The Effects Of Darcy’s Pride And Elizabeth’S Prejudice
Since the year of 1813, Pride and Prejudice has been a very important literary piece. It highlights the ideals of marriage and human nature of the time, though Jane Austen made such an impact, people can still connect it to their culture and time. The original title of this piece was “First Impressions” but was later changed to Pride and Prejudice as an indication as to what the entire book would be about, and what character flaws we as readers should be paying attention to, especially with the main characters: Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Based on what we read in the novel, we can tell that Elizabeth misjudges Darcy because of her prejudice towards him (and rich people in general) and Darcy misjudges Elizabeth based on his pride over how there were different social classes for a reason and that he was only to associate himself with his own socio-economic class. That said as the story progresses they both have to revise the way they are thinking of both themselves and each other. The beginning of the story is relatively uneventful. The reader is introduced to all of the Bennet family, we are shown that Mrs. Bennet set her life mission to marry off her daughters to rich men (as was common for that era) and she frets over every little thing, which causes the readers to lose respect for her very close to the beginning if they had any respect for her to begin with. We find that Mr. Bennet’s favorite daughter is Elizabeth, but we also learn that he is a very hands off parent which is understandable, as his wife pretty much runs the show. We learn that Jane (Eldest Bennet Daughter) is the perfect representation of what a girl should have been back then; beautiful, good at music, very lady like, quiet, and good at being a housewife. (See Chapter 8 for information on the ideal woman)
The second eldest, Elizabeth Bennet, is a lovely, beautiful young woman of 20 years old, she refuses to get married unless there is a mutual love and sacrifice and bond between she and her partner. We find that Mary is also a representation of a good wife, she is quiet and a bookworm. Next we have Kitty and Lydia Bennet, they are the youngest and they are obsessed with finding a man, especially an officer, these two are flirty and Lydia is 16 years old, not much is given about Kitty or Mary. As Jane Austen wanted, the main focus is on Darcy and Elizabeth. Darcy is a rich man, it is stated in the novel “Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year.” (Chapter 3, Paragraph 4 or 5) That said, the main emphasis being mentioned here is how handsome he was, but he was also very well paid, which was ideal for many of the female characters in the novel. He had an estate in the rich part of the city, also known as Pemberley. Darcy’s father was also a rich man, and it is stated by Darcy in Volume 3 Chapter 8-9, “ I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.
As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own.” This was of course in his second proposal to Elizabeth, but it showed how he was raised nonetheless.
Due to Darcy being raised in this manner, he had a sense of pride that was extremely swollen, which in turn caused him to look down upon other socio-economic classes that were less than his own, which were many of them due to him being in the second tier of the classes just under the king and queen. He continued this throughout the book until he realized he was falling in love with Elizabeth Bennet. If one were to look back as view his character changes over time, they would see that at the beginning, he was snooty and rude to anyone who was less than he was, (See Chapter 3, “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”) Throughout his interactions with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, we can see how his initial disgust with people of a lower class changed to a mere dislike of them, and then further morphed into respecting them, and even falling in love with someone from a lower class than he. Additionally, we have Elizabeth Bennet, it was stated that her main character flaw is her prejudice to marriage, as well as the prejudice he holds to be true for many upper-class men and women alike.
When she first met Darcy, his pride rubbed her the wrong way, though she already sub-conscientiously didn’t like him much based on her prejudices of rich people. The way he acted and what he said about her vexed her. Her initial impression of him was that he was indeed a snooty and stuck up man. This can be illustrated in one way by Mrs. Bennet in Chapter 3 when speaking to her husband about the way Darcy was acting at the ball, “But I can assure you,’ she added, ‘that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man.” And in Chapter 5 when Elizabeth is talking about Darcy, “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” She was speaking on when Mr. Darcy said she was not handsome enough to dance with, and when he said Jane was more beautiful than she. That in mind, it isn’t hard to disagree with her, but being how she changed over time needs to be discussed, we shall see that like Darcy, Elizabeth began very full of pride for herself as well as prejudice for Darcy.
This continues this way until around the 2/3 mark in the book after she visits the Pemberley Estate. Here she learns that Darcy is actually a kind man, who treats his servants with respect and pays them generously. It is only then that Elizabeth starts to consciously reevaluate her views towards Darcy (Though she had sub-conscientiously already begun doing so around the halfway point in the novel, as she was imagining herself being the mistress of the house as she was touring it), which goes to show that people can change when their views are challenged. It is a belief held by many that the author (Miss Jane Austen) was trying to show just how people can change one another. She provided these two main characters, which are seemingly foils, though we know they are more alike than different. She did so to allow the readers to see both sides of the fence at one time. Miss Austen focuses mainly of highlighting the character flaws in Pride and Prejudice instead of the positive qualities, she does this to give the reader a sense of satire.
In literature the definition of satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” That said, one can connect how Austen uses a form of satire to point out the main flaws with marrying for money based on marrying for love. Two examples of these relationships are with Jane and Bingley with Darcy and Elizabeth, both married for love, but then you take into account Lydia and Wickham and Charlotte and Mr. Collins. Lydia married Wickham because she was infatuated by him, she was just a kid, merely 16 years of age. She figured he had money to support himself as well as her and she had no knowledge of any money saving tactics, which is a downfall for Wickham (not that he didn’t deserve it) and then we have Charlotte who married Collins out of mere monetary necessity. She is unfulfilled with the marriage, but she lives with it because she is living a comfortable lifestyle, much better than she would have had if she had become a spinster. That said, there is a fulfillment that both Jane and Bingley and Darcy and Elizabeth have because they are in love with one another and they can make it work for richer or poor.
In conclusion, Austen wanted the readers to understand what was wrong with marrying someone for their money but she also wanted us to see the necessity for doing so. Throughout the advancement of the book Darcy and Elizabeth both learn that they must check themselves in any emotions or prejudices they hold towards someone until they actually get to know them, because if not then they could miss opportunities that end up changing who they are for the better. If Elizabeth had not met Darcy she would still be prejudice to rich people, which wouldn’t allow her true happiness in the world. If Darcy hadn’t met Elizabeth, he would still be acting like a snooty, preppy, stuck up man, with too much money to fully know what to do with . Neither one of them would have changed and the story wouldn’t have been able to teach valuable life lessons.
Corpus Stylistics Analysis Of Jane Austin ‘Pride And Prejudice’
The studies that approach texts of literary with corpus linguistic methods is developing and The use of corpus (corpora) in stylistics has become increasingly in recent years and the term of corpus stylistics is substantially popular. The latin word corpus (corpora) refers to a collection of texts means “ body”. The texts are saved in an electronic database. Baker, Hardie & MacEnery argue that “althought a corpus does not contain new information about language by using software packages which process data, we can obtain a new perspective on the familiar”(48-49).
