Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's wrong with Mr. Bingley?

I've noticed an interesting thing in my facebook feed of late – among the endless stream of inane quizzes (seriously, who really wants to know what Pocky flavour you are, or which of Elizabeth Taylor's husbands you best fit?) are a couple of Jane Austen-themed quizzes. These purport to tell you which Pride & Prejudice character you are, or (if you're of the female persuasion) which Austen hero you "get".

Quite a number of my female facebook friends expressed disappointment that they didn't get Mr. Darcy as their companion of choice. One expression of annoyance in particular caught my eye – my friend had the result of Mr Bingley, the affable companion of Mr Darcy's. Her response? "Slightly dissatisfied"!

I'm surprised that Bingley gets passed over so much in favour of Darcy; there are no real flaws in his character, apart from considering others' opinions too highly. His heart is in the right place, and he never treats any of the other characters with anything other than genuine friendship and affection (something almost every other character is singularly incapable of). While monied, his fortune is the result of work, not lineage, and he seems to be loyal to a fault.

On behalf of all the Mr. Bingleys of the world: What's wrong with that?

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