s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Pride & Predictability?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pride & Predictability?

A few days ago, I was surprised to hear a writer on a podcast refer to Pride and Prejudice as a book with a predictable ending. (He didn't mean it in a bad way; it was in the context of a larger discussion on archetypal plots.)

However, I have to admit that I wasn't sure who Lizzie was going to end up with, the first time I saw Pride and Prejudice. (Well, it was probably the second time I'd watched it. Or maybe even the third. Knowing my mother and her love of Jane Austen, I probably "saw" it in utero. What I'm referring to is the first time I actually remember watching it.) Of course, I was pretty young, so maybe I just wasn't as aware of well-formed story structure as I am now.

Did you find the ending of P&P predictable when you first saw or read it?

a. I haven't seen/read it, so I can't comment.
b. Even though I haven't seen/read it, I still know how it ends. It's that culturally pervasive.
c. Yes, I found the ending predictable.
d. No, I didn't find the ending predictable, or, I only predicted the ending after point X in the story.
e. None of the above

Also, what version of P&P did you first encounter?

i. The (unabridged, uncondensed) book.
ii. The 2005 film (with Kiera Knightley)
iii. The 1995 A&E miniseries (with Colin Firth)
iv. The 1980 BBC miniseries (with Elizabeth Garvie)
v. Bride and Prejudice (the Bollywood remake)
vi. Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy (the Mormon remake)
vii. none of the above


At December 22, 2009 12:09 AM, Blogger Logan said...

Upon reading this prompt I realized that despite hearing Jane Austen titles and characters mentioned friggin' everywhere, I've somehow managed to avoid knowing anything about their plots. Perhaps I should take advantage and read them before they get spoiler'd.

At December 22, 2009 12:12 AM, Blogger Becca said...

I first was exposed to Pride and Prejudice in 11th grade English class reading the unabridged version. I thought it was dull. But I have issues with 19th century prose.
So my answers are:
e. I knew the ending before I saw it

At December 22, 2009 1:54 AM, Blogger Katya said...

Becca - Did you predict the ending before you read it?

At December 22, 2009 11:04 AM, Blogger Holly K said...


At December 22, 2009 11:26 AM, Blogger Crescent Les said...

di. Once Lizzie started having her lovey-dovey thoughts I thought that might clinch it -- but I still enjoyed how Austen made the ending occur.

At December 22, 2009 12:06 PM, Blogger Petra said...

I don't really remember whether I figured out what would happen with the main characters (I was exposed to it first in print, in late elementary school) but I was certainly surprised by some of the minor characters' endings.

At December 22, 2009 12:20 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

e. I don't remember whether I found it predictable or not. I was exposed to the movie early on (iii.). However, with other Jane Austen novels, I remember seeing parts of the movies with my older sisters, but then as a young adult I was surprised at the plots when I actually read them.

At December 22, 2009 12:56 PM, Blogger Sonya said...

I managed to dodge P&P entirely, until ... P&P&Z came up. I actually tried reading the original, unabridged version of the book, but never got to the end.

So, my first encounter with the ending was in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which you should add to your list.

I didn't find the ending so much predictable as what I expected. I'm not sure how to explain the difference, but it would have been strange if the book had ended differently. Maybe I just have a low opinion of the use of the plot twist in Austen's books.

At December 22, 2009 2:56 PM, Blogger Whistler said...

d. and vii. - some old black and white version of Pride and Prejudice is what I saw. Granted, this was before I could really understand complex relations in a movie...comparing a child's understanding of predictability to an adult's is problematic.

At December 24, 2009 12:34 PM, Blogger Mr. Fob said...


At December 27, 2009 10:41 AM, Blogger Jill said...

D ii, but I was a teenager at the time, so I might have found it more predictable today. Even if it is predictable, I don't think that that detracts from the social commentary.

At December 28, 2009 11:46 PM, Blogger Peter said...

D and i, respectively. And the second question needs an option for the Pride & Prejudice Wishbone episode.


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