Corpus stylistics is a branch of computational linguistics as Wales (1989) points out. It was developed in the late 1960s. It helps to investigate certain characteristics of the data like the length of words and sentences based on statistical and computer-aided tools to study a number of issues related to style (85).
Corpus stylistics is simply corpus linguistics with a different object of study (literature as opposed to non-literary language)’. Besides, he demonstrates that the difference between them is that corpus stylistics is not only borrowing tools from corpus linguistics but it makes itself unique by using qualitative tools and techniques of stylistics to analyze texts with the help of computational methods (McIntyre 60).
This paper presents a corpus stylistics analysis of Jane Austen novel’s “pride and prejudice”. The novel will be analysed according to a corpus stylistic approach. In general, a corpus is a collection of written and spoken texts. News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and witnesses to events.
The current papper focuses only on one novel electronic form. The analysis is based on the recurrent word combinations found in the text by the corpus software. Mahlbergsees corpus stylistics as “a way of bringing the study of language and literature closer together”(2007: 3).
The methodology of the study follows Mahlberg & McIntyre’s (2012) method. This model focuses on one literary text by one autor. They explain that studying one text may be considered as a ‘small sample of data’ but then they assert that this text is still regarded as part of a corpus (206).
The majority of stylistic studies including articles, books and other works use qualitative methodologies in order to analyze literary texts. The writer taken the data from electronic book “pride and prejudice’ by Jane Austin and continued by change the electronic book to be a text to analyze by software to deal with large texts with relatively short time. In addition, it can achieve the objectivity that stylisticians seek for. It can reveal crucial features that can be missed in the manual analysis. corpus stylistics is not only borrowing tools from corpus linguistics but it makes itself unique by using qualitative tools and techniques of stylistics to analyze texts with the help of computational methods (McIntyre).
This work aims at examining keywords, key semantic domains as well as clusters. Firstly, keywords can be defined as the most frequent or repeated words in a single text or group of texts in comparison to a reference corpus. Words are the crucial part of any corpus study. There are three groups of words in general: proper nouns, content and function words. Mahlberg & McIntyre point out that the most common words are function words. They work as the constituents of any text. However, content words are the carriers of meaning and writers’ messages. For this reason, they are important for studying (384).
Gliozzo &Strapparava define semantic domains as ‘fields characterized by lexically coherent words. The lexical coherence assumption can be exploited for computational purposes because it allows us to define automatic acquisition'(5).
Corpus stylistics brings the methods of corpus linguistics to the practice of stylistics. The term ‘corpus stylistics’ specifically to refer to the study of literary texts. Some researchers in this field use ‘corpus stylistics’ to refer to literary criticism only; Mahlberg characterises it as a methodology which combines different approaches but is fundamentally ‘a way of bringing the study of language and literature closer together’ (Mahlberg, 2007, p. 219). Wynne (2006) also implicitly assumes that corpus stylistics is a stylistic enquiry into literary language. Others use the term more generally; Semino and Short include news reports and autobiographies in their book, Corpus Stylistics (2004).
Pride and Prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen published on January 28, 1813. This novel tells the story of the upper middle class love in England in the late 19th century. This novel contains a description of the events surrounding the story of the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, who lives in Longbourn, England. Elizabeth is described as a cheerful, and polite woman, and also she has a sharp intelligence and refused to be intimidated by anyone.
The Bennet family has five single daughters. This family is a family that is quite prosperous but because of this family there are no sons, so they must be forced to give all their property to the uncle of the five daughters of Mr. Bennet, Mr.Collins. All of that applies if their father has passed away. The case made Mrs. Bennet worried. Then Mrs. Bennet has the ambition to marry her children to rich men.
The reasons for choosing this particular novel Pride and Prejudice are Pride and Prejudice has long fascinated readers, consistently appearing near the top of lists of ‘most-loved books’ among literary scholars and the general public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, with over 20 million copies sold and paved the way for many archetypes that abound in modern literature There are certain words used to indicate in a direct or indirect way the main theme of the text, these are called ‘thematic signals’. These words have importance over others. They are simply the carriers of meaning or the clues to the hidden codes in the text. The novel has the following thematic events; romantic, film thriller and psychological themes. The novel achieve 122,007 words.
The word ‘merried’ for example, occurs (57) times throughout the text. It leads to the basic theme in the novel. As mentioned before, the story is about the upper middle class love in England in the late 19th century. Similarly, the word ‘trust’ with (28) occurrences has a noticeable thematic value. The word ‘pride’ occurs (56) times, indicating also to the theme of love in the novel. The word “The occurrences or the concordances of this word in the text lead the reader to this interpretation.
From the above screenshot, it is clear from the right context that the words “advantageously” is associated with the reason why Mr. Bennet family desire to marry their daughter to a man from a wealthy family. This cooccurrence of words has an important significance. In line (4), point of being most advantageously is mentioned to refer to the benefit of them towards their daughter married. In lines (6) there is one textual phrases: “delightful thing” takes the indication of the Mrs. Bennet desire.
The study of corpus stylistics can be very important for researchers. it connects both quantitative and qualitative methods, also helps bring the attention of the reader / literary text. In addition, computing tools are used to perform analytical tasks novels not only save time and time get fast results with one click, but this tool also calculates possible words passed by humans. However, handled will not be significant without study manual. Thus, supported quantitative methods are encouraged analysis. This is done by explaining important items, learning them, and link the importance of text. There must be some kind of a sorting techniques that replace guide words (directed to themes) from words that are often less important and provide little information about literary text.
Eman Adil Jaafar. 2017. Corpus Stylistic Analysis of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lamb’ University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Kristina Bujanova .2013. A Corpus-Stylistic Analysis of Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. UNIVERSITY OF OSLO
Wordsmith tools 7.0 software
Pride And Prejudice In Austen’s Era
According to the author Robert Fulham “the point is that getting married for lust or money or social status or even love is usually trouble. The point is that marriage is a maze into which we wander, a maze that is best to go through with a great companion”. In the novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, marriage and social status is important. The purpose of marriage is to rise in economic social class which Charlotte Lucas portrays. However, Jane and Elizabeth changed this custom by marrying not for social status, but for love. Moreover, this radical choice affects the gender inequality that is present during Austen’s era; when entering a marriage, women have standards to follow. Georgiana Darcy and Jane Bennett are characters who demonstrates a typical woman: quiet, reserved and well-mannered. However, Lydia’s character contrasts to Georgina and Jane, showing no “angel of the house” characteristics. Bingley and Darcy on the other hand, are rich and handsome, being capable of getting a wife. Unlike Bingley and Darcy, Wickham is not as rich and is still able to get a wife. With all this pressure, the characters still manage to get married for love while still being able to marry a man to move up in society.
