Pride and Prejudice essay – a comparison of Elizabeth and Lydia

Elizabeth Bennet is the 2nd eldest of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s 5 daughters. Lydia is the youngest. The only thing these 2 brother or sisters seem to share is their family. The girls contrast starkly.

Lydia Bennet has a rather childish and fun caring disposition. She encounters as a little doing not have in intelligence and her own dad even reaches to call her ‘among the silliest women in the country.’ As well as stating that she is ‘ridiculous and oblivious like other ladies’.

Elizabeth on the other hand is fully grown, kind, caring and rather more in her daddies favour than her more youthful sis. He appears especially keen on his ‘little Lizzy’ and informs his better half that she ‘has something more of quickness than her siblings’.

Throughout the unique the women opposing personalities are demonstrated. Lydia’s flirtatious and frivolous ways are really obvious at the beginning of the novel through her behaviour towards the soldiers. Elizabeth’s wisdom shines through at the very first ball in the unique, when she overhears Mr Darcy explaining her to Mr Bingley as ‘tolerable; but not handsome adequate to tempt me’.

Elizabeth however takes this on the chin, and instead mocks him by stating the story to her friends and chuckling at his rudeness and arrogance. Her conduct is exceptional, a lesser girl would have been ravaged to hear herself explained in such an unflattering and uncomplimentary method, and in this instance we really see her great manners and sense of maturity.

Both Elizabeth and Lydia are confident and outspoken girls although in rather different ways. Lydia tends to say exactly what she thinks without much consideration, whereas Elizabeth’s words are always thoughtful and quick witted. Her observance and good sense make her mostly a consistently accurate judge of character. For example she recognises the inappropriate behaviour of some members of her family, like her mother and Lydia, and feels embarrassed. Also she realises Mr Collins unsuitability for her and refuses his proposal, despite it offering her notable financial stability. She also takes a dislike to Lady Catherine De Bourgh, regardless of her influential position, and stands up for herself and her family. However, in the case of Mr Wickham and Mr Darcy, her perception was originally misguided, but later she recognises her mistakes.

Lydia on the other hand does not have such a sound sense of judgement. She believes that Wickham genuinely loves her and will marry her, when his intentions were only to elope with her. She was so gullible that she ran away with him and her only saving grace was Mr Darcy forcing Mr Wickham to enter into marriage with her.

Lydia rushes headfirst into her affair with Wickham and claims to love him, although in reality she barely knows him.

Elizabeth is completely different to her sister and by no means hurries into her romance with Mr Darcy. She demonstrates at several stages in the novel that she does not want a pretentious and shallow relationship or marriage for practicality, but wants to find a true love match. Her cousin Mr Collins is very admiring towards Elizabeth and asks for her hand in marriage. The acceptance of this proposal would have offered Elizabeth a sound life as Mr Collins had ‘a good house and very sufficient income’. But having no physical or mental attraction to the man, Elizabeth tells how, in regard to his proposals ‘it is impossible for me to do otherwise than decline them.’ Mr Darcy also asks for Elizabeth’s ‘acceptance of his hand.’ At the stage when he makes his first proposal to Elizabeth she believes him to have wronged Mr Wickham and feels a ‘deeply rooted dislike’ for him and so declines his proposal. In this instance she follows her heart, despite Mr Darcy earning ‘ten thousand a year’ and having a very respectable status and estate.

Neither Lydia nor Elizabeth really conform to the expectations of the society that they live in. They are both different to the mould of average women of the setting, but in their own ways. Lydia is less discreet than her elder sister and certainly makes a name for herself with her flirtatious and attention seeking tendencies. She is only fifteen years of age and many people scorn her for socialising with men, attending balls and such like. Lady Catherine De Bourgh is a prime example of this and tells Elizabeth that it is ‘very odd’ Lydia being out at only fifteen years of age.

Another far more scandalous way in which Lydia does not conform to the values of her society is her elopement with Wickham. She runs away with him to London without a single care for her family or the disgrace it might bring to their name. She believes all that he tells her unquestionably and is certainly very niaive. She is ignorant with regard to her family’s feelings and her actions outrage her father and cause her mother to be ‘taken ill immediately’. It places their home in ‘such confusion’ and forces Mr Darcy to pay out a substantial sum of money to the penniless Wickham. Lydia’s behaviour was not the norm and Elizabeth tells how her ‘conduct has been such as neither you, nor I, nor anybody can ever forget’ which implies that the elopement has tarnished the Bennett name lastingly.

