Fun post caught my eye this week. A Chinese reader talk about why she really connects with Jane Austen. The part of this article that fascinated me wasn't the part where she talked about how she connected with it as an individual but rather how she saw Chinese culture relected in the novels:
She talks about how:
I just don't see myself in her novels though; I see the Chinese life in them:
· Every Chinese knows a well-meaning mother like Mrs. Bennett who cannot rest until all her daughters are married.
· What Chinese family won't suffer an upheaval should a member do a Lydia? A Chinese father won't be as civil as Mr. Bennett though to welcome the newlyweds back so soon after such a scandal that has brought the family shame.
· The concern about a man's fortune may seem offensive and unromantic to the modern Western reader but it is a cause for consideration in a contemporary Chinese family for the same practical reason that people in Austen's time had.
· There is still the preference for a male heir in the Chinese family but fortunately no Chinese daughter would be deprived of her inheritance like the Elliot and Bennett women in case there is none.
· The situation of Fanny Price being taken in by better off relatives is not uncommon to the Chinese tradition. A family need not even have better resources to raise a relative.
· Engagements are considered as good as a marriage commitment in the Chinese tradition and breaking it off would cause shame. Eleanor's firm grasp of palabra de honor sits well with the Chinese.
· Elinor Tilney would find kindred spirits among the Chinese women who fall in love with someone not approved by the family.
· Emma's strong sense of filial obligation would earn her a place of honor among the Chinese wherein the younger generation has to take care of the older generation.
· A Chinese Harriett of unknown background may be welcomed as a family friend but would invite Mr. Knightley's arguments should a family member wants to marry her.
Enjoy your week and I'll see you next time - same bat time, same bat channel....