For many years, women have always been dependent on man. According to Lili Lu and Zhao, women are called ‘decorations in the living room’ and ‘angels in the kitchen’ (Chandio, Rashid, et al 1). In the novel, women have certain standards to manifest in order to have a husband. Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice during a time when “women were expected to stay at home, reproduce, bring up children, cook and clean” (Sundari, S.P. Guna 2). Their society expects them to marry any man as long as they were safe and secure with money, along with a comfortable home. Georgiana Darcy and Jane Benette are characters from the novel that shows characteristic of “angel of the house”. Throughout the novel, Georgiana Darcy is one of the characters that shows the quality of being the “angel of the house”. She is described as,
“tall, and on a larger scale that Elizabeth; and though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance was less handsome that her brother; but there was sense and good humour in her face and her way were perfectly unassuming and gentle” (Austen 22).
According to Elizabeth, Georgiana is more like her sister Jane than herself. She is a shy and sweet malleable sister to Darcy. Her naivety results her not marrying Wickham since her brother Darcy forbidden it, although she has a desire to marry Wickham. She is the perfect typical wife since she has all the traits of being an “angel of the house”. Another character that shows “angel of the house” character is Jane Bennet. According to Elizabeth “[she is a] great deal too apt you know, to like people in general. You never see fault in anybody” (Austen 11). Elizabeth accuses Jane for being naive and forgiving. Jane’s willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt and sees the best parts of them helps her to reconcile with other people. Her personalities are reserved and gentle, which is also a typical trait of women during the 19th century. In conclusion, Jane and Georgiana are more womanly than any other characters. Since they have those traits, they can easily get a husband. Their personality and beauty were deemed respectable for a woman and therefor a “perfect wife”. Unlike Georgiana and Jane, Lydia is a fallen woman since she does show any characteristic of “angel of the house”. Lydia is spoiled, bold, brack and reckless. On this quotation, she is writing a letter to Harriet saying,
“I cannot help laughing myself at your surprise tomorrow morning, as soon as I am missed…I should never be happy without him, so think it no harm to be off…What a good joke it will be! I can hardly write for laughing.” (Austen 247).
It shows how Lydia is silly, flirtatious and girlish. She demonstrates being flirtatious by running off with Wickham while not caring about the possible repercussions, social ruin of the entire family and destitution. She said, ‘well, mamma, what do you think of my husband? Is not he a charming man? I am sure my sisters all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck.’ (Austen 270). Lydia return home, as insufferable as before. She gloated incessantly about her status as a married woman to all the neighbors in town, and even told her eldest sister that she was more important because she married first. She followed through the expectations until she desperate enough to become social climber. She did achieve what she wanted, however it results in her into marrying a user. In conclusion, Lydia is far from being like her sisters. She would do anything that she desires whenever she wants to.
In Austen’s era, “the intended marriage […] mainly concerns financial conditions and subsistence rather than love and appreciation” (Sundari, S.P. Guna.3 ). Marriage is used to increase social value. Women are restricted as properties and so, they need a man to inherit their father’s fortune. It was a tradition that men inherits all the fortunes (Sundriyal, Ankita 2). Charlotte Lucas is one of the characters that marry for social value and security. She is described as ‘sensible, intelligent young woman’ (Austen 14). In reality she could be intelligent, however she was single and past twenty five. This age was seen as old for a woman and therefore, gave her no choice but to marry Mr. Collins. Since she knows that she is aging, and knows that her only choice is to be the mistress of Mr. Collin’s house. She ‘accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment’ (Austen 106). That’s why when Mr. Collins gave her a proposal she “swiftly accepts his proposal of marriage” (Gao, Haiyan 5). In conclusion, Charlotte Lucas chose to marry Mr.Collins for stability in the future and to become a bourgeoisie. If she did not marry sooner, she would have less like hood into moving up the society and will stay as her father’s and brother’s property.
In contrast, Jane and Elizabeth married for true love. Austen presented that women married for their protection but not for their choice of love (Sundari, S.P. Guna. 4). On the other hand, Elizabeth and Jane also married rich men, but their intention was to share their mindedness with their life partner. Jane and Bingley shows that true love exists, and not unhampered by either pride or prejudice. Jane is already in love with Bingley when they first met, she declared to Elizabeth “He is just what a young man ought to be; said she, sensible, good humoured, lively and I never saw such happy manner!.. so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!” (Austen 10). Jane and Bingley are a love match and their good natured personalities make them a perfect couple. Elizabeth and Darcy are contrasting to Jane and Bingley’s love story. Elizabeth dislikes Darcy when they first encounter, due to Darcy’s being arrogant. However, as the novel is coming to an end, Elizabeth and Darcy fell in love with each other, as Elizabeth confessing to her father “I do, I do like him,” she replied with tears in her eyes, “I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable.” (Austen 324). They may hate each other from the beginning, but it lead them to forever. In conclusion, Jane and Elizabeth are both happily married and in love. In the 19th century, marriage was dominated by material base in English society, and so, social relationships and economic mode determined the rule of marriage ( Gao, Haiyan 2). In Austen’s day, the only road for mid-class lady’s happy life was to marry well. Almost every woman’s ideal man was a millionaire or at least a single gentleman with a piece of estate and much money every year (Gao, Haiyan 5). Bingley is one of the men that many single women would want to marry. According to Mrs. Bennet, “to see many young men of 4000 a year come into the neighbourhood” (Austen 94). Mrs. Bennet is telling to his husband and daughter that Bingley is a good man to marry since his someone from the upper class who wears his position lightly and gallantly. Darcy, on the other hand is a primary example of Austen’s ideal high-class gentleman. Darcy may seem arrogant and selfish, however as the novel progresses it becomes clear that he is capable of change. Many single ladies would want to marry him although he has a bad first impression, due “by his fine, tall, handsome features, noble men and the report which was in general circulation within 5 minutes after his entrance of his having 10000 a year” (Austen 7). In this quotation, everyone is interested in him since they know that he is good looking and wealthy. In conclusion, marriage is use to get ahead in society. Marriage is not use to find true love. Women in the 19th century are not looking for their true love, they are looking for a man who is wealthy and handsome.