At the time the novel was written, women were expected to become ‘accomplished’ in things such as art, music and reading. Elizabeth is suitably talented at playing the piano and ‘has a good notion of fingering’ and Darcy tells how ‘no one admitted to the privilege of hearing’ her ‘can think of anything wanting.’ She is also ‘a great reader’ and so all in all is quite an accomplished girl. Lydia though does not, as far as I can tell, show much talent or interest in the areas of music and arts. She seems rather preoccupied with the soldiers in neighbouring Meryton, clothes, balls and gossip.

Although Elizabeth is generally well liked and highly thought of, she does not completely live up to expectations in her society. As I have discussed previously she doesn’t, like most girls of the time, consider money an important enough reason to marry and hence refuses two marriage proposals. In this period, women were considered second class citizens in society, as equality had not yet been established between the sexes. This makes Elizabeth an even more remarkable character as she is by no means intimidated by Mr Darcy and is intelligent and assured enough to tease and mock him, questioning his actions and picking him up on his past wrongs.

Her disposition is so confident that she has enough conviction to stand up for herself and express her views cleverly regardless of the company she is keeping. This is demonstrated when she stands her ground when confronted by Lady Catherine De Bourgh, telling her in no uncertain terms that her prospective marriage to Mr Darcy is none of her business. In the period that the novel was written, this would not have been considered acceptable conduct as Lady Catherine is of much higher social status than Elizabeth. Lady De Bourgh explains how she has ‘not been accustomed to language as this’ and goes on to ask Elizabeth – ‘do you know who I am?’

Elizabeth also causes a minor stir when she walks three miles from Longbourne to Netherfield. It was unusual for ‘ladies’ of the time to walk so far unaccompanied – they would usually have taken a carriage. This is a way in which Elizabeth takes a subtle stand and resolves to do as she pleases regardless of what people may think. Miss Bingley tells how Elizabeth seems to ‘show an abominable sort of conceited independence.’

The main character of the novel is Elizabeth Bennet and much of the story is portrayed through her eyes, leading the reader to favour her. She is the heroine of the novel and the main narrative is her story in particular. I think that Jane Austin meant for her to be a particularly likeable character, as she shows admirable and dignified conduct throughout. She is the sort of woman that many people would aspire to – she has intelligence, beauty, talent and is a kind and compassionate sort of person. She does not allow herself to simply be dictated to, but has the strength of personality to do and say as she sees fit, and for these reasons I think that she earns almost all readers approval.

I do not think that Jane Austin intended us to approve of Lydia. Her behaviour certainly was not approved of by the characters in the book as she acted without any consideration for others. She was self centred, reckless and stupid. However, I do not think that Lydia is a bad character that we are meant to strongly dislike, but on the contrary, we are meant to be entertained by her antics. She adds a touch of scandal to the story making it all the more interesting and in the end it is her carelessness in not thinking before she speaks that lead to Elizabeth and Mr Darcy finally uniting.

The two sisters are very different indeed and are both portrayed to opposite extremes. Elizabeth’s responsibility and great qualities are magnified by Lydia’s outrageous behaviour at the other end of the scale. I think that without Lydia’s character Elizabeth would not seem quite so exemplary, and without Elizabeth to live up to, Lydia would not seem such an immature and thoughtless character.

I personally prefer Elizabeth and I think this is a feeling that most readers would share. I think she is an ideal role model who overcomes many obstacles to find truly deserved happiness in the story. Although I don’t particularly dislike Lydia, I think that she is a silly and annoying character who lacks all the inspiring qualities possessed by her older sister, Elizabeth Bennet.

Mrs Bennet’s character in ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Analyse Mrs Bennet’s character in ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ by looking closely at her attitude and behaviour. Comment on what you think Mr Darcy and Elizabeth think of her, as well as your own views.

‘She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper.’ Mrs Bennet, the mother of five girls; Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, most resembles her youngest daughter, Lydia; a shallow and flirtatious girl. Similarly, Mrs Bennet is very excitable and pronounces her fondness for ‘red coats’ when she was Lydia’s age.

This declaration of her affection is quite endearing and reveals Mrs Bennet’s younger side. Mrs Bennet and Lydia are the pinnacles of the kind of characters who talk far too much and fuss about silly things. An example demonstrating this aspect of her character is how Mrs Bennet does not worry herself with the moral consequences of Lydia’s ‘infamous elopement’ but fusses about trivial, frivolous things such as wedding clothes and ‘where the best warehouses are.

This also demonstrates her stupidity and lack of insight into human nature which prevents her from realising how close Mrs Bingley comes to being outright rude. She believes that Mr Bingley’s sisters were ‘charming women.’ Then goes on to comment, ‘I never in my life saw anything more elegant then their dresses.’ Apart from being utterly wrong about them, she demonstrates perfectly her superficiality. She obviously is taken with the sisters because she sees them dressed incredibly ornately, and knows how rich they are, fogging her view of their personality.

