips they would be unable to take etc. The only downside? They are busybodies and enjoy actively taking a role into marrying Marianne off, something that backfires as their involvement makes her lose any desire to even be friends with Colonel Brandon.

The trolls also take in some downtrodden, lost souls: Kristoff and Sven; adopting them and giving them a family, food, and a place to live. They also like to meddle, trying to marry Ana and Kristoff off, backfiring as their weirdness makes Ana say no way.

For  more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Frozen, go to I Could Kiss You

 

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Cindermansfield Parkella

(Mansfield Park meets Cinderella)

So Cinderella is a story we all have heard of. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters. She manages to escape her dreary life for a ball, where she meets the man of her dreams. But unfortunately there are others with a darker intentions making the same play for him.

Mansfield Park may be a story you have never heard of before, but it make shock you with the similarities it has. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her richer family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil aunt and two evil cousins. She falls in love with the man of her dreams, but unfortunately there is another with a darker heart making the same play.

Fanny = Cinderella

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This is the most obvious choice for this novel. Fanny Price is the niece to the Betram family, and was sent to stay with them. Instead of being treated as family, she takes on the duties of a servant because of her “bad blood” inherited from the low class, wastral father her mother married down to. She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Cinderella is the stepdaughter, and technically rightful heir, but instead of being treated as a part of the family, she too is treated like a servant to her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Like Fanny, Cinderella is the essence of swetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation. Both know that any kind of rebellion could spell disaster for them; with Fanny being sent back to the hovel she escaped and Cinderella being sold, institutionalized, or worse.

Both have absentee fathers: Fanny’s father is a drunkard while Cinderella’s is dead; who’s decisions ultimately caused their predicament. With Fanny her father being one of so low behavior and drinking all his money away; causes her family to have to send her somewhere else as they cannot care for her. This behavior causes those in the “richer” family to believe they have the right to treat her like garbage. For Cinderella, her father married evil incarnate who makes her life horrible.

Both fall in love with a man out of their league: Fanny with her cousin Edmund and Cinderella with the Prince. While initially their love interest is waylaid by other women; for Edmund the enigmatic and manipulative Mary Crawford, and the Prince with the other woman who claim to be the girl he fell for; those turn out to be false and the girls get their dream guy. And in true poetic justice, those that tried to hurt them end up getting their just desserts for their evil ways and bad decisions.

Mrs. Norris = Lady Tremaine

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In Mansfield Park Mrs. Norris is Fanny’s aunt and a horribly cruel woman. She loves her nieces Maria and Julia, treating them far better than Fanny; along with encouraging and rewarding their cruel ways, especially those aimed at Fanny. Lady Tremaine also encourages her daughter’s cruelty: from horrible nicknames, cruel jokes, and even assault. Watch that scene where they rip Cinderella’s dress, that was pretty psychologically and physically damaging.

Mrs. Norris enjoys bossing Fanny around and often asks her to do more than then her frail system can take. Lady Tremaine is the same way, asking impossible tasks as she takes true delight in seeing Cinderella suffer.

Both also are trying to ensure that their girls marry well, have a good fortune, and anything else that pleases them. Mrs. Norris encourages Maria’s choice in the wealthy, but dim, Mr. Rushworth and later her infidelity with Henry Crawford. Lady Tremaine is intent on marrying her daughters off to a prince, stooping to locking Cinderella up, breaking the glass slipper, and almost destroying her daughters feet.

Drizzella = Maria Bertram

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It was difficult to determine which evil cousin went with which evil stepsister, but I think I found the match that worked best.

Both Julia and Drizzella are favored by their aunt and mother. Both also are intense in going after what they want; Maria a rich husband and later a hot lover; Drizzella having no qualms about stuffing her foot into a strange shoe and pretending to be a women she isn’t in order to bag a prince.

Both are especially cruel to the heroine, being the bigger bully between them and their sister. Both also have restrained relationships with their sister, always in competition with them and trying to prove they are prettier, better, etc.

