Mr. Darcy to the Rescue


This is a retelling of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". Everyone knows the story of Darcy and Elizabeth: the arrogant rich man and the spirited woman who learn that all is not as it seems on the surface. Retellings and re-imaginings are not uncommon for such a classic work. The twist added to this one is this: what would happen if Elizabeth said "Yes" to Mr. Collins? As with any retelling of a classic, pitfalls are everywhere and the chances of failing, of not being true, while adding a unique spin are myriad. This reimagining is interesting, in that it uses just one pivotal scene to change the course of the story.


The downfall is that these characters, language, inner thoughts, and events are not true to the high bar set by Jane Austen. In a retelling, it is all or nothing. Either the entire tale is turned sideways and upside down, or every element, aside from plot, must remain true to the original: characterization, setting, dialogue, etc. This story, with the exception of the plot, should have been stylistically identical to Austen's version; and it wasn't. Mr. Collins, Bingley, and even Darcy are not even close to their original counterparts, but Elizabeth, Jane, their family, and Lady Catherine are. Darcy imagining Elizabeth in his bed, even fleetingly, might be a realistic view of men in general, but is not what Darcy's character is. One cannot keep some characters true while just slightly changing others: all or nothing. This story holds an interesting look at how things might have been.


Julie York