From the very beginning of the novel, Mrs Bennet comes across as a woman obsessed about marriage. The first event in the entire book is Mrs Bennet gossiping about a young man of good fortune, Mr Bingley, who has just moved into the area. Mrs Bennet is already planning for one of her daughters to marry Mr Bingley, even though she has never met him and doesn’t know anything about him apart from the he is ‘a single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year.’ She says, ‘What a fine thing for our girls!’ This clearly shows that Mrs Bennet aims to get her daughters married to wealthy men, not minding if her daughter’s love them or if they are nice people or not.

This demonstrates an element of foolishness especially as she of all people should know about the problems of such an ‘unsuccessful marriage.’ This, along with the evidence of Mrs Bennet’s silliness seems to suggest that Mr Bennet married Mrs Bennet for convenience and for her looks rather than for love and her personality. Their love-hate relationship relies upon her gullibility and moodiness, and his love of teasing her which keeps Mr him going. Their barely surviving relationship should have shown Mrs Bennet the defects of a marriage for money and convenience, but she has in fact not learnt anything. She is so determined that she even wants Elizabeth to settle for marrying Mr Collins.

However, her actions could be seen in a very different light. Perhaps it demonstrates her true love for her daughters. Maybe she wants them to marry rich because when Mr Bennet dies they will not inherit the house or any money because they are girls. The law says that the next male relative has to inherit everything. For this reason Mrs Bennet feels that she needs to secure her daughters future, making sure that they are settled.

Mrs Bennet cannot accept not having her way and uses the blackmail, ‘you have no compassion for my nerves’ when she is not granted what she wants. One instance when she uses this excuse is when Mr Bennet refuses to speak to Mr Bingley and invite him over. It is very important to Mrs Bennet that Mr Bingley comes over so that she can try and get one of her daughters married to him. But when Mr Bennet gets in the way of her plan by not visiting Mr Bingley, Mrs Bennet shows that she gets very annoyed. The fickle side of her character is displayed when Mr Bennet finally admits that he has seen Bingley. Mrs Bennet’s mood changes very suddenly and she immediately gets excited and becomes happier. She says, ‘How good it was of you, my dear Mr Bennet,’ showing that she is superficial and that her feelings quickly change, cheering up at the thought of being able to marry off one of her daughters. Although it could also be seen that she is just a very determined person, whose resolution is to get her daughters married.

Her determination, however, is sometimes taken a step too far, especially when Jane was invited to Netherfield. Jane requested the carriage to take her to the estate, but Mrs Bennet, excited by the chance for Jane to get to know Mr Bingley better, insisted that she ‘had better go on horseback,’ because it seemed ‘likely to rain.’ Mrs Bingley was in fact hoping that it would start to rain, so that Jane would have to stay at Netherfield, therefore having more time to get to know Bingley. Despite her lack of intelligence, this shows a very shrewd, scheming side to her character forming a plan to keep Jane at Netherfield. Furthermore, she could even be interpreted as uncaring. When it does indeed start to rain, Mrs Bennet’s foolishness surfaces, as she comments on it being a ‘lucky idea’ of hers to have sent Jane on horseback. She shows no regard for Jane’s health, but on the contrary, smugly praising herself for the success of her cunning plan. On the surface, she does not seem bothered about her daughter’s health, but is more concerned about the achievement of her life’s aim; getting her daughters married. In this respect she seems more aware of her responsibilities as a parent than her husband.

Later, she finds out that Jane is unwell, but is not even slightly worried, saying, ‘I am not afraid of her dying. People to not die of trifling colds. She will be taken good care of.’ Despite her unconcerned exterior, I think it is likely that deep down she really does care about her daughters, even though her number one priority is always to get her daughters married. Evidence of her deep down affection for her daughters is when she goes to Netherfield and ‘would have been very miserable’ had she found Jane in any danger. Another redeeming feature of Mrs Bennet is that she is loyal, for example when she stuck up for Elizabeth after Mr Darcy had refused to dance with her. She tells Elizabeth to not dance with Darcy next time, even if he asks her. This is perhaps her way of comforting Elizabeth, because she probably understands that Elizabeth must have been offended.

From this point onwards, Mrs Bennet’s impression of Darcy changes completely from being ‘much handsomer than Mr Bingley’ to being a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing.’ Her attitude towards him changes completely, and she forgets that she ever liked him in the first place. This reveals her fickleness and superficial judgement. When she didn’t know him, she presumed that he was a really nice person just because she knew he was rich, but just as easily as she formed her first opinion of him, she changed her mind.

