I’ve been rereading “Pride and Prejudice” for the umpteenth time.
I am not one of those Austen-land level fans (though I’d totally spend a week at an English manor wearing Empire Waist dresses and having tea.) But I have to appreciate the brilliance behind that book as much as the next person.
Jane Austen loves the Cinderella story. Poor girl attracts rich man with her charms of sense and character, and they eventually live happily ever after.
Even if a lot of the ending does seem like wish fulfillment, it’s the best kind of wish fulfillment. We all know how it should end, and in books if no where else, endings ought to be what should have happened, at least 90% of the time.
I had no problem with wish fulfillment endings before I started watching movie reviews on YouTube. Then I was introduced to how critical my generation tends to be.
And the one who aren’t critical seem to blindly like whatever movie panders to them, be it good or bad.
I would not be the one to say we should all just drop our differences and get along because sometimes there are legitimate points on both ends of the spectrum.
Too much criticism renders anyone, but especially a youth, cynical.
No criticism at all renders anyone gullible and empty headed about art.
Wish fulfillment is one of the main things that gets complained about.
“Oh that was convenient.” “She is such a Mary Sue.” “This ending makes no sense at all.”
My problem more often is that I feel that the movie provides its happy ending just to avoid making people angry, and doesn’t bother to work it out so that it’s convincing.
Heck, all the difference between a good ending and a bad one can be made with just the actors. In book form that’s a little harder to pull off.
But my question is what is so wrong with wish fulfillment anyway?
Don’t we all want to get what we wish for? Isn’t that how we define a wish?
On what planet then do we complain about getting what we wanted?
On Planet Earth of course.
I guess people only complain when the fulfillment was what someone else wished for, not them.
I can’t argue with that myself. I certainly prefer endings I wanted, but there have been times when a different ending works out well and I have to admit that.
But in life, many of us just want to get what we want.
Though to be honest, I wonder if most young people know what they want now. The ones I know don’t seem to have more than a vague idea. I know I only have bits and pieces. Even older folks don’t seem to have a clue what they want.
If you went up to ten different people and asked them “What do you want? I mean really want? More than anything else in the world?” Most of them would give you either a stupid answer that they clearly didn’t think through, or possibly a blank look and a shrug.
For example. If you were to say the next iPhone, that would be a stupid answer. You want other things more than that, even if you don’t know it.
You would be amazed at how few people know what they really believe, but even fewer know what they want.
There are some tried and true answers to the question. All of us want love, in some form or other. We all want meaning. We all want to be important to someone.
Notice that those three elements primarily make up Happy Endings.
Then there are our more specific dreams.
Lot’s of young people have dreams now, very diverse dreams. Many of them even have the drive to fulfill those dreams. Oddly enough, no one is calling this Wish Fulfillment.
Even though we all know from Cinderella that a dream is a wish your heart makes.
I was annoyed by the song after a certain point, but I think she’s right about that.
It really is isn’t it? Your heart has a wish to do something, that becomes your dream.
For many of us it’s been a long time since we had a dream.
We find a place in life and in line that we can make work, and it suits us to a degree, and it’s fairly safe because we know a lot about it, and that’s where we decide to stay.
For some of us our comfort can even be in pushing ourselves to new degrees of excellence, provided it’s excellence in an area we feel we have a shot in.
But Pride and Prejudice might show us this, that it’s only when we find our perceptions turned upside down and inside out that we begin to finally see our way clear to what we should be.
Maybe it’s when we’re cornered and have to face up to our own flaws that we start to find a way to push past them.
I had such an experience recently, more then one as it so happens. I have more coming I am positive.
If I might wax philosophical, I think that Happy Endings are what we prefer because we are meant to have them.
I think that we have to work towards them, as Sabrina Carpenter sings in “The Middle of Starting Over.”
I think also that they come to us.
In every human life I believe there is an intertwining of the results of our own choices, and the events caused by a higher power.
The Bible says we partner with God. I’d have to say the evidence points that way.
Wish Fulfillment is not a bad thing when it is born out of someone becoming the kind of person who wishes for the right things, and a belief that righteousness is, in the end, rewarded.
Jane Austen’s books would all be examples of such a blending of ideas.
That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.