In the end, both lead unhappy lives, having to deal with the decisions they made. Maria losing her lover and husband, sent away to live in exile; while Drizzella has to live with her mother and probably has to take on chores as Cinderella leaves them behind with her prince.

Anastasia = Julia Bertram

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Julia and Anastasia are always being compared to their older sister and feeling they are lacking. Both try to compensate by trying their hardest to outshine their sibling, or at certain times out cruel them. Both are also not the favorite and have more insecurities about who they are and how they look.

Now one of the reasons why I felt these two were a good fit, is that both fall for someone their parents strongly disapprove of. For Julia, she runs off with her brother’s actor friend, eloping in Ireland. Her parents hate this, disowning her and wondering where they could have gone wrong. In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Anastasia falls for the baker, a man her mother strongly disapproves of. She doesn’t run off and marry him; but does go behind her mother’s back to get a makeover and go to a ball with him.

Edmund = Prince Charming

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Edmund is my least favorite of the Austen heroes and Prince Charming my least favorite Disney prince. It is only right that they are the two that match up.

While my dislike for Prince Charming comes more from a lack of character, my dislike for Edmund comes from his stupidity, easy manipulated spirit, and love of a fantasy that doesn’t exist. When the girl has told you time and time again that she could never marry a minister and wants someone with money, don’t think that “your love” can “change” her. Forget her and move on.

Sorry this was supposed to be a comparison. Both Edmund and Prince Charming were born into wealthy families with controlling fathers. For Edmund, his father does not want him to be a minister but chose the vocation he had picked out, and for Prince Charming his father wants him married and making grandchildren. Both men want to live the lives they have desired, with Edmund choosing to go into the church and the Prince waiting, and later choosing an unconventional bride.

Both men are stubborn, tenacious, and when they set their mind to something they will not be persuaded out of it. For Edmund it is the church, and later wooing Mary Crawford. For the Prince, he wants the women who fits the slipper even if they have to search every corner and crevice of the kingdom for her.

Both marry women that are kind, sweet, and of not completely low standing, but not quite on par with them. And both marriages turn out great for them, much better than their siblings’ (Edmund’s & Cinderllas’s).

For more Mansfield Park, go to Opening With…

For more Cinderella, go to If the Shoe Fits: Why Cinderella is Actually Awesome

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Tarzan & Emma

(Tarzan meets Emma)

I know that this pairing isn’t perfect but it is the only one I could find that correlated well together. None of the other Disney characters were even remotely like Emma or had the close relationship she had with her father.

Emma= Jane

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Emma is a wealthy woman and the apple of her father’s eye. She often does as she pleases, believing that her ways and knowledge are right. She sets her mind to tasks at hand and does all she can to achieve them, not always thinking things through or realizing that she cannot control every person’s actions.

Jane isn’t as wealthy but does come from a well to do family. She is also the apple of her father’s eye as they too share a great bond. When they are searching for the gorillas, she too exhibits some of the I’ll do what I think is best and doesn’t always make the best decisions. With Emma it was pairing up two people, with Jane threatening a baby baboon.

Both of these girls try to remold someone into what is the highest level of society, but it doesn’t quite go according to plan.

They also try to prove that they now better with their planning and scheming, but end up being proved wrong by someone who knows better; for Emma it is Mr. Knightley, and for Jane Tarzan.

Both girls have these amazing guys in love with them, but at first don’t realize and then secondly don’t really want it. Emma doesn’t realize for the longest time that Mr. Knightley is head over heels for her; and when she does she is at first ecstatic, but then doesn’t want it as she is worried about what her poor father will do without her. Knightley of course comes up with the perfect solution and the two live happily ever after. Jane also takes a long time to realize how much Tarzan cares for her and is then worried about how it will work out. Can he really handle English society? Could she survive in Africa? What about her father? In the end all works out.

Like I said not a perfect match, but the closest I could get.

Mr. Woodhouse = Professor Archimedes Q. Porter

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Both Mr. Woodhouse and Prof. Porter are single dad’s, having lost their wives to an illness. While this made Mr. Woodhouse shrink from fear and Prof. Porter live more dangerously; one thing is the same with both. It made them concentrate and rely more heavily on their daughter.

