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Identifying with the Enemy

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Caroline Bingley is a big, fat b-word. As a high school student, I feel justified calling her that, seeing as her attempts to command Mr. Darcy’s attention throughout the novel often stoop to the level of a high school girl (ahem, me, ahem). After all, Hell hath no fury like a hormonal teenage girl scorned.

Still, I can’t help but sympathize with her. Here she is, a well-bred, well-to-do lady with a huge crush on this super hot guy. It’s like the basis for every problem that has ever occurred to me in high school. Then, out of nowhere waltzes in this uncivilized, pretentious, exercise-inclined girl and, suddenly, the man for whom you have nursed a particular soft spot is swept away with one look at her “fine eyes”. Yes, I understand completely, Caroline.

Like you, poor Miss Bingley, I have coveted most fervently the boy of my dreams (blue eyes, dazzling smile, jaw line that could cut marble-- you know the type). And much to my disheartenment, I have also been upstaged by a girl who had my man drooling with one flip of her lustrous hair. And yes, like you, Caroline, I have employed all my dastardly feminine wiles, including, but not limited to: gossiping about said girl, teasing said boy about said girl in hope to discourage affection, persuading my brother to not marry sister of said girl, despite their apparent adoration of one another. Alright, just kidding about that last one.

In no way do I condone Miss Bingley’s actions. Quite the contrary, I’m all for Elizabeth and Darcy living happily ever after. I can just understand what it’s like to feel the keen sting of unrequited affection. Heck, that’s what high school is for. But don’t worry, Caroline. Some day you’ll find an equally well-connected young gentleman who will put up with your witchy ways. I can only hope the same fate for myself.



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