It is a delightful post and one that made me think. I hope each of you will enjoy reading it as much as I did. Joy also has a fabulous giveaway for one lucky person. She asks a question at the end and we would love to read your response!
I have two sisters whom I adore. One is less than a year older than me and the other is less than a year younger. Therefore, in July, I will be the same age as my youngest sister. In August, I’ll be 61, which is the same age as my eldest. In September, she will be 62 so the three of us will be in our sixties for the very first time.
Sisters are an important theme in Jane Austen’s stories. Out of her seven siblings, only one was female (Cassandra). This makes me wonder at Jane writing a story where five sisters grew up in the same household. How hard/easy was it to imagine the conflict as five young ladies and one mother with disparate personalities co-existed.
What sort of conflicts?
BORROWING CLOTHES WITHOUT PERMISSION
Grrrrrr! Even after all these years I remember the reality of rushing to get ready for school and not being able to find the shirt I’d planned to wear. Where had it gone? One of my sisters was wearing it. Or, she had worn it and it was now tossed into a pile of discarded clothing in the corner of her bedroom needing to be laundered. Instant anger!
Because we were usually about the same size at any given time, it was a never-ending battle to keep possession of our garments. Conversations such as the following would ensue:
“Keep your hands off my Led Zeppelin t-shirt. I’m wearing it to the dance Friday night so DON’T TOUCH IT!”
“But Debbie is wearing her red one and Sally is going to wear her brother’s Def Leppard shirt. I HAVE to wear it,” was the typical sort of reply. “Besides, it looks better with my jeans than yours.”
“You did this to me last time, so, NO!”
“I’ll let you wear my leather fringed vest (it was the 1970’s) if you let me have the t-shirt.”
“OK. But never again.”
Although they didn’t have t-shirts in Regency England, they had shoe roses, shawls, ribbons, stockings, small pieces of precious jewelry and hair combs which could be pilfered for sisterly use. Imagine the stress of keeping your prize hidden until you were already in the carriage on the way to the ball. There would be no “give it back” opportunities as the sneaky sibling would not do her big reveal until you were well-surrounded by neighbors and friends. Grrrrr!
LIKING THE SAME BOY AT THE SAME TIME
There is nothing sadder than looking at your sister’s notebook/binder/journal and seeing the exact same name you have on yours written in cursive encircled by a heart. Sigh! The heartbreak of it is excruciating. Then, there’s the suffering as you both realize you are competitors for the most important prize of all – young love.
“You like HIM?”
“Yeah. Why, do you?” (do I admit it or hide my own notebook/binder/journal for the rest of my lifetime?)
“Do you think he likes you?” (beyond a shadow of a doubt our future will be a cool car, marriage, and two children)
“Do you think he likes YOU?” (I have to ask anyway)
“Yes. He walked by me two times in the hallway at school and he looked at me each time.”
“Well, he asked to borrow my pencil because he forgot his and then I saw him “find” his later in class.”
“Oh.” (crushed dreams as she scribbles over the hearts and flowers and searches for stickers to cover the mess)
Did this happen in Pride and Prejudice? Oh, yes. Mr. Wickham pitted Elizabeth and Lydia against each other. Could it be possible this could have been Jane and Cassandra at some point in their young lives? I do not know. However, I have been in both Elizabeth and Lydia’s shoes and it’s truly awful when you realize your biggest competition is someone you love.
On the flip side of the coin is the strong bond sisters can have. Marianne’s emotional outbursts had to have irritated sensible Elinor. Yet, when Marianne was hurting, Elinor was there. Why? Because she loved her. Can you think of other examples in Jane Austen’s writings when sisters banded together in solidarity? Sure, you can.
So, this begs the question:
Of all the sisterly relationships in Jane Austen’s books, which one resonates the most with you, and why?
All those who comment will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card (available internationally) as a thank you for your participation. Best wishes to all of you! Now, I think it’s time I give my sister a call.
Thank you again, Joy, for such a fun and thought-provoking post. I have two sisters and this post touched my heart. As I told you earlier, both of my sisters are struggling with some serious health issues. One has been since early February and the other much longer. It breaks my heart for both of them but they remain upbeat and positive in their outlook. I admire both more than they can imagine.
I am the youngest of four children. My oldest sister and I were always close but not so much my other sister. I was five years younger than her and ALWAYS in the way, especially when she had company. :) After we were older we became extremely close. We talked often and shared our like passions of photography and birding. It was fantastic. Now we don't visit much because, too often, she is unable to talk. It saddens my heart but I cherish those times when she does feel good enough to talk for a short time.
Thank you, Joy, for thinking of sisters and for sharing a little about yours with us! It was fun to read and brought back memories. I loved reading your thoughts about Jane Austen's writing of sisters. It gave me pause. The Elliot sisters do not resonate with me at all, but maybe Elinor and Marianne do some. I'm thinking the Bennet sisters resonate the most with the three of us 'Boothe girls'. I believe I will give my sisters a call today too. :)
|My sister, Gwyn, top right, made this and sent it to me and Judy. |
Gwyn is the middle sister. We have one brother, Morris,
who is between Judy and Gwyn in age.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts, everyone. Be sure I can reach you if you want a chance at that gift card...and who wouldn't! The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 9th of July. Good luck to all of you!