For Mr. Woodhouse he would have died from depression, if not for his two girls; particularly Emma. She remains by his side constantly, tending to his ever fear and worry; enveloping him with love and care.

For Prof. Porter, why do you think he has Jane as an assistant and not a man? Sure he could have done it because she was intelligent enough to handle it, but I think it goes deeper than that. I believe that like Mr. Woodhouse, he became so concentrated on his daughter after the death of his wife that he wanted her always with him. Training her in his field (whether society approved or not) and having her always journey with him. In fact that is why he decides to give up the modern world and remain with his daughter. He couldn’t stand being apart from her.

Mr. Knightly = Tarzan

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Some of you are thinking maybe Tarzan should be Harriet as both Emma and Jane take on pet projects in improving someone, but I think the Mr. Knightley/Tarzan comparison works too.

So both men are from wealthy English families, the ones to inherit all the land, manors, and titles. (Read Tarzan the book.)

Both sometimes give the appearance they don’t know what is going on; Mr. Knightley being older and as Emma believes uneducated in matters of the heart; while Tarzan seems too “stupid” by the animals to be a true ape and too “beastlike” by the humans to ever master English society. However they have a whole more going on that the other characters expect. First Knightley is spot on about everybody; Emma, Jane & Frank, Harriet & Robert, Mr. Elton; proving to Emma time and time again that he knows what’a what.

Tarzan too proves to everyone that not only is he capable of being King of the jungle, but mastering every aspect of human society (except sarcasm and lying). Jane may believe at first that she knows more, but quickly realizes the knowledge that Tarzan has is something much deeper than what she knows.

Both fall for the girls, Knightley for Emma and Tarzan for Jane; of which the women take forever to realize. Both men do their best to cultivate the relationship, but not push too hard that they may lose them. In the end all works out with them both gaining a father-in-law as well.

Frank Churchill= Clayton

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So while Clayton is much more evil being a poacher; both men are liars, betrayers of trust, manipulators, only care about themselves and what they need, etc. Ugh horrible men.

Frank Churchill is the son of Mr. Weston but was sent to live with his mother’s family after she died and adopted by them. He never cares to come see his father or spend anytime, being far too busy with his own things. The only reason he does come visit his father is that he is secretly engaged to a member of the community. But instead of letting people know of his involvements, he pretends to court another girl, Emma, playing with her heart and stabbing a knife through his “beloved’s”. He not only lies about that that his actions, but manipulates the whole community, just to protect his secret. What a jerk!

With Clayton he too comes along on the expedition to “help” the Porters and “protect” them from any attacks; but in reality that is all a lie. He too has a secret engagement, and engagement to trap as many gorillas as possible. Not only is he playing the Porters, but also tries to manipulate Tarzan to achieve his means; not caring what happens to anyone else. What a jerk!

For more Emma, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more Tarzan, go to Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines List

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A Sleeping Northanger Abbey Beauty

(Sleeping Beauty meets Northanger Abbey scenario 1)

So as I was thinking about what Disney films the characters of Austen matched up to, one of the firsts that popped up in my head was Northanger Abbey and Sleeping Beauty. I believe I might have mentioned some of their similarities in the past, but here we go with a full on comparison.

Catherine = Aurora

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Catherine Morland is a dreamer. While she spent her earlier years as a tomboy, participating in games with her brothers, running all around; as she grew she began to devour literature and began dreaming of the perfect man and adventure.

Aurora or Briar Rose, is the same. While her early days are more dramatic with a bethrol, curse, and having to be sent away; she grew up in the forest and don’t tell me she wasn’t a tomboy playing with the animals; running, climbing trees; etc. because I am 100% sure she was. As she grew older, she also began to dream; dream more than just the cottage hideaway and dream of her perfect match.

Catherine and Aurora are also kind, sweet, and adorable people. The type you love to have in your life.

