Pride and Prejudice and “I´m Nobody! Who are you”
Sometimes it might feel like what makes you different and stand out from everyone else is a burden, or that those differences cannot unite people or make you get along with them. The two texts that I am going to talk about in this blog post are about just that, differences and unity. We are now entering the last few weeks of school, and the last few weeks of English litterateur, and it is time to look back at some of the works that I have enjoyed working with this year. The two texts that I have narrowed down to as my two favourites, and that I have really enjoyed working with in English class, are the 1813 novel, Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austin, and the poem written by Emily Dickinson «I´m Nobody! Who are you?»
The poem, named “Poem: 288,” or otherwise known as “I´m Nobody! Who are you” is a simply written poem about how it is nice to be different, or a “nobody”, rather than a “somebody.” It celebrates being an outcast and being different, and discourage people to thrive to be a part of the majority, or who Dickinson reference to in the text as a “somebody.” What makes this poem unique is the way she wrote it, and how she creates a unity with the readers, making us feel a part of a community. A community of “nobodies.” The ways she does that is that Dickinson refers to us during the poem, and almost talks to us as readers asking us questions like “Who are you?” and saying things like “Are you – Nobody – Too?” It makes us feel a sense of unity. Also, the way she keeps writing “us,” and makes us feel proud of being a “nobody.” The opening line, “I´m Nobody! Who are you” is so profound and really draws you in. It gives the sense that Dickinson wants to celebrate being herself, but throughout the short poem take us as readers with her and encourages us to be ourselves as well.
The novel, Pride and Prejudice, is a classic for a reason. What I really liked about this book is the story itself and the characters that we meet. I am left remembering and thinking about the book. This book is a classic love story about two people of very different social classes falling in love despite their differences and despite being such a contrast to each other. The book it similar to the poem in the sense that we meet a character, Elizabeth, who can be seen as a “nobody” because of her status in society and Mr. Darcy who is a “somebody,” a wealthy man from the upper-class with a lot of influence and is well- known among the people. An “influencer” of their time, maybe. Also, because the book reflects on gender rules of the time, not only social classes, Elizabeth can be seen as a “Nobody” not really in a position to make decisions about her own life. Fortunately she gets to make those decisions herself. While Dickinson´s poem encourage us, the outcast, to unite and not let us get influenced by the “somebodies,” this book encourages us to unite with people who are not like us despite our differences and not judge a person based on first impression. There are many examples from the book on how this message comes through, the most important and obvious one is when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy first met and how Elizabeth saw him as an arrogant and prideful person, but he turned out to be different than what she expected.
The story is timeless, and what I like about both of the texts is that they are both relevant today. The poem has such a wonderful message. That is why it`s probably one of my favourite texts that we have worked with this year. The message that being a “nobody,” or being different and stand out is better than being a “somebody,” the ones who fit in or are successful, it`s timeless and still relevant today in a world of social media and influencers. The book as well is relevant. I enjoyed a good love story of course but, Elizabeth is such a strong female character who we can learn a lot from. She shows that even though she is a woman living in a time where woman had little to say over their own lives, she can make her own decisions despite what society expects from her and takes control over her life following her heart. The book shows that differences can unite, and do not judge a book by its cover. Status and class are not important. Both texts are unique and beautiful in their own way, and are works that I will remember.