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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Some Things Never Change

So as I was saying Marianne is not into Edward as a romantic hero.

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Here is a list of Edward’s shortcomings according to Marianne

  • He’s not handsome enough
  • Doesn’t have the right airs or manners.
  • He is tame with no fire (i.e. too much of a nice guy)
  • No taste in music
  • Doesn’t know anything about art
  • He’s not exciting

Now who does Marianne sound like? An average teenage girl.

Say What

Yep, this book came out around 200 years ago, yet it is as relevant as today. Does that surprise you?

MarshallHIMYMmindblown

Let’s take a closer look at what she wants in a guy. First of all she doesn’t like Edward because he isn’t handsome enough. Now there are teenage girls who prefer substance over looks, I have to admit I was one as I liked guys who weren’t the hottest ones in school, but most young girls it’s what they see on the outside. I mean think about the guy in your high school that everyone wanted to date? Were they a nice person? Most of you will answer that as no. Nope, they tended to be all about themself.

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Now I’m not saying you won’t be able to find a hot nice guy, I’m just saying that sadly most girls don’t realize until after they have had their heart broken that looks are not as important as what is on the inside of a person.

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Yep, the heart or soul of a person is the most important thing.

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Marianne is also not into Edward because instead of showing fire and spirit, his eyes only show intelligence and virtue. You see Marianne doesn’t want a smart, nice boy. Nope, she wants that bad boy.

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Now having that bad boy can be exciting and all, but when push comes to shove they won’t care about what’s best for you but what’s best for them. Their crazy adventures will end up causing trouble for you, the “exciting” impulsive life will eventually become a bore, and their free spirit will become commitment phobia. Sadly, most young girls fall for this kind of “love” 9really attraction) instead of going with someone who is stable, reliable, and an all around guy good for you.

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And those are the guys that are the best.

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Marianne is also upset at his supposed disinterest in books and music.

“I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in ever point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.”

Now I’ll be the first to say that I love movies, books, and music.

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But is that really what you want to base your relationship solely on?

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Now I’m not saying it isn’t important. I mean I love reading, it is such a part of me:

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And we all know my stance on film:

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And music…well

Music

But that isn’t what I base a whole relationship on. The person has to read, but what they read isn’t as important as the fact that they are doing it. Loving film and having the ability to marathon is definitely needed as I like to do that as well. Having some similar tastes in music, mostly in they have to be willing to listen to my oldies and classics. But all this is superficial. What is more important is how they treat you.

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Do they see you as equal or belittle you? Do they value your opinions or not care what you think about? Are they willing to value you and your time together or do they not care as they could get “any old girl”? Do they share the same values?

Hmm

Hmm

True back in Regency era, they didn’t really care about that. It was more about bloodlines, dowries, etc. But this should be the way it is. As a person of any age looking for the perfect guy, you need to make sure that you push through the superficial, outer layer and look instead at what is underneath. See what truly makes up that person. Or else you will learn the hard way and get your heart incredibly crushed (or worse) in the process.

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Remember:

PerfectGuy

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So how does this turn out for Marianne?

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You’ll just have to wait and see.

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For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to Sisterly Roles

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to To Edward or Not to Edward?

For more on being old fashioned, go to Treat Her Right

For more quotes, go to Adventure Time

Fanning All Over the Place

fangirl

Yes, its true.

I am such a fangirl and have so many, many, many fandoms that I belong to. They take over my life! I mean if you think of all the hours that are put into being a massive fan, it’s astounding!

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Here is a list of  things (alphabetically) that constantly take over my life. I’m actually breaking this up into a series of posts, as just one was tooooo much.

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Anne of Green Gables Series

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I love Anne of Green Gables. It is one of my most favorite book series and books turned into films. The book takes place in Canada in the early 20th century. Marilla and Matthew Cuthburt, two elderly people, have decided to take in an orphan boy to help take care of their farm, Green Gables. When Matthew goes to pick the orphan up, he finds a girl instead of a boy! A redhead named Anne. Anne proves to be widely entertaining, spirited, imaginative and a whole lot of fun.

Anne is just so awesome how she is always trying to find a kindred spirit and using her optimism and sweetness in everyday life. She also has an overactive imagination and gets herself into the best scrapes.

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All my friends say that I am just like her, which I have to say is definitely true. While I’m missing the red hair; I most definitely have the same temper, imagination, and tendency to get into accidents/scrapes.

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Yep I totally would have whacked him too!