Both Catherine and Aurora have “storybook” romances, as Catherine meets this tall, handsome stranger, with a great personality (Mr. Tilney) that no one really knows that much about but something about him seems to pull at her. For Aurora she meets a tall, handsome stranger in the forest, who has a great personality, (Prince Phillip) and is at first a little unsure as she doesn’t know him but something about him seems to pull at her heart.

Of course the road to love is never easy as John Thorpe has his eyes on Catherine, and Mr. Tilney’s father doesn’t approve of her as he thinks she isn’t wealthy enough for his son. For Aurora she has Maleficent who is trying to kill her and Prince Phillip’s father who thinks she is just some peasant girl.

Of course true love conquers all and all is set right in the end.

Mr. Tilney = Prince Phillip

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Mr. Tilney is Prince Phillip, no if, ands, or buts.

Both are sons to controlling fathers who want to dictate their lives to how they want it. General Tilney wants his son to not be a minister but to marry a very wealthy woman who will increase the family fortune. Prince Phillip’s father the King is set on Phillip marrying King Stefan’s daughter as it will not only unite the kingdom, but increase land and wealth. However, both of these sons have their own ideas. They don’t directly oppose their father in the beginning; as Mr. Tilney agrees to find a woman with wealth, and Philip does go through the betrothal ceremony; but when they find something they love and want they say good-bye dad.

In fact both of these men are willing to go to the end for who they care about. For Mr. Tilney, when his father discovers that Catherine isn’t as rich as he thought she was he sent her packing back home (she was visiting Miss Tilney). When Mr. Tilney returns from out of town he lets his father know that he is in love with Catherine, and that he will say good-bye to all his family money as he is in love and will marry her. Prince Phillip is the same way, willing to give up the throne for his lady love.

John Thorpe = Malificent

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While John Thorpe is a man with an agenda. He sees Catherine and assumes she is wealthier than she is, doing everything he can (and aided by his sister) to try and bag her. He is manipulative, a liar, and causes her pain in order to get what he wants. One of his most underhanded ways was to first get his sister to “become friends” with Catherine, gaining an inn; and second to try and make sure she made no other connections with anyone.

Malifcent also has her own agenda. She wants to hurt the royal family and curses a little baby to death. When it appears the fairies may have outsmarted her with sleep instead of death, she manipulates the game by pretending to be Aurora and capturing Prince Phillip, to keep him from freeing Aurora.

General Tilney = King Hubert

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General Tilney married for money rather than love and he has made that top priority for his own children. He wants them to increase the family coffers or else they get nothing! When he finds out that Catherine isn’t an heiress, he tosses her out of the house.

The King isn’t as cruel, but he too has definite ideas about matrimony. Marriage is a business deal and he wants his daughter-in-law to be Aurora who will bring peace, land, and money. He is most unhappy when his son wants to marry a peasant girl instead, but unlike Colonel Tilney he agrees to his son’s wishes. In fact he was planning on breaking the engagement, but the fairies sleeping spell took over before he could tell King Stefan.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

For more on Sleeping Beauty, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

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Northanger Aladdin

(Northanger Abbey meets Aladdin scenario 2)

So this one is probably something you never saw coming, but it just seemed to fit so right I had to include it as well.

Catherine = Aladdin

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Catherine is a girl from an okay family, but dreams of something more, some adventure. She is kind, sweet, and real gem. She is given the trip of a lifetime, when wealthy family friends include her on their trip to bath. There people assume she is richer than she is and she manages to catch the eye of the wealthier Mr. Tilney.

Aladdin is not as well off as Catherine, being an orphan living on the streets. He too wishes of better things; living in the palace, food, etc. Like Catherine he sort of is blessed with wealth, when he becomes master to a Genie. For both of these characters the wealth is only temporary; Catherine her trip and Aladdin his three wishes. With this new “life” Aladdin is able to recapture the eye of the princess.

Both have someone plotting against them and their happiness (for Catherine she has throne who is trying to get her for himself, while Aladdin has Jafar trying to remove him so that he can get the throne.)

Both have things turn sour when the real truth is revealed about them; although in Catherine’s defense she never lied about anything. Others lied about her. Anyways, that doesn’t stop General Tilney from removing her from the family homestead. In Aladdin’s case; his lies are revealed and when all find out he isn’t a prince, he too is sent packing by Jafar.

