Sometimes my brain gets stuck, like a record skipping. sometimes it’s a word or a song or a quotation which it can’t quite unravel, so the stuck word or phase plays back again and again. For me it was a quotation from Jane Austen.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.   – Jane Austen

This line in particular, the very opening of the book I had chosen to analyze for my English class in my junior year of high school, seemed to glare at me for the many days I waited to begin my reading. The 432 pages of proper English were daunting, and I hadn’t even begun to write the required five page analysis of the text. I had chosen Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a prime candidate to examine, because though I may not always care to admit, I’m a sucker for the occasional romance novel. In the beginning process of my assignment, I felt nothing besides enthusiasm for my chance to finally crack into a classic of the Western literary canon. My sense of enthusiasm quickly dissipated as I began to pour over the first chapter, my sixteen year old brain understood nearly nothing of what I had been reading. It took time, but I was able to finish the novel weeks later, with enough notes to fill the grave that I had metaphorically made for myself while attempting to complete this project.

When it came time to write my long awaited analysis, I felt as if there was nothing that would get in my way. I had the notes, a decent understanding of the text, and the entire boxed set of the TV adaptation starring Colin Firth. Nothing could have prepared me for the sudden wave of procrastination that came over me the second I first sat down to write.  I’ll admit I avoided completing this assignment for as long as humanly possible, bingeing the TV series Friends for countless hours, getting no closer to my goal. It wasn’t until about a week before its due date, where I finally decided to regroup and face the challenge at hand. Once I could organize my thoughts, words and ideas seemed to flow from my mind to my computer like a current down a wire. Approximately three days later, and about another season of Friends to help cope, I was finished. Thankfully, I  recieved a remarkably high score, despite my minimal remaining level of eagerness towards the subject. I was officially burnt out on Jane Austen for the time being.

This story of triumph over my lack of mental fortitude can be an integral example of my experience as a writer. Often times while I write, including now, I spend too much time in my head, contemplating every single word choice or sentence structure. I can make this experience as well as my many others, the main structure of my literacy narrative by discussing both my passions and frustrations regarding the subject. When I produce something well written, I feel such an immense sense of accomplishment. Though I can also frequently become stuck in my constant “writer’s block” purgatory, where I remain until I either push myself out using either sheer will or panic regarding an impending due date. Possibly while writing my narrative and exploring my experiences with writing, I’ll learn more about myself and maybe even help future Lauren not suffer the same fate as her past.

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One thought on “A Picnic With Jane, Hold the Ants : Analyzing Pride and Prejudice

  1. Excellent work! I love the intro, I love the quote from Pride and Prejudice, I love the topic, and I love that you procrastinated by watching Friends. This was a joy to read. 🙂


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