Study Guide

Austenland Love

By Shannon Hale

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Each time [she watched Pride and Prejudice], Jane's heart banged, her skin chilled, and she clamped down on the distracting ache in her guy with a bowl of something naughty, like Cocoa Pebbles. (Prologue.5)

Jane loves Pride and Prejudice. She really loves Pride and Prejudice. We're surprised she doesn't lobby for legislation to make it legal to marry a DVD. The emotions she feels over P&P mimic those people feel when in love. With each other.

Each time the men in your life disappoint, you let Mr. Darcy in a little bit more. (1.35)

It seems that love, to Jane, is something that fills other emotional holes in her life. Especially her love for Mr. Darcy. As that "something missing" gets bigger and bigger, her love for Darcy grows and grows. Girl's gotta get some self-confidence, are we right?

In Austen's world there was no such thing as a fling. Every romance was intended to lead to marriage. (2.64)

This is definitely the kind of true love that we see in movies and books—from Austen to Stephenie Meyer to, of course, Austenland.

He makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, every day of my life. (2.75)

Molly's declaration is either a sign of true love for her husband (and vice versa) or the perfect tagline for a Secret deodorant commercial. You decide.

Tonight, Jane had been kissed. Tonight she thought, Mr. Darcy who? (6.101)

This line is immediately preceded by Jane labeling her make-out sesh with Martin as "a harmless fling!" But she only tosses her lifelong love of Mr. Darcy out the window, in order to replace him with this new object of her obsession... er, affection.

Movie actors fall in love with each other on the set all the time. Is it so outlandish to suppose it might happen to me? (16.11)

Jane waffles back and forth between wanting true, life-changing love and wanting to have some fun, role-playin' flings at Austenland. Maybe she keeps changing her mind because it's so difficult to tell the difference between the real deal and (good) actors' chemistry. After all, so many of those actors who fall in love on the set don't stay together.

I cherish you more than farms love rain, than night loves the moon, and so on... (16.36)

Yikes. This is the kind of flowery declaration of love that comes from bad romance novels or John Mayer songs. It's sweet and fully and all, but it's a bit lacking in substance.

It seemed nobody ever kissed in Regency England. (15.42)

Jane makes a good point here. We're not sure if anyone ever smooched back in those chaste 1800s… but they did manage to express their love in other ways.

"I love you," he said. (16.68)

Henry/Mr. Nobley cuts right to the chase, saying the Big Three Words to Jane in the middle of the play. It's a startling bit of honesty—he goes off script—but the fact that he's an actor playing a person who is acting in a play (are you still with us? no? doesn't matter) only complicates things further.

I don't know how to have a fling. [...] I'm throwing myself at your feet because I'm hoping for a shot at forever. You don't have to say anything now, no promises required. (20.116)

This line echoes an earlier line in the book, one that shows this is exactly the kind of love Jane is looking for: "In Austen's world there was no such thing as a fling. Every romance was intended to lead to marriage" (2.64). Huzzah, our girl gets everything she ever wanted and a bag of airline pretzels as she and Henry head back to New York together.

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