Wickham, on the other hand is a seemingly perfect gentleman from a poor family. Wickham has all the looks that woman desires, according to one of the characters “the attention of every lady was soon caught by a young man, whom they had never seen before, of most gentlemanlike appearance, walking with an officer on the other side of the way” (Austen 61). This is the reaction of the female characters the first time they saw Wickham. Although they do not know anything about Wickham’s character, they are distracted by his handsome appearance. They assume his good look must also mean he is a good person. One of the Bennett sisters, fell madly in love with him that she forgot what the purpose of marriage is in the first place. When they got married, Wickham does not have the capacity to support Lydia on a daily basis. Lydia has to ask one of her sisters for money. On this quote, Lydia is asking Elizabeth for money,
“It is great comfort to have you so rich; and when you have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. Any place would of about three or four hundred a year” (Austen 332).
It shows that they are struggling in life since they have to ask for help to survive. Wickham could have all the looks that woman desires, but he comes from a poor family who does not have any social status like Darcy and Bingley. That man did have expectations to be rich and successful to marry. Unfortunately he does not have these two attributes therefore he resorted to deception and manipulation.
The purpose of the characters in the novel is to marry and move up in society. However, some of the characters like Jane and Elizabeth still manage to marry a man they love, while moving up in society. Jane and Georgiana are characters that demonstrated typical women’s role, known as “angel of the house”, contrasting to Lydia who has no traits of “angel of the house”, demonstrating her character as being flirtatious, girlish and silly. Charlotte Lucas uses Mr. Collins for security and to increase her social value. Darcy and Bingley are well off and handsome to be able to get a wife. However, Wickham is also handsome but not as rich as Bingley and Darcy, and still able to get wife by his flirtatiousness and fooling girls using his physical attributes. Marrying to increase social security and not for love is a bad starting point in marriage. Since marriage are made for two people who really love each other and share their life forever.
The Prejudice Of The Poor And The Pride Of The Wealthy
Social status is an integral part of society and is viewed as an important indicator on where an individual stands compared to his or her peers, this is evident in the novel, “Pride and Prejudice”, by Jane Austen. This book conveys the idea of social status through many different characters. Main characters such as Darcy and Elizabeth have much of the plot focused on their relationship as it builds and develops through the story. Austen strongly displays the adherent theme through these characters to help explain the title of her book.
Elizabeth although poor is very different then most of the characters because she does not seek wealth from a marriage but love. This characterization truly builds a foundation for the character, Austen writes “There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”() She conveys how Elizabeth does not want a man due to his power or luxury in life but, would rather have one that is able to connect with her emotionally and one that is kind. Elizabeth also is one of the only characters that realizes her flaws due to her preconception and satisfaction of herself. Austen writes,”There was certainly at this moment, in Elizabeth’s mind, a more gentle sensation towards the original, than she had ever felt in the height of their acquaintance,”(Austen 167) Elizabeth realizes that she was wrong and judged Darcy without knowing truly who he was. Her prejudice got the best of her and is able to accept that, this attribute constructs her abstract ability and separates her from the rest.
Darcy, one of the wealthy men in the stories, was once viewed as arrogant by Elizabeth but as the story continued he began to become more aware of his sin. The sin that represents Darcy is pride which can be viewed in many different ways. For example Pemberley the estate owned by Darcy symbolizes his pride due to where it is located, how grand it is and how beautiful it is. Darcy does not comprehend his own pride especially when he states,” ‘Where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.’ Defending his pride due to him believing he has the necessary talents to support his ego. Darcy enhances his this by complementing his own intelligence. Throughout the novel due to his heritage and higher status than most individuals, his standards for women is higher than most believing that no one was good enough for him. Especially someone like Elizabeth who was not rich like himself. This was the thought that Darcy felt in the beginning of the story which gradually changed as like Emily is able to grasp his faults. The pride he once felt in himself began to change as stated, “I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. “ Unlike the previous quote Darcy perceives that he may not be as talented as he thought. Although his riches provide him with a lot like high social status he is not perfect and he is like all other people. Darcy discerns that he is not better than Elizabeth and that he truly loves her.
Pride and prejudice play a big role in the story in which both of the main characters take part in. Elizabeth who represents prejudice and Darcy who represent pride are on different ends of society. The idea that is relayed from Jane Austen is that the poor and the rich are no different and both classes have their faults.
The Complexity Of Social Norms In Pride And Prejudice
The conflict of deviation from society’s traditional norms proves exceedingly controversial, especially in nineteenth-century England, a setting in which social and behavioral norms dictate the lives of individuals. However, author Jane Austen tackles this conflict by conveying the impact of individuals’ surroundings on their personal and social development in her novel, Pride and Prejudice. The lives of the Bennet family are highly dependent on their environmental standards since, from the very start of the novel, the conflict of Mrs. Bennet resides in her duty to marry off her daughters. The opening “mock” aphorism describes the “truth universally acknowledged”, which, in fact, is less a universally followed generalization than it is communally respected opinion by high-ranking individuals, depicting the extreme relevance and significance held in societal standards during this time period. A continued focus of the novel lies on Elizabeth Bennet and her struggle for individuality amid the pressures of her community.
Austen introduces Elizabeth as witty, intelligent, and sensible, receiving the approbation of her father, Mr. Bennet, due to their shared beliefs of a realistic outlook on life. However, while her attractive nature draws the attention of readers as the quintessential protagonist, her character contains flaws; specifically, her prideful and judgemental first impressions, caused by the societal norms she follows, influence her attitudes and relationship with other significant characters, such as Mr. Darcy. Throughout the story, Elizabeth learns to develop her individuality by not allowing her environment to impose principles of behavior on her character. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice illustrates the effect of social norms, in nineteenth-century England, on individuality through Elizabeth Bennet’s character and her relationship with Mr. Darcy. From the beginning of the novel, while Elizabeth may pride herself with singularity in her personality, it is evident that her freedom of behavior faces hindrance by her surroundings, as witnessed through dialogue. When Jane and Elizabeth discuss the traits of Mr. Bingley upon meeting him, Jane comments on his liveliness and good-humored nature, while Elizabeth focuses on the aspects most significant according to societal values.
