Posted by Claire on July 28, 1997 at 14:38:53:
In reply to Symbolism posted by Lesley on July 28, 1997 at 00:18:20
] ] 4. The whole of P&P2 is loaded with symbolism based on English folklore and folk songs, and I am sure that Andrew Davies and Sue Birtwhistle are absolutely aware of the nature of the Smith in folklore.(to put it briefly,the smith is renowned for his wisdom, strength and, er, prowess.) I am quite sure Colin Firth was aware of it too! There's a bit of a smirk on Colin's face as he says the line, which I always think shows that he has a something else in mind when he speaks it!
] ] This folklore thing is even more pronounced in Emma 3, IMHO
] I can identify with KathyF's discomfort because I had to recite the village blacksmith in 5th grade for English class. The whole class had to do this and my reciting partner was a girl named Susan Jenkins. We did pretty well but I was in agony the whole time!
] Caroline, I would really like to discuss this symbolism with you. It is one of my favorite topics. I've never been able to make my self read The Golden Bough but I am familiar with some English folk traditions. I am fascinated with neolithic Britain and the old (Pagan) traditions and how they were blended with Christianity. Just to let you know some of the books I have read: Mysterious Britain by Janet and Colin Bord, The Endless Calvacade by (can't remember), The Green Man by William Anderson, Neolithic Britain by (can't remember) and The Language of Clothes by Alison Lurie.
] Sadly, I am pretty clueless about the symbolism that you are talking about in P&P and Emma. I guess that the chestnut tree allusion was a sly joke forshadowing D&E's eventual union and Darcy's, er, prowess in that area.
] As far as Emma, the most obvious thing would be the Harvest supper that was substituted for the Wedding. And how about that Wedding cake thingie in S&S? Doesn't it symbolize fertility as well?
I don't think the conversation about the chestnut tree was symbolic; I think it was a welcomed bit of congeniality at an awkward moment -- a pleasant sharing of a memory in commom. I think the chestnut tree is one of the most beautiful trees in nature and a sight to remember when they are in full bloom, especially those in England. I remember those at the entrance of Lacock, across from Lacock Abbey in late May. They were gorgeous with luscious pink bloom that could be seen at a distance.
It's been five years now, and I remember the breath-taking sight, and several of my group remarked about them. It's sad that we have lost ours here in the States to a blight, a fungus, which I understand was imported here in the 1890's on Oriental chestnuts.
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