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.
1. I think it all comes down to the way society views her. Even though she has things that would make other people content such as a job, friends an apartment, family, and a healthy body, she is still doesn’t feel satisfied. I don’t think her lack of contentment is entirely her own fault. The people around her are constantly pointing out the things she lacks in her life. At the very beginning of the book at the New Year’s Eve party one of their family friends says to Bridget, “‘Yes. How does a woman manage to get to your age without being married?’ roared Brian Enderby…” (Fielding 11). People are constantly pushing what they think Bridget should be and that is a skinny, married woman. When Bridget can’t seem to live up to that ideal, she puts herself down and wallows in her insecurities.
3. I completely agree with the critics. I was not at all happy how the book ended. I don’t think Helen Fielding developed the relationship between Bridget and Darcy at all. The descriptions that Bridget gave referring to each of their feelings and their conversations with each other were short, concise and unrealistic. I think that it would have made more sense if Fielding would have spent more time progressing Bridget and Darcy’s relationship. It felt to me as if Fielding forget where she was going with the story and in the last pages made Darcy want Bridget and Bridget want Darcy. The movie did a much better job in leading the audience to believe that it is the perfect ending for Darcy and Bridget to be together. In the novel, I barely know Darcy, let alone view him as the “hero” for Bridget.
I agree with the critics and Ellen. I felt like I didn’t know Bridge and Darcy as a couple long enough because it was so rushed. It was like they got together, the end. I would of liked to see there relationship develop a little bit longer. I was kind of expecting Bridge and Darcy to get together by July or least had more contact no later than September (like how the turning point in Pride and Prejudice was in the middle of the book) but I got to December and found myself thinking, “It’s almost the end of the book…where is Darcy?”
I think that there are a number of social and cultural influences that have made Bridget the way she is. First off, there is societal pressure for her to settle down and get married, and her being in her thirties makes her anxious because her options are starting to fade away. Even though men get older as well, they tend to date younger women, leaving older women out of the loop. She also has pressure from her family and friends, asking her WHY she has not gotten married yet. Second, there are also pressures coming from her career. Bridget is a working woman which makes it very hard for her to juggle both a demanding career and a social life which enables you to meet men in the first place.
Definitely the society. I could even say that it was all society that made her self confident. she has a great humor, kindness, and great job, but the society ignores all that factors and just see why she is still not married till age 30. Even though Bridget is a bright, and cheerful character, she cannot be cheerful and bright about what people in that society keeps telling her and asking her.