Pretty is as pretty does...
Posted by Gayle on June 13, 1998 at 13:21:24:
In response to JA and beauty, written by Silja on May 27, 1998 at 13:29:43
] Maybe there are more readers of JA out there who wonder like me why JA stresses the point in all of her novels that the heroine is NOT the most beautiful girl around.
I am also new here and have really enjoyed the boards I've visited so far. I agree with what others have said here. I think that JA realized that there are no perfect people in the world. Those who did not have absolute physical beauty often have a prettiness of character that the truly lovel females lack (contrast Fanny Price to Mary Crawford). When she does have a pretty character (like Emma) she gives her a fair share of character flaws to work through. Not unlike life itself, huh? I also think that perhaps at some level she was trying to make the point that if a person is virtuous, that person becomes more attractive to the world despite the outward appearance. Haven't we all experienced that in life - someone who, on first acquaintance, we may have thought was not really very pretty or handsome, then we begin to know them and see the virtues in their character and over time they become more attractive to us? I know I have.
I don't think that JA was necessarily trying to make a moral point of "pretty is as pretty does" to her readers. I think she was trying to draw her characters from life, but this may have been her observation in life - that a virturous character is more important than and in time enhances a physical appearance. Just my opinion. Gayle
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