Elizabeth observes his wealth and physical characteristics, “which a young man ought likewise to be . . . [for] his character [to be] complete” (Austen 16). She views the situation through a lens that highlights the traditionally respected elements, instead of what her own beliefs as an individual may comprise, and she is essentially tied down by her prejudices. When first introduced, her personality is one lacking originality but rather demonstrating conformity, where the distinction of “individual” and “society” is blurred. As noted by Dorothy Van Ghent in her essay on The English Novel: Form and Function (1953), Elizabeth’s internal conflicts, her extreme prejudice and lack of expressional freedom, illuminate “ the deficient reconciliation of the sensitively developed individual with the terms of [her] social existence” (Ghent 100). The bylaws of what society demands, when it comes to expectations, act as a barrier to her supposed independent personality. It is through this perspective that Austen conveys Elizabeth’s story, not as an exercise of individual freedom, but “as an effort to achieve freedom and separate herself from the community she is embedded in” (Bloom 114). Austen emphasizes Elizabeth’s constrained beliefs through the incorporation of dramatic irony.
Throughout the novel, Elizabeth criticizes Jane Bennet’s blindness to others’ faults and attitudes, when she herself exemplifies this same blindness to the people in her life due to her prejudice. What she believes to be her most positive aspect, her perceptive capabilities, is what she lacks in certain circumstances. Upon meeting George Wickham, her attitude towards him is one of approval due to his unreserved and agreeable behavior, his “most gentlemanlike appearance”, and all the components of his physical beauty, including “a fine countenance, a good figure, and pleasing address” (Austen 71). Her prejudiced beliefs, no doubt originating from societal views, makes her prioritize exterior aspects that portrayed Wickham as the ideal suitor in her eyes. Her perception of individual character when analyzing it in others is deceived, as she later discovers his true intentions of monetary goals and abandons her respect for him.
Elizabeth’s important judgement in the early stages of the novel, especially her “delighted approval” of Wickham, is a prime example of unconscious mental conformity. As noted by literary critic William Deresiewicz, the conformity taking place is not one of common opinion, but to “the very way the community makes and maintains its opinions” (Deresiewicz 508). Here, Elizabeth’s true beliefs are masked by the upheld qualities dictated by those around her, and ironically, her own guard of perception is let down.
Irony In Pride And Prejudice
Jane Austen’s witty way of incorporating her personal humour within her works makes her stand out in comparison to other authors publishing their own novels at the time. Theresa Weisensee describes her writings as ‘strongly marked by an ironic tone, a subtle humour and highly ambivalent statements.’ This irony she presents to her readers is one of the most prominent features throughout her novels and it is very particularly evident in Pride and Prejudice.
While this novel at first could be seen as a simple, entertaining and somewhat comical depiction of the social conventions of England at the time of Austen, it’s actually indirectly critical and treats particular political, economical and sociological circumstances- all mainly through the aforementioned use of irony. Austen opens her novel with the statement. ‘It is truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife’. This is not only an exceptional example of verbal irony, making this one of Austen’s widely known quotes from her works, but also sets the tone for the remainder of the text. Despite this truth being ‘universally acknowledged’, it is subjective as even if the women do see themselves as potential wives in the eyes of any well-off man, there’s a high chance that the men don’t regard them in the same manner. This contradiction is what makes it ironic and it is further emphasised in the lines following it, how without being aware a man is immediately ‘considered as the rightful property’ of the daughters of the families in the neighbourhood he moves into as is in the case of Mr. Bingley.
In Tony Tanner’s book on Austen, he writes about this opening sentence and says that:
[…] there are constant reminders of the shiftingness of what people take to be ‘truth’; for what is ‘universally acknowledged’ can change not only from society to society but from person to person, and indeed within the same person over a period of time.
This is seen throughout the novel in the ways and methods characters such as Elizabeth first form and later on change their views and opinions on the other characters. While her first impression of Darcy was that he was ‘the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world’ , and becomes obstinate on thinking otherwise, she hears that Wickham was a ‘universally liked’ person and takes a liking to him immediately. This could be seen as reference to the opening line as alike to it, such a broad and generalising statement could prove to be false in the end which in fact it was when she learns about his true colours through Darcy’s letter.
However, it isn’t just Elizabeth who takes on a negative first impression. The reply Mr. Darcy gives to Mr. Bingley after he suggests that Jane introduces Elizabeth to him is that ‘She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me’ . He refuses to dance with her, especially since he had ‘no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men’ . Therefore, he feels it to be beneath him to ask her himself especially since he has an especially high ranking. This plants a seed that would later sprout into a fine example of situational irony as although Darcy had not considered Elizabeth adequate enough to dance with him, he however saw her suitable enough to ask her hand in marriage. Not only that, he does so after persuading Mr. Bingley to not marry Jane due to her family’s status. Colonel Fitzwilliam states that Mr. Darcy even ‘congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage’ yet all of this is contradicted when he ends up proposing himself to another daughter from the same family.
Regarding Darcy not dancing with Elizabeth the first time he had the opportunity, he is eventually swayed by Sir William to do so in the sixth chapter in a fine example of situational irony. When Sir William initially asks Darcy to partake in the dances, the latter strongly refuses it and states that ‘Every savage can dance’ . Although Sir Lucas states that dancing was ‘one of the first refinements of polished society’ , Mr. Darcy argues that even none aristocratic people knew some semblance of dance, eliminating any notion of it being a delight only the upper-class could enjoy. The irony comes in however when Sir William presents Elizabeth to him and he ‘requested to be allowed the honour of her hand’ as not only does Darcy act in opposition to his earlier statement, but the change in his attitude is also very sudden as it happened just a short while after he initially declared his intention to not dance.
Although one can say that Darcy and Elizabeth are the main characters and that a lot of the irony is centred around situations involving them together, it also extends to relations extending to others. As readers, we first get a good first impression of Mr. Wickam and even Elizabeth herself is interested in him. In fact, her father tells her to ‘Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably’ . Here, Mr. Bennet describes Mr. Wickam as a pleasant man- despite following up his compliment with sardonic humour, saying that he’ll abandon Elizabeth. He continues to mention how officers such Mr. Wickam ‘disappoint all the young ladies in the country’ . These words lead to two instances of irony involving Lydia, the youngest of the Bennet sisters who had grown infatuated with the officer. The departure of the militia from Meryton was supposed ‘to bring an end to Lydia’s flirtations’ , leaving her in fact disappointed. However, this brings about the expected separation between her and Mr. Wickam, but their combined elopement making this an ironic situation.This elopement brings about dramatic irony as it also creates a crisis within the Bennet family and a hit to Mr. Bennet’s complacency. In reality, Mr. Wickam wasn’t the good man others and he himself made him out to be and that in fact, as Colonel Forster believes, Mr. Wickam is actually ‘imprudent and extravagant’ .