In the end they are able to overcome those trying to stop them and win the person of their dreams. Both fathers later relenting from their harsh stands.

Mr. Allen = Genie

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While Mr. Allan doesn’t play as large a role in the story as the Genie; both are instrumental in the changes they bring about in the main characters lives.

Mr. Allan not only finances the trip to Bath, but he and his wife also purchase some things for Catherine. He is the one who brings her into the world she would have been unable to visit; catching the attention of good and bad.

For the Genie he is more than a window dresser, he becomes Aladdin’s best bud. But like Mr. Allan he is the one changes the appearance and introduces the character to the world he had only previously dreamed of.

Mr. Tilney = Jasmine

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Both Mr. Tilney and Jasmine are headstrong people. Both have father’s who have a plan for their lives, but they are still allowed some wiggle room. For Mr. Tilney he must marry wealthy, but gets to choose whom. For Jasmine she has the stipulation that her man must be a prince, but her father has allowed her to pick which prince she wants to marry.

When both are faced with the challenge of falling in love with someone who does not fit the parameters set out by their fathers, they choose to ignore it. With Mr. Tilney, he risks disinheritance; while Jasmine chooses Aladdin anyway, causing her father to repeal his law.

General Tilney = Sultan

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As stated previously, both are men who are used to being in control. General Tilney first and foremost of his troops, and also his family having parameters they must follow. The Sultan has a whole country, along with his daughter.

Both desire their children to marry wealthy and titled, and are less then pleased when they pick someone below that. Both get very upset and threaten; but in the end change their minds. General Tilney allows Mr. Tilney to keep his inheritance after his marriage and the Sultan changes the law so that Jasmine can marry whomever she wishes.

Mr. Thorpe = Jafar

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This is probably one of the best comparisons as these men are very similar. Both are ambitious and want things out of their reach. For Thorpe he wants to marry way up, to a women who will take care of him with her inheritance; and Jafar wishes to be Sultan.

To get their ways both men do every underhanded thing they can think of. Mr. Thorpe talks Mr. Tilney down, saying how his family is strange, keeps Catherine away from the Tilneys, uses his sister to promote him; etc. Jafar also uses manipulation, hypnotism, thievery, and even plans to marry Jasmine (and then kill her) to achieve his means.

Both only care about themselves and achieving their own interests.

For more Northanger Abbey, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

For more Aladdin, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

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A Robin Hood Persuasion

(Persuasion meets Robin Hood)

These have similar parts of the story. Both involve sweethearts being unable to marry because of a war. Both have a story about a reversal of fortune after the war, changing their lives dramatically. Both also invove dim relations, and a power play with marriages.

Anne = Maid Marion

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Ann and Maid Marian are very similar. Both feel in love at an early age, but forgo marrying because a war was separating them. Even though they were apart from their sweetheart, they never stopped loving him or dreaming that he would come back.

Both are related to not the brightest or smartest of men. With Anne her father Walter is a horrible manager of money and only cares about his looks, for Maid Marian her cousin Prince John is the same.

They both find their relations trying to manuever marriages and relationships they do not desire. Sir Walter thinks that Mr. Elliot would be a good match, Anne however only has eyes for one man. For Maid Marian, Prince John pushes her at the Sheriff, but he cuts rather a lackluster picture next to Robin Hood.

Frederick Wentworth = Robin Hood

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These two’s characters don’t exactly match up perfectly, but are pretty close. While Fredrick starts off poor, but comes back from the war wealthy; Robin Hood is the opposite, being wealthy and coming home from the crusades with his home having been given away.

However, both has childhood sweethearts they wanted to marry, Frederick & Anne and Robin Hood & Maid Marian. They leave for war which prevents them from getting married and when they return they consider starting the relationship up again, but have some obstacles. For Fredrick, he has his pride and hurt over being rejected; for Robin he is now an outlaw which is no life for a Lady. Even with these issues, both continue to love from afar and once again, proving that in their case, absence allows the heart to grow fonder.