So the first book Anne of Green Gables, is about her life as she lives on Prince Edward Island. You get introduced to her character along with meeting the rest of the people who live on the island. She studies hard and ends up getting a scholarship to college, but things happen that makes her decide to wait and become a teacher for the present.

In its sequel Anne of Avonlea, it chronicles her time as a teacher on the island, and her desire to become a writer. She continues to get into scrapes, even though she that being older should make her wiser. Her family also takes in twins, Daisy and Davy, to raise.

In Anne of the Island, Anne goes to college and it chronicles her years there. She also gets six proposals.Yes, not one, not two, not even three, but six!

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In the end, she agrees to marry one of her suitors. I won’t tell you who, as you have to read!

Anne of Windy Poplars she can’t get married right away as her fiancé is still in school. She goes to Windy Poplars to teach and has to contend with the politics of the areas, as certain “old families” run the roost.

Anne’s House of Dreams Anne is married and has to deal with the issues of early marriage, running a home, and eventually kids. But that doesn’t stop her from her earlier imaginative games and friendmaking.

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Anne of Ingleside details her married life, spotlights her children, and visits old friends and flames.

Besides the wonderful, imaginative, and fun Anne; you also have one of the best romantic heros ever. Gilbert Blythe.

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Yep, I’m Anne. I know I say stuff like that all the time, but if I had to pick a fictional character I’m really like, it is her. We are the same although I live about a hundred years later than her. (Yeah an exact 100 years, spooky).

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Which means that Gilbert is absolutely perfect for me. Still looking for him. Someday I’ll find him.

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Definitely check out the books and the films. Just an FYI the films move away from the stories, and the first two are the only good ones.

For more on the Anne of Green Gables seriesgo to Part XI: A Movie Lines List’s Excellent Adventure

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Austenite/Janeite

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Do I really need to explain this? I mean look at the title of my blog and half the things I write about. I am a huge Austenite and love everything Jane Austen.

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Jane Austen was an amazing woman who faced all kinds of adversary. She grew up with money, but ended up living in poverty. She fell in love with a high class man, but his family intervened and sent him away. She was given another opportunity to marry a wealthy man that would have saved her and her family from destitution, but  she couldn’t marry him as she didn’t love him.

Love Passion

She continued to wait for her true love; although he never walked back into her life. Her first book she ever wrote, Northanger Abbey (then called Lady Susan) was published post-mortem. Her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published. In fact, it was published after she wrote her third novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Austen wrote not only great stories that have stood the test of time, but wrote about real issues and her more radical thoughts/philosophies, that wouldn’t be as easily accepted if spoken in person.

There is so much more I could say, but that would take several posts to fill it up. I recommend reading On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christnas from the Austen Novels to read more of my love for Jane Austen’s work and her characters.

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For more on Jane Austen, go to Opening With…

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The Avengers

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Now I may be one of the few that are far more interested  in The Avengers than Magic Mike but I see that as a good thing. The Avengers are another part of the Marvel (now Disney) family. The comic originated in the ’60s, with the team consisting of Iron Man, Ant Man, Wasp, Thor, Hulk, & Captain America. Superheros from all the Marvel comics have joined up as team members through the years, such as Kitty Pryde and Wolverine from the X-Men. Even solo acts like Spider-man, have joined up for a while.

Now the film was amazing. The Avengers is one of the best superhero films to come out.They did an outstanding job as the film gave each superhero its chance to shine and made it about them as a whole, instead of one individual (that’s how it’s done X-Men. Yeah I’m looking at your 2000 series that was really only about Wolverine). Plus you have some extremely hunky guys. There is Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

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LOVE IT!! Check it out!

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Back to the Future

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I LOVE Back to the Future. Words cannot describe what this film means to me.

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After the first time I saw this film, I immediately became obsessed with it. I memorized every single line in the films. I would comb through the TV listings, and watch it every, single time it came on. One time I even got up at 4:00 am! That’s commitment right there. And why not be obsessed with it? Duh, it’s AWESOME!

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The film is a combo of Science-fiction, historical fiction, the ’50s, and the ’80s. All things I love and hold dear. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), is the youngest of the McFly household and growing up in 1985. He wants to be a musician but is afraid of failing. He’s close friends with amateur scientist and millionare, Dr. Emmet Brown, Doc for short. Doc has finally created the time machine he’s been working on for 30 years. And put it in a Delorean.

Back to the Future time machine delorean marty mcfly doc

Before he can set out on his trip through time, Doc is killed by the terrorists he bamboozled for uranium. Marty jumps in the car and takes off, accidentally going back to 1955 and messing up his parent’s meetup. If he doesn’t get them back together, he’s history.