Before Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy actually do get engaged, we see the character of Lady Catherine who tries to prevent this from happening. On an unannounced visit to the Bennet household, she asks Elizabeth ‘ will you promise me, never to enter into such an engagement?’ She tries to persuade her into letting go of any thoughts in relation to marrying Mr. Darcy. She does so as she wants him to marry her daughter instead yet the opposite happens as these attempts ‘only make Darcy realize that Elizabeth will marry him’. Her interference between the two characters brings up elements of irony. There is dramatic irony related to her earlier statement in which she says that a ‘scandalous falsehood’ is spreading about Elizabeth already being engaged to Mr. Darcy. This is considered ironic as Elizabeth could have actually already been engaged to him if she didn’t reject him the first time he proposed. However, ‘unluckily for her ladyship, its effect had been exactly contrariwise’ as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth did, in fact, get engaged after all, making this episode above all an exceptional case of situational irony. After Elizabeth accepts Mr. Darcy’s second marriage proposal, she also adds in an ironic comment about Lady Catherine and how she ‘has been of infinite use, which ought to make her happy, for she loves to be of use’.
One cannot fully comprehend the presence of irony in Pride and Prejudice until they finish their first reading of the novel and go back to the start and reread the first sentence. With the knowledge of what the book entails, one can fully perceive the irony present in that infamous line and the subsequent usage of irony throughout the remainder of the novel that might have been overlooked the first time. Only through this can one fully see how Austen is a ‘critical observer of humanity’ and how she makes use of irony to express ‘moral and social judgment, who enlarges the reader’s understanding of experience through making him
realize how limited is that of her fictional characters’ .
A Critical Review Of Pride And Prejudice
First of all, first impressions can be misleading. As we know, Jane named the novel “First Impressions” at first then changed the title. The reason why she called this book “First Impressions” was everyone in the book held first impressions of other people and their first impression most likely was wrong. For example, at the beginning of the book, the author said “His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped he would never come there again.” From this quote, it showed how quickly people could make a judgment of a stranger and this was a timeless behavior, applying to modern relationships as well. According to Todorov, a psychologist, people can form a first impression from a person’s face in as little as 30 to 40 milliseconds, which means it was a human nature that we find judging others based on a single glance, like their appearance, speaking manners, or gestures. However, once a first impression formed, it would take a long time for people to change it, such as Elizabeth deepened the misunderstanding about Darcy only because of Wickham and Darcy’s cousin’s words, and she finally realized her misconception until she read the letter.
In a similar way, “if people form an opinion early in the relationship about the other person, and then use every opportunity to screen out information that runs counter to that opinion, then they have a coherent worldview, but possibly an unreliable view of partner, who – whether they actually improve or not – is trapped within the prejudices”, according to Tim Lott. Therefore, Jane Austen effectively conveyed that self-justification can be misleading by describing the conversations between Elizabeth and Darcy and writing detailed descriptions of their manners. Since the first impressions also happened and affected the relationship in the modern world, it was said that Pride and Prejudice was a timeless love story.
Secondly, mutual respect is important to a healthy and happy marriage. The best example to illustrate this prompt was the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Bennet treated his wife like the fool and an entertainment tool, according to the quote “ This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.” He did not respect his wife at all; even Elizabeth realized that it was “impropriety of her father’s behavior as a husband.”
Additionally, readers also could not see mutual respect in the marriage of Lydia and Wickham, since their relationship relied on outside stimulus for amusement and neither of them loved each other because of the personality. As a result, readers were prone to suspect that their love would last a long time since mutual respect, the bedrock of love that Austen recognized long before psychology explanation, did not exist in their relationship. Similarly, mutual respect was essential to modern relationships. Based on some psychology survey, when couples were able to respect the similarities and diversities between themselves, they are more likely to form a long-term relationship. This was proved by psychology that “In healthy relationships, people talk to each other in ways that don’t debase, invalidate, or belittle. They value each other’s time and opinions like they value their own.” Therefore, the essential rule of the modern relationship was already revealed in Jane Austen’s novel as early as the late 17th century.
Since Jane Austen spent a large number of words delivering the conversations between the characters, it failed short in depicting detailed descriptions of the geographic settings. At the beginning of the book, when Elizabeth walked to Netherfield to see her sister, the author only used one sentence to describe how hard to get there—“ she should walk three miles so early in the day, in such dirty weather.” By spending fewer descriptions in the novel, readers are less likely to jump into the plot and feel the same way as Elizabeth, thus weakening the feeling of the hardness of the environment. Also, it was hard to say this novel was a timeless love story because it only based on its distinct social background. Back in that era, transportation systems were limited, if people did not have a carriage, they need to walk like Elizabeth. Due to this fact, the geographic restriction provided a hard time for people to make new friends outside the counties or enrich themselves to gain more knowledge, accounting for some silly and ridiculous female characters in the novel.
Moreover, since the characters lived in a small world, they tended to hold the ball for enlarging their social circle and care about their family reputation in children’s marriage. However, with the development of society, the social background may be the least consideration in the relationship. Lots of people chose to keep their long-distance relationship when they were young and turned it into marriage later when they settled down together. This is because the hardness of the environment depicted in the novel did not exist, the geographic restriction had fewer impacts on the relationship, and different geographic sites did not equal the family reputation anymore. As a result, it can be concluded that some obstacles existed in the ancient time would not be the problem in a modern relationship.
In conclusion, I believed that Pride and Prejudice was a timeless love story. Although times were changing and less geographic restrictions would affect relationships, Jane Austen delivered the universal truth of marriage to her readers, having mutual respect between partners and avoiding using first impressions to judge other people. It is desirable for us to learn the principles from the novel and find the conjugial love partner in the future.
Satire In Swift’s ‘Modest Proposal’
Each writer has his own approach to creating a narrative, rich in deep imagery and virtuoso conveying the main idea, message, and argument of the creator. In this regard, the well-known pamphlet ‘A Modest Proposal,’ written by Jonathon Swift, is a fascinating case of using satire as the primary method for effectively revealing social problems characteristic of that time and attracting the attention of the audience through a skillfully created narrative. This satirical pamphlet allows not only to discover the talent, skill, and accuracy of the writer’s word but also to evaluate the impression Swift achieves with the help of satire.
Moreover, the author’s rhetoric, aimed at revealing such acute topics as poverty in Ireland, government failure, and fear for the fate of children and the future of society as a whole, is of considerable interest as an example of using wit to identify and demonstrate (broad) problems in society. At the same time, a close examination of the features of satire as a rhetorical tool may allow for a more detailed understanding of Swift’s approach to creating strong rhetoric. Therefore, Swift’s pamphlet ‘A Modest Proposal’ is not a gloomy, cruel, and inhuman mockery of a starving Irish society, but a provocative satire and parody as the most effective way to realize the rhetoric of the narrative in support of the kingdom and its future.