Mr. Elliot = Sheriff of Nottingham

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Mr. Elliot is the long estranged cousin and next in line for Sir Walter’s title, unless Sir Walter remarries and has a son. Mr. Elliot is all about himself and how he can advance, romancing three women to ensure his future. The Sheriff is another man that cares about titles and advancement. He commits some horrible acts in order to keep the job of Sheriff and stay on the good side of Prince John, where the money is currently coming from. Like Mr. Elliot, he isn’t below some bad acts; such as taking money from an injured man, hanging a priest, and cheating at a tournament.

Both characters also try to be a love interest to the main character, Mr. Elliot with Anne and the Sheriff with Maid Marian. They do this because of the advancements that it could bring them, for Mr. Elliot, Sir Walter may not care about siring a son, allowing his daughter to gain her mother’s title and Mr. Elliot Sir Walter’s title. And for Sheriff Nottingham, marrying the cousin of the King and Prince, that will only raise him up.

Sir Walter Elliot = Prince John

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So Sir Walter and Prince John are very, very similar. Both are pompous jerks that think they are more special than they are. And both have an affection for mirrors and their apperance. All Sir Elliot can do is look at himself, spending tons of money on mirrors and lotions. Prince John cares only about he how he looks as well, physically and with the public.

Both also have a bad sense of money, burning through it rapidly. Sir Walter loses so much money he has to move to Bath and rent out the family home. Prince John runs through so much money, he taxes the stuffing out of his people.

Both men also don’t care very much about their family, Sir Walter trying to keep all his children away, except his eldest who has taken on the “Lady’s” household duties; and Prince John who wants his brother to continue to be captured as he wants to stay in command.

For more on Persuasion, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

For more on Robin Hood, go to Oh Oh De Lally

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So I hope you enjoyed that list. It took a long time finding the perfect people, the best pictures. I started in September and just now managed to finish.

For more on similarities between Austen and other famous characters, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more Disney posts, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

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So today’s Christmas Carol is one that I love and one has been around for quite some time, Oh Come All Ye Faithful. 

This song was written in the 17th century, actual author unknown. Three claim to have written it: King John IV of Portugal, John Reading, and John Francis Wade. It was originally written in Latin and then later translated into English.

 It is a great song, uplifting and serene. I really enjoy the version by Celtic Woman.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to Joy to the World

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

Joy to the World

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Joy to the World is one of my favorite Christmas Carols. Not only because of the message:

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But how when I hear it, I just want to get up and sing or dance!

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Joy to the World was written in 1719 by Isaac Watts and later put to music in 1839.

It is one of the most published Christmas Carols and has been covered numerously.

This version is by Celtic Woman.

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For more Celtic Woman, go to Hark the Herald Angels Sing

For more Christmas Carols, go to Folio Fatigue

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

So you all know that It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite films, and my favorite Christmas movie right?

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I love Frank Capra in everything he directs, Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite actor, not to mention it has one of the best stories.

Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man. An angel, Clarence, is given the story of George’s life and sent down from heaven to help him. George has always dreamed of leaving his hometown and traveling the world. Unfortunately, no matter what he does he continues to be stuck there. He marries and helps the town in many ways, but doesn’t realize all the good he does. However, when a large sum of money goes missing and everything in his life seems to be going wrong he wishes he was never born at all. Clarence helps him by granting his wish and showing him how ugly Bedford Falls would be without him.

Now what does this have to do with a Christmas Carol? Well in the resolution they play Hark the Herald Angels Sing, the carol I have chosen for tonight.

Isn’t that fantastic?

Hark the Herald Angels Sing was written as a poem in 1739 by Charles Wesley. It went through a few changes throughout the years, being added to music by William H. Cummings and the Christmas Carol we all know and sing today.

I just love this Christmas carol as it has such a powerful message.

Here is the full version done by Celtic Woman.

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For more on It’s a Wonderful Life, go to I’ll Give You the Moon: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

For more on Angels, go to Angels We Have Heard on High

For more Christmas Carols, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People