Scene: Me, at home, watching the BBC adaptation of North and South for the zillionth time.
Right, I can’t believe I’m watching this for the zillionth time. I’m unemployed and watching a glorified excuse for a soap opera. I’m officially a loser.
Hey, stop with the self-hatred, alright? I deserve a little comfort food. Besides, I’m not watching it, I’m just skipping to the good parts.
Ooh, like the part where Margaret tells Thorton to fuck off for being an arrogant exploitive capitalist?
Yes! I mean, no, well, it’s so sad! He totally gets his heart broken. It’s so romantic.
Oh, BARF. I can’t believe I’m actually enjoying this Victorian drivel. Gaskell’s totally ripping off Austen with the whole boy-meets-girl, girl-thinks-she-hates-boy-but-is-secretly-attracted-to-him plot.
She is not ripping off Austen. Sure, it’s the same basic structure, but it’s using it to examine class and regional conflicts, North vs South, working vs middle class.
Whatever. The heroine who seems to have smattering of social conscience about the lives of the working poor ends up capitulating to patriarchal mores and marries the capitalist pig! Everything stays the same!
He’s not a capitalist pig. He’s a mill-owner.
Anyway, where do you get off calling yourself radical? You’re as middle-class as Margaret Hale. Talk about arrogance.
All I’m saying is that as a feminist should you really be enjoying a heteronormative story that simply reifies the capitalistic status quo?
A) stop turning into the feminist police; B) John Thorton is a well-rounded character who crossed class boundaries to work his way up to mill owner so you can’t really call him a capitalist pig–
–oh, don’t even give me that individualistic boot-straps shit—
C) romance is a genre about individual psychology, not social revolution and D) considering all that, I think Gaskell did a pretty good job of looking at the bigger picture and criticizing the effects of industrialization on the lower classes.
Hmph. In a totally myopic, sentimental Victorian sort of way.
It was 1855. Give her break. Besides, you have to admit that it’s refreshing to have a smart, outspoken heroine who seems to actually eat three meals a day.
Okay, so Daniela Denby-Ashe is gorgeous. Point taken. But it’s still a variation of Man Domesticated/Reformed by Good, Virtuous Woman.
Oh, SHUT UP. It’s the part where he gazes longingly after her carriage as she leaves Milton forever!
You’re really gross, you know that? What kind of lesbian are you?
Better than being a pendantic, policing pain in the ass. Besides, you have to admit that kiss at the end is really fantastic.
Totally historically innaccurate–no way they’d be making out in broad daylight on a train platform–but yeah, definitely a hot kiss.
See? Romantic always wins in the end.