On Thursday, October 13th, we will have a quiz over all of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Below are several discussion questions and some review tips.
1. Bridget’s constant litany of worries and anxieties tell us that she is at war with herself. For a women with a good job and many friends, she seems surprisingly unsettled. What social/cultural forces might have made Bridget the way she is?
2. At the end of the novel, Bridget claims that she has “finally realized the secret of happiness with men,” a secret she learned from her mother: “’Don’t say “what,” say “pardon,” darling, and do as your mother tells you’” (267). In your own words, explain what this means and state whether the novel supports the advice Bridget’s mother has given her about men.
3. Critics have argued that the end of Bridget Jones’s Diary feels rushed, and that the “heroic” behavior of Mark Darcy is not fully motivated in the novel. Do you agree? Were you convinced that Mark Darcy would have behaved as he did? Explain your answer.
To review for Thursday’s quiz, make sure you know the definition of the following literary terms: derivative work, Chicklit, satire, and sarcasm. Be familiar with words Fielding coined for the novel, such as emotional fuckwittage, smug marrieds, and singleton.
Feminism and postfeminism are not the same thing. Know the difference between the two ideological movements.
Make sure you understand how the diary format influences the presentation of Bridget’s story. Keep in mind that Bridget’s “diary” is a hoax played upon the reader since it’s unlikely that a person would record events while in the middle of a fashion or culinary crisis. 🙂
You should also be prepared to make comparisons between Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and the book upon which it is based, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.