Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…

…or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no. It is an ever fix-ed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…”
(Wm. Shakespeare, quoted in that Inestimable Film, Sense and Sensibility)

We watched a rather twee and twaddlesome romantic movie last night. There were funny moments, and a good moral message, but one thing stood out to me after we had finished it:
The man had no faults. He was always patient, always kind, always right, always gentle. There is no reality in such characterization. Seeing such a poor portrayal made me reflect (as many things do) upon Jane Austen’s true command of characterization. We love her heroes, but they are not perfect. Mr. Darcy will forever battle his pride. Edmund Bertram has a propensity to misjudge character. Mr. Bingley has to learn a strength of character.
These men do not become less worthy because of their faults. Indeed, their recognition of these problem areas makes them more endearing (in Mr. Darcy’s case, he was forced to face his pride before he became endaring at all). Despite smarmy made-for-TV movies, no woman should really expect a perfect man to come along (there’s a reason he’s called Mr. Right and not Mr. Perfect, ladies). What should be expected is a right man who is set on correcting his errors. This is not an unrealistic vision. It should be the only vision a woman has. If she expects perfection, she’s going to be hurt. Badly.

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