What’s not to love? Comedy, romance, science-fiction, great music, clothes, Michael J. Fox? Plus amazing gags!

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This film was a hit and followed by two more films. In Part II Marty goes to 2015 to fix something, but indadvertedly causes his present to be destroyed. When he goes back to 1985, he finds out his father is dead, mom is married to Biff, and the whole town is run by Biff and is a hell hole. He then has to go back to 1955 in order to refix the time stream. But, it won’t be as easy as before, he can’t run into himself or else the whole time-space continuum will be destroyed!

Part III, Marty discovers that the Doc from 1985 has gone back to 1885. He then has to get the 1955 Doc to help him out and send him to 1885. When he gets there, he discovers that Biff’s however many grand pappy, “Mad Dog” Tanner, is planning on killing Doc.

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They not only have to figure a way to get back without any modern convinces, but to make the issue even harder…Doc falls in love with a 1885 woman. Will they survive the Old West? Will Marty ever get back to 1985? Watch to find out!

Great mix of the ’80s & Western film

I visited Universal Studios in 2012 and was devastated to see that they had hardly anything from Back to the Future. The clock tower was destroyed in that big fire, the ride had been taken out for “newer” things, and you couldn’t find any cool souvenirs. When I went in 2013, things were different. Universal Studios has a studio museum that they constantly move props in and out and they had a whole Back to the Future collection. I was having a ball, in fact I wanted to climb over the plexiglass and sit in the Deloran.

Here are the clock tower building plans

BacktotheFuture clock tower blueprints

And the beautiful car

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For more on Back to the Future, go to Just a Friendly Reminderhearts banner

Batman

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So I love Batman. He will always be my favorite of the DC comics. And I like all the Batmans!

So here we have a man who’s parent’s die and cause him to become a vigilante; always hoping to finally destroy crime as that was the thing that killed his parents. He is a billionaire, but other than that a normal person. I mean, unlike Superman who has a gazillion powers, Batman relies on his mind, martial arts, and inventions.

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He also has his strain of the double life. Just like Sir Percy Blakeney aka The Scarlet Pimpernel, Don Diego de la Vega aka Zorro, and Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia from Atlas Shrugged. Batman knows that this charade of a playboy not only hides his intelligence, but the fact that he is be a main piece in destroying the crime. It has to be hard to be thought of and treated “as the richest man and the most spectacularly worthless playboy on Earth” (pg. 56, Atlas Shrugged). But Batman knows that it is a must to continue his work.

Sadface Batman

So there are many versions of Batman and I pretty much love them all.

So besides the comic books you have Batman (1966 – 1968), starring Adam West. This is a hilarious show as it just makes you giggle. It’s fantastically corny.

Then you have Batman (1989) starring the handsome and wonderful Michael Keaton. In this we have Batman taken to the big screen in a darker way, with none other than the Creeper McCreepy Creep Jack Nicholson as the Joker. He is one of the best as his uber creepiness in real life was magnified on the screen. A great film, you should check out.

In Batman Returns, Michael Keaton is back and facing up against Christopher Walken, the Penguin, and Catwoman. I never really liked the penguin’s part in this film, but Michelle Pfeiffer is the best Catwoman ever. Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway wish they could be as awesome as her. Definitely worth seeing for her and Michael Keaton.

Batman Forever totally sucked. Val Klimer is too stiff and monotone as Batman, Nicole Kidman the therapist is a sex-crazed woman who needs to help solve her own issues before getting into others, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face is just…no wrong. Wrong. The only bright spot is Jim Carrey as the Riddler. He was absolutely perfect, and the only reason I watch this film.

That’s probably how most of us fans would act when we meet out idol.

Batman and Robin is…its a mess. I know it. It is full of puns, lots of stuff makes zero sense, but I LOVE IT! I can’t explain it. I find it absolutely hilarious. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Its more of a parody, and I love it.

Besides that you have a some great cartoon series that came out. Such as Batman: The Animated Series. This has to be one of the best versions of Batman ever made. It really develops into the psyche and relationships of Bruce, Dick, Barbara, Comissioner Gordon, etc. Plus you have great villans like the Joker, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, etc. It is definitely worth a watch, and it is free on Amazon Instant Watch. I have my own favorite episodes, but Nostalgia Critic really hits on the best ones in the series (although I would add Harley & Ivy episode to that list).