To appreciate Jonathan Swift’s literary skills, as well as the effectiveness of his rhetoric, it is necessary to consider satire’s main features and goals as a literary device. Thereby, satire is a literary tool designed to uncover moral judgment and constructive criticism of a phenomenon or people, as well as ridicule absurdity or stupidity through wit and irony (Singh, 65-68). Proceeding from this, satire becomes not just a stylistic device, but a more complex technique, allowing achieving the final result through a veiled narrative. Considering the plot of the ‘A Modest Proposal,’ one can conclude that the story is a mad and brutal call for child abuse and cannibalism. This is due to the fact that the narrator argues about the need to use the meat of babies in food as a way to combat hunger and poverty in Ireland, using numbers and economic indicators (Swift). Such text looks like mocking and misanthropic reasoning concerning the society surrounding the author and calls for inhuman treatment. However, a superficial glance at the pamphlet does not allow discovering a deeper meaning that the author creates through ironic and witty techniques.
Hence, the condemnation of public policy, ridicule of stupidity, disclosure of crimes that are committed in Ireland by an indifferent government and blind society, is hidden behind the external farce and mocking formality, which are elements of Swift’s rhetorical strategy. A more detailed analysis of the text, as well as its historical implication, makes it possible to notice that, at first glance, cruel and unhealthy ideas constitute a powerful irony and ridicule of the most acute problems of society and drawing attention to the need to find their solution.
Thereupon, Swift describes 19th century Ireland, suffering from poverty and hunger under the influence of England (Swift). Awareness of this crucial historical subtext makes it possible to notice that a more detailed analysis of the text neutralizes the first impression of disgust and absurdity and reveals the deeper meanings and ideas designed to support the writer’s argument. Given that the authors resort to satire to criticize and expose negative phenomena, it is possible to say that Swift’s satirical rhetoric is entirely focused on attracting public attention through horrific and cruel ideas (Singh 68). Consequently, the manner of narration and stylistic techniques allow the author to achieve a strong emotional response and reader’s attention through which an understanding of the text’s real idea comes.
Swift uses many methods to form a satirical frame for a pamphlet, openly highlighting the most acute problems for the attentive reader. First of all, it is worth noting that the author deliberately uses a formal tone, reinforcing his cruel statements with figures reflecting the economic instability of Irish society. For example ‘the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old and upwards, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings apiece per annum,’ or ‘the nation’s stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per annum,’ as well as the exact weight of babies and children of different ages (Swift 5, 7, 10). Such speech momentum and accurate data create a deceptive impression of a report or economic research, which is designed to reliably explain the need to use children as food to save the nation and overcome financial adversity. Nevertheless, understanding the historical conditions that the author reflects in the essay, one can assume that such a formality is used intentionally as a satirical device. At the same time, satire becomes the most effective way of ridiculing social problems sharply with Swift, since this rhetorical tool is designed to detect and criticize the shortcomings of society and humanity (Singh 68, 69). It is also noticeable that the enumeration of the economic problems characteristic of the Irish society at that time becomes apparent through familiarization with the ingenious statistics and data that Swift offers the reader as formal grounds for their proposals. Hence, the author’s ironic claim to a serious analysis of the economic situation of Irish society creates an underlined sense of the importance of political and economic decisions taken, while the actual situation reflects the failure of the government in resolving the crisis.
The mockery and accusations that appear throughout ‘A Modest Proposal’ also become ways of conveying the irony of the situation of Irish society and the importance of the problems that stand behind them.
Accordingly, from the very beginning of the essay, Swift shows disapproval and hostility towards children and women, who, in his opinion, idle around and begging for alms instead of honestly earning a better life (Swift 5). Knowing that satire is aimed at criticizing social tendencies and phenomena, it can be concluded that the narrator brings hatred not to impoverished weak people and children, but to English power, which allows for hunger and poverty. Further, the narrator reports that he found a way to overcome hunger, namely, butcher children for meat, and even calculated that the weight of a one-year-old child reaches twenty-eight pounds under favourable conditions (Swift 7). The cruelty and inhumanity of this proposal breed the reader, however, the intensity of the emotions it evokes allows for enhanced contrast in the ideas of babies and the decisions that the British government makes in dealing with the plight of the kingdom.
Moreover, the suggestion of killing children and ridiculing ordinary people’s plight is not the last time that the author uses obscure words to more effectively convey the essay’s rhetoric. Therefore, the narrator continues to enumerate arguments in favour of atrocities over children, underscoring them with the idea that the production of new food type will have a positive effect on society. In his opinion, this is due to the fact that mothers will begin to show great care to their little ones, while their husbands will begin to show great care to pregnant wives as to livestock that brings posterity, as this will become a matter of benefit and well-being for everyone (Swift 10). One can see that the author seeks to cover up atrocities with arguments about the benefits and needs of society in transforming the culture and production of food, thereby strengthening the irony of his words, drawing a parallel with the motives of the government. Moreover, Swift does not stop at describing the new way of the Irish society’s life He also offers the most successful recipes for preparing children, recommending ‘buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife as we do roasting pigs’ (Swift 10). The constant increase in absurdity and gloom in the proposals for improving the economic situation of Ireland is causing an increasingly strong horror response. It can be noted that such an overlap of ironic hints reflects the satirical nature of the pamphlet since irony is intended to indicate the inefficiency and stupidity of certain norms, policies, and phenomena (Singh 69). Thereby, the layering of ironic ideas that hide actual problems under them allows the author to form an effective satire as a way of translating the need to solve existing tragedies.
Each paragraph of the essay is full of statements with a double bottom, which allows creating not only an impressive text that evokes strong emotions but also encourages the reader to analyze the reading and identify clear parallels with the surrounding circumstances. At the same time, Swift continues a mocking narrative, saying that he puts forward a proposal to eat children solely out of good motives and care for society since he does not hope to enrich himself on this since his child has already reached the age of 9 years (Swift 12). This final part of the pamphlet reflects the moral position of the narrator and at the same time refers to unscrupulous landowners and politicians who are also not concerned about the fate of Ireland, since this is not related to their welfare. Moreover, Swift goes further, warning that Ireland cannot be afraid of England’s wrath for the attempt to enrich themselves since the export of baby meat is impossible because of its delicate properties (Swift 12). This final statement loops over all previously expressed ideas and suggestions, pointing to England’s connections with the search for alternative ways to combat hunger and poverty for the sake of survival. Moreover, immunity, prudence, and at the same time the naivety of the narrator, who does not feel pity for either women or children or the starving society as a whole, reinforces the irony that sets the satirical tone of the whole narrative (Pollard 68). Thereupon, the coverage of England’s inaction regarding poverty and the economic crisis in Ireland’s kingdom and drawing close attention to the unfairness of the situation becomes obvious and impressive thanks to the writer’s satirical rhetoric.
