"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Molly Mormon or Mormon Molly?

I have been much happier over the last 3 weeks. More content, at peace, and with a renewed sense of worth, direction, and joy. All because I made a literary connection. I make a lot of those. But rarely are they as life-changing as this. I know. It sounds like I'm exaggerating. But I'm absolutely serious. This connection has been waiting for me to grasp it from the moment it first entered my life. However, according to a wise Father's time-table, I realized the connection at the time I most needed it in my life.

I think I've mentioned that one of my favorite BBC period drama films is Wives & Daughters.

I decided to re-watch it a few weeks ago, as it is available Instantly on Netflix. (Yay!) It was during this re-watching that the lightning bolt struck with its Ah-ha! And the connections have rolled in ever since.

I am Molly.

She loves to read, gain knowledge, and ponder things. So do I.

Left on her own, her clothing choices can be a little...odd. Same here.

Yet odd or not, she generally goes for simple, modest, and practical. Overall, I think I do, too. (I hope so any how.)

She was taught in the ways of propriety and does her best in trying to live so. If anything could be said of me, it's my emphasis for and on propriety.

She has beautiful, sincere, kind, caring friends. Me, too!!!

And an amazing, incomparable relationship with her sister. Definitely my sister and me.

I may even go so far as say that she and I also share in common
-a love of dressing up
(and occasionally playing with the hair so it looks funky, too)
-a love of thoughtful gifts
-a love of good conversations and laughter
-a love of being out and about, or snug and cosy at home
-a love of nature
-a love of family
-a love of kindred spirits
-a love of smiling
-yet with still a tendency to cry when upset
I totally understand how she feels to be passed over for the obvious beauty.
Yet note that she is no ugly duckling. She is a very lovely young woman herself.

Though I frequently have issues believing it, sometimes I just have to smack some sense into myself and see that I am a beautiful person, too. And it's not just by hair, skin, eyes, etc. It's what is also inside. For, as I read recently in North of Beautiful: "Beauty--real everlasting beauty--lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others." Sometimes my actions are not so beautiful, but mostly I try to live as a Daughter of God should. One who is

-trying to serve others

-wants to help others be happy

-wants others to know how much I love them

There are times I look in the mirror and truly do see beautiful looking back at me.

But the problem lies when I compare myself to others. Some whose actions were better than mine at particular times. Or who tend to sparkle more brightly than I generally do. Or who are physically more striking and the "obviously beautiful."
I know I shouldn't compare myself. But I do.
Because that's who I see the men showing interest in.
That's who they see, without noticing me right there.
They go for "the obvious."
And I am left alone.
But there is nothing wrong with Molly. She is an absolutely astounding and amazing girl. She's not the showy, obvious kind. She might not have great pizzazz. Sure she was awkward while growing up, but weren't we all? Now she is a quieter beauty. More refined while still being refined. No need to announce it and/or herself to the world. It's special and precious enough for some very worthy and worthwhile person to come discover it. I'd like to think that is me.
And in the end, Molly still finds her happiness.

And there are a couple of other parallels I could make. The world is full of Rogers. I'm not saying that there is some Roger out there who has passed me over now and will eventually realize that I am his best friend and he mine and then we'll be together.
No. I'm saying that there are many men who are pre-Africa Rogers. And Mr. Prestons. And Mr. Coxes. And Mr. Hendersons. They see the Cynthias of the world and that's where their heart goes. Sometimes they fall fast. Sometimes they fall hard. And sometimes they fall completely. And that's not saying it's a bad thing, or that the Cynthias are hateful female competitions. They are lovable in their ways and there need be no begrudgings of her.
Because there are the post-Africa Rogers. They see how wonderful a woman the Mollys are. And how special and perfect the friendship with the Mollys are. And how they cannot bear to go on in life without her by their side.

Happiness does come for our heroine who most truly deserves it.

This kinship to Molly completely turned around things that I had recently been struggling with. It reinforced my Carrot Analogy, which over the last 11 years had grown rather weak and tired. I was doubting it and had lost hope and confidence. Now it is renewed.

It has also shown me that there is so much more of Molly that I should be. That I can be. And that I most dearly want to be.

My life is full of the Mr. Prestons, Mr. Coxes, Mr. Hendersons, and pre-Africa Rogers. They find beauty, attraction, and companionship with the wonderful Cynthias around me. But I can be like Molly where that happens. She still feels it. Oh, yes. She still has her cry over it. But very soon she rallies. Puts on a cheerful countenance and shows forth true happiness for people she loves (in her case Cynthia and pre-Africa Roger). She supports and encourages where it's due, ignoring any unhappiness it might bring her. So I should act, too. No matter what sorrows come to me for being continually passed over, I need to show more happiness and support for those who are enjoying their happiness.

There is no post-Africa Roger in my life. But like Molly, I can still be productive and useful. I can still be ladylike. Visit friends. Be a loving daughter and sister. Learn new things. Develop talents. Serve others. Be there when needed. So many things of, as Sister Oaks puts it, having my eye single to God.

And there will be a post-Africa Roger. He will be just as head-over-heels in love, fascinated, admiring, and wondering of me as all of the Prestons, Coxes, and Hendersons ever were over the Cynthias. Maybe more.

Molly is unashamed. She is honest. She is dutiful. She is sincere. Loving. Patient. Understanding. Kind. Listening. Comforting. Humorous. Intelligent. Supportive. Gentle. Sweet-tempered. Proper. Obedient. Contrite when it is needed. Forgiving. Repentant. Uncomplaining.

She is who I would like to be.

So the answer to that title question, I think, is...


I am in many ways a Molly who is a Mormon.

And I also desire to be a Mormon who is more like Molly.

I feel like a new world has opened to me. I have been so much more at peace and full of joy ever since. It has been the greatest thing. I am very grateful for this literary connection and role model.

As President Hinckley said,

Way to Be!

P.S. I'd heard rumors of this production, but this is the first that I got some information on it. 1) What a fantastic cast! I'm excited just for that! 2) The writer is Sandy Welch--she of the fantastic North & South, the best EVER Jane Eyre, and my oh-so-wonderful Our Mutual Friend. I know! That means this version just has to be amazing! And releasing in Britain this fall. I hope it comes to the U.S. soon. I'm not sure if I'll be able to contain myself!


~Mary said...

I've never seen this movie, it's looks so good!! I'm putting it on my list of movie to see immediately!

Have you seen Little Dorrit (BBC 2008), and the new movie The Young Victoria? I am not sure if it's available in the US yet, but it's am AMAZING love story about the queen of england.

Heidi said...

I'm sure you will love W&D. I have been hoping ot get a hold of Little Dorrit. And I just heard of The Young Victoria yesterday and it does look interesting!

Brittany Marie said...

I love Wives & Daughters! What a wonderful parallel. And I too am excited for Emma!