Then we have Batman Beyond. In this they took the story to a different level. It was very dark and used the colors black and red only. It takes place in 2039, and Bruce is all alone. All his old friends have died or left him alone. Terry McGinnis gets involved with Bruce accidentally, and eventually Bruce trains him to become the new Batman and avenger of Gotham City.

Intense!

And then we have the new Batman films. Now I really liked Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises however, but I’m like the only one. I just couldn’t get into it and hate how they chose to end with Bane after the Joker. Come on now, seriously. But I thought the first film was great. The only issue I had with the second film was that they didn’t give Two-Face enough screentime, and that he didn’t argue with himself as much as he should have. He didn’t have the same rooted issues. But all in all they were really good.

Batman-Begins

And I’m super pumped for Batman vs. Superman. Bring on the bat!

Batman NaNaNaNa

For more on Batman, go to That Girl is Poison

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Bones

bones

I love Bones because of one reason really, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth played by David Boreanaz.

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He is AMAZING!

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Bones is about forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who gets hired by the FBI as a consultant to help them solve cases. There is also an amazing secondary cast: wild, artistic, Angela Montenegro who does facial reconstruction; Dr. Jack Hodgins, an entomologist who spurned his family’s wealth and “buisness” to study science; Dr. Zack Addy, genius graduate student who is unfamilar with “social norms”; and Dr. Lance Sweets, the young, handsome, FBI psychologist who helps them out.  It is a great show, that I highly recommend.

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Ah, the life of a fangirl

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Stay tuned for Part 2!

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For more on my fangirlness, go to How I Differ from Others

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Peeta Please!

Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Laura 1944

Murder is my favorite crime.

So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.

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This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I decided I would.

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So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.

This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.

So anyways, on to the film.

So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).

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He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.

Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.

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1) Waldo Lybecker

Waldo Lybecker Laura Innocent

Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.

“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”

But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.

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Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Hmm…

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2) Shelby Carpenter

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Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?

Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?

Laura Hunt: Yes.

Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?

Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!

Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?

Laura Hunt: What about next year?

Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?

Laura Hunt: What about dancing?

Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”

The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.

Sound suspicious

Or is it?

It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?

Laura Interviewing Shelby

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3) Ann Treadwell

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Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.

Laura what I want

When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

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As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.

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One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?

When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.

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It’s Laura!!!

Laura Switch on you dames

But wait…

What!

But if that’s Laura? Who is…?

Who is the dead body?

They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.

Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura

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4) Laura Hunt

Laura New Hat trying it on mirror

So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.

Laura Smart Intelligent woman Dopes

But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!

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She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.

that girl is going after my man she is going to wish she was never born

Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.

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Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!

Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

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What does this mean? Who is the killer?

You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Laura

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!

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For more on Laura (1944), go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off

For more on Vincent Price, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more mysteries, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films based on books, go to But the Book, It Will Never Close…

For more films based on a play, go to Some People Are Just Born Evil

Belle of the Ball

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Day 3) Your Favorite Disney Heroine

Belle

Belle

 

Belle is so awesome! She’s beautiful, rocking her ponytail. Belle is just so sweet, smart, and able to hold her own against skeezy guys.

The best thing about Belle is that she just is herself. She loves to read and even though people find it strange is always out getting her stuff, rereading her favs. (Just like me)

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Instead of settling for the “hot guy” she turns him down, set on waiting for something real. She is intelligent and okay with being that way. It can be hard to find people who “get her”, but who cares.

She is willing to give her life for her father (she didn’t know that the Beast wouldn’t hurt her).

Take me instead

Take me instead

She won’t allow the Beast to yell at her or order her around

Beauty and the Beast

But still thanks him for everything

Beauty and the Beast

She starts becoming the beast’s friend, overlooking everything “ugly” about him and seeing his true heart.

Belle could

Belle could

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When he lets her go, she comes back. Just like she promised.

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And the end their love goes on. She’s awesome! So ya, Belle is awesome. She and I are so much alike.

 

To see who you are go here

To see who you are go here

Yep that’s pretty much me all over. And guess what guy is perfect for me:

If you want to see who your prince is, go here.

If you want to see who your prince is, go here.

And looky here!

Belle and the Beast

To see what your Disney relationship is go here.

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For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Disney Princesses, go to A True Princess

For more on Disney Princes, go to Prince of a Man

For more on Disney, go to Fashion Show

For more films based on Fairy Tales, go to I’m Not Gonna Lose Her Again

For more Quizzes, go to My New BF

For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Unbound (The Wild Ride)

For more Book-y posts, go to My Precious