Therefore, the pamphlet ‘A Modest Proposal’ is a vivid example of social satire, which is designed to draw attention to unfairness. Empathizing with the Irish society, Swift uses satire as an effective tool of rhetoric, allowing through pessimism, ridicule, and parody to create the most extensive and relevant subtext calling for change.
Critical Essay On ‘A Modest Proposal’
Literature and Society are intrinsically dynamic. Jonathan Swift illustrated this with his depiction of a dystopic society in his work, A Modest Proposal. He drew the line where dystopia met reality by resonating the conflict of overpopulation within the story to the Irish commonwealth in the 1700s. When poverty, abortion, hypocrisy and inequality, and many other issues rose during his time, Swift used satire to criticize the way that the current government was handling the aforementioned problems.
After a careful study, one realizes that the prescriptions of the proposer should not be taken at face value. It should be obvious that people are already far beyond the barbaric notions of eating one’s child even if it did solve the public’s issues. On the contrary, what should be taken at face value is the proposer’s cold-hearted logic. He objectified people by reducing them to mere numbers for economic commodities that seem to only benefit those that are rich.
Poverty and class struggle was very much apparent in this story. In fact, ‘the roads and cabin doors [would be] crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms.” To lose one’s right to basic needs is already painful, but to lose one’s sense of morality to compensate for the lack of basic needs should strike as a more painful blow to one’s self. The act of eating infants to solve hunger is a demonstration of the greed of the rich. The irony of this act is inhumane and it violates morality. It should blatantly strike the public as an act that the government should obviously not implement in order to address the issue of poverty. However, instead of addressing these problems with equality, the rich prioritize their own well being since the poor are not aware of the socio-political laws. When the poor are not educated, their suffering becomes a lifestyle. That is not solving the problem; that is only making it worse.
With regard to the issue of abortion, the proposer is shameless and cold-hearted. He addressed the problem by using infants as commodities and coining it as a ‘great advantage’ as it will ‘prevent voluntary abortions and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children’. He claims to have solved the issue regarding abortion by using the infants for commodities such as food and clothing. However, much like his solution for poverty, it only does the contrary because it caters to the problems faced by the rich while the poor succumb to more problems.
The proposal being made here is not merely to use the infants as commodities, instead, it is to give up one’s humanity to survive. It is to go back to the savagery that there was back in the caveman era. In essence, humans devolve back into a society where it is driven by carnage and greed. Indeed, the proposal of Swift shows his anger towards the indifference of the government towards the poor during his time. He clearly showed it by writing a dystopian society that draws close similarities with reality. It is appalling to see how brutally synonymous the dystopic society, illustrated by Swift, is to the Philippines. Both are a nation where criminal acts are normalized and the poor have no voice.
To illustrate, extrajudicial killings due to Duterte’s war on drugs did not solve the drug problem here. One may kill the people who practice an ideology, but for as long as the ideology persists, there will be people who will practice it. This is in parallel with the ideology of the addiction to drugs. Objectively speaking, killing someone for taking illegal drugs demonstrates authority and will show fear to people who take these drugs. However, it will not stop them because this approach does not address the issue by the root, instead, it takes it by the leaves where there is room left for other leaves to grow in other areas. Clearly, this is one of the reasons why Duterte’s war on drugs is a failure. He has promised to solve this problem two to three months after his taking of oath as the president, yet 3 years after, the problem on illegal drugs still is prevalent and is worse than it used to be.
Duterte’s war on drugs and extrajudicial killings always used to be on the headlines of new articles and news reports on the television. However, it seems that news stations have come to let them pass as if it is something that is not newsworthy because of how normalized these cases have become. It is horrific how this is a reality because it is a society where manipulating and killing the poor is not wrong. It is as if the Duterte administration had seen the proposal of Swift and failed to see how it was supposed to be satire. As the administration continues to claw on people and lives are involuntarily taken without due process, none of the problems in the Philippines will be solved. Eating infants, or for the Philippines case, killing drug lords will not solve anything.
I analogize the issue on illegal drugs and overpopulation in the Philippines using a claw machine because much like the stuffed toys, we Filipinos, especially the poor, are powerless and silenced as individuals against the criminal acts of the Duterte administration. We are already lucky enough to have news reports which tell of stories of a few cases of extrajudicial killings. However, it is certain that these cases are only a few among thousands of other cases that have not been reported on. If we do not address the issues of the current administration, then we will only end up like the stuffed toys, waiting to be clawed to our demise.
Marxism In The Metamorphosis
From the word go, the main character Gregor is given a proletarian role where he is made the sole breadwinner of the family, trifling to beat the debt his family owed (Minute Book Report, 2013). He worked as a clerk at a local firm and was strategically placed among the class of modern wage laborers, having no other means of self emolument than the sale of labor for a livelihood.
Kafka creates a nameless manager to whom Gregor has to answer to. In this case, the nameless manager is the representation of the Bourgeoisie. He is described to sit on a desk from where he talks down from those heights to his staffers (Reese, 2004). He gains his superiority by virtue of economic position. From his description, he is presented as more monstrous than the man-sized beetle Gregor had turned into.
Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis “ brings out Marxist resolve that a person’s worth is as much as the value he can be exchanged into. The metamorphosis of Gregor into a beetle renders him useless as a normal laborers. Therefore, this leads to a chain of events that led to his eventual demise. First, the manager abandons him for he fled from the site never to return after seeing what Gregor had become. Being of no financial help to the family, Gregor is abandoned by his own kin especially after he had scared off renters who ought to have brought more money to the family, leading to his unfortunate death in beetle form. Grete even says to her father, “It has to go.” Gregor had ceased to be Grete’s brother the moment he became a non-working man-sized beetle. (Reese, 2004)
The manager, who is the bourgeoisie in the text has a lot of time in his hands to travel to Gregor Samsa’s home to look for him. The economic power he has over the rest in the workplace had him go to Gregor’s house to scold him for being late few hours despite being on time for five years. To him, the value of Gregor was as a laborer and not as a person. (Reese, 2004)
Reese, R. J. 2004. Marxist Theory in The Metamorphosis. Retrieved from https://robertjamesreese.com/essays/marxist-theory-in-the-metamorphosis
Minute Book Report, 2013. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Summary and Review). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/l-hD-6Qxj_E