The Devil Wears Prada

If you think your job is challenging or that your boss is demanding, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger would redefine the meaning of those words forever, and perhaps, provide you with a newfound tolerance for your workplace. When twenty-three-year-old Andrea interviewed for a junior assistant position, she could not have possibly fathomed what she was signing up for. How could she? Everybody spoke highly of Miranda Priestly, her prospective boss, the editor-in-chief of Runaway (a famous fashion magazine). In fact, people worshipped the ground Miranda walked on. However, little did she know that Miranda Priestly would single-handedly destroy her relationships, consume her mental peace, and claim every breathing second of her life. The biggest irony was Andrea didn’t even like fashion, and yet, she lost every ounce of her personality for a job that screamed fashion day and night.

I had known the minute I stepped on the Runway floor that I didn’t belong. My clothes and hair were wrong for sure, but more glaringly out of place was my attitude. I didn’t know anything about fashion and I didn’t care. At all. And therefore, I had to have it. Besides, a million girls would die for this job.

– Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

For a fashionista reader, The Devil Wears Prada is a heaven of information. The fashion-conscious and fashion-worshipping audience would ooh and aah at the brand names, styles, shoes, and fashion events. While, the audience, who does not care much about fashion, would laugh with Andrea, as she rolls her eyes at the anorexic models, the fat-ridden meals, and the absurdity of an extreme obsession with fashion. Miranda Priestly is a concoction of all the infuriating traits of every horrible boss that one might have worked for:

  • A boss who wants everything done ASAP
  • A boss with no regard to your personal time or life
  • A boss who wants you glued to your seat: Bathroom breaks? Who needs them!
  • A boss who constantly calls you: Sunday at 3 AM? Why the hell not!
  • A boss who conveys insufficient information but expects the employee to deliver his/her requirement, again, ASAP: I want to see the review of the Asian Place that opened up on my desk this morning. Which restaurant? Which paper?
  • A boss who changes his/her words and blames you for not paying attention: I told you to get me the review posted on Washington Post, didn’t I? Actually, you didn’t, but of course, it was my fault.
  • A boss who invents ways to insult you every day: Emily, Emily. I am Andrea and she knows it, but what’s in a name? Right?
  • A boss who never thanks you for a job well done: Thank you? What’s that?
  • A boss who expects you to be always available
  • A boss who assigns you work at the very last minute and expects on-time-delivery
  • A boss who tags everything you say as an “excuse” : I couldn’t come to the office because there was a tsunami. What’s that got to do with anything? Stop with your excuses.

Although the aforementioned dialogues are not exactly excerpts from The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly’s original portrayal is not far off from these situations. With each flip of the page, she becomes more aggressive and demanding.

I can’t tell you how lucky I felt when I was sent out just yesterday afternoon to purchase tampons for my boss, only to be told that I’d bought the wrong ones and asked why I do nothing right. And luck is probably the only way to explain why I get to sort another person’s sweat- and food-stained clothing each morning before eight and arrange to have it cleaned. Oh, wait! I think what actually makes me luckiest of all is getting to talk to breeders all over the tristate for three straight weeks in search of the perfect French bulldog puppy so two incredibly spoiled and unfriendly little girls can each have their own pet. Yes, that’s it.

– Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

In Andrea, the readers see a reflection of the employees who jump the hoops simply to keep themselves from getting fired. Although Andrea earns sympathy, Miranda’s hilarious demands and Andrea’s witty musings maintain the humorous edge of the plot. Andrea’s relationship troubles diversified the plot, but it was Miranda who dominated the plot. Among all the side characters, Emily, the senior assistant — a title that she never let Andrea forget, came forward as the real star. Andrea’s irritation with Emily’s utmost devotion to Miranda Priestly would resonate with many people tired by that annoying colleague who can never find any flaw in their “perfect” boss.

I’d learned about the Stockholm Syndrome in psych, in which the victims identify with their captors, but I hadn’t really understood how it all played out. Maybe I’d videotape one of the little sessions here between Emily and me and send it to the prof so next year’s freshmen could actually see it happening firsthand.

– Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

If you liked the movie version of the book and feel you do not need to read the book, you are in for a major surprise. First, the movie has major deviations from the book. Second, many funny instances are nowhere in the movie. And third, of course, the book version is more elaborate and that ensures more time with Miranda Priestly and Andrea — 391 pages long, to be precise. Despite the light tone, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger insists the readers find a work-life balance or risk losing everything that matters.

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