Near the end of the novel she once again changes her opinion of Darcy. Although she has disliked him throughout the whole book, declaring that he is ‘so high and so conceited,’ she is overjoyed at the news of Elizabeth’s engagement to him. She again changes her mind starting to really like him. The rest of the family were worried that she had made the wrong decisions about Darcy and may have been forced to marry him, but Mrs Bennet was not even slightly worried about that. She was just extremely happy that Elizabeth had found a rich husband, and that she only had two more daughters to get married.

Her changeability is also brought to surface through her opinion of Mr Collins. Mr Collins is Mr Bennet’s closest male relative, and so is destined to inherit Mr Bennet’s house after his death. According to the law, girls could not inherit anything after their father’s death and so Mr and Mrs Bennet were relying on the fact that they would bear a son. Unfortunately, after conceiving five girls it became obvious that the possibility of having a son was very unlikely, by when it was already too late to start saving money to pay their daughter’s dowry and provide for them for the future. Mrs Bennet particularly didn’t like Mr Collins for this reason, as she blames him for inheriting her house, even though it is not his fault. Even before she has met him or found out anything about him, she has already decided that he is an ‘odious man’, out for what he can get.

She goes on to say to Mr Bennet, ‘If I had been you, I should have tried long ago to do something or other about it,’ referring to the fact that his estate has been entailed to Mr Collins. From this, it is apparent that Mrs Bennet blames Mr Bennet for their problems, not being clever enough to understand that it is the law and that there is nothing Mr Bennet could do about it. She proclaims that she ‘hates false friends,’ which is very judgemental of her, but when she realises that Mr Collins wants to marry one of her daughters, her attitude completely changes. She is no longer hostile towards him, and forgets about her grudge against him.

However, Elizabeth, being much more sensible than her mother, refuses the offer of marriage because she understands that marriages without love do not work. She has seen her mother and father ‘passing’ their lives, not really understanding each other and sees ‘the defects of such a marriage.’ This decision agitates Mrs Bennet incredibly, who tells Mr Collins that Elizabeth ‘is a very headstrong, foolish girl and does not know her own interests; but I will make her know it.’ Mrs Bennets is very determined to have Elizabeth marry, and she suspects it would be quite had to get such as opinionated girl a husband. She is sure that she will be able to persuade or force Elizabeth to accept the offer of matrimony and doesn’t understand Elizabeth not wanting to marry Mr Collins or that they are incompatible. The way she sees it is that he has money, and will soon inherit Longbourne, so Elizabeth should accept the offer of marriage. This again seems to suggest that she does not care about her daughter’s happiness but is more consumed with her own security for the future.

Mr Collins, having given up on Elizabeth, marries Charlotte Lucas which outrages Mrs Bennet. She irrationally holds Sir William and Lady Lucas responsible for the whole situation, insisting that they must have convinced Elizabeth not to marry Mr Collins, an absurd idea showing how paranoid she is. She often passes blame onto other people, not accepting any responsibility for anything that goes wrong. She is so ‘vexed’ that she is impulsively rude to Sir William and Lady Lucas, spoiling their friendship because of her jealousy.

Another aspect of her character is that she is very unsubtle and rude. Even though she spends most her time trying to find suitors for her daughters, she generally has the opposite effect and almost drives away suitors entirely. An illustration of her indiscretion is when she visits Jane at Netherfield. She believes that she is being very subtle in insulting Darcy, but in fact she is quite blatant with her insults and gives Darcy the impression that she is very loud in speech, foolish and insensitive.

He is also offended by her lack of breeding and dislikes her since their first meeting at the Ball. He was annoyed at the way that Mrs Bennet would make judgements about people even without knowing them. She declares Mr Darcy to be ‘The proudest, most disagreeable man in the world.’ Without knowing him, Mrs Bennet had already made out his character, which annoyed him greatly. He also didn’t like the way that he would talk loudly about other people, thinking that this was insensitive and completely demonstrated her lack of breeding.

He also considers her to be very foolish, and in his letter to Elizabeth he wrote that he tried to break Bingley and Jane up because of their class difference. He also commented on the fact that their mother was foolish, and so he could not let Bingley marry Jane.

Elizabeth also considers her mother to be an embarrassment and very foolish. She thinks that her mother is insensitive and not very intelligent for example, when she sent Jane to Netherfield on horseback. Elizabeth was extremely worried about Jane and walked all the way to Netherfield to visit her sister. Her mother embarrasses her on many occasions such as when her mother misunderstands Mr Darcy’s comment on country people and reveals hostility towards him. This shows a lack of breeding and Elizabeth ‘blushes for her mother,’ trying to change the subject. The extreme diffence in character and sense between Elizabeth and Mrs Bennet makes Mrs Bennet look even more foolish and stupid.

Mrs Bennet is like a literary caricature of an interfering matchmaker. Her faults are magnified to excessive proportions, making her character almost funny and therefore providing comic relief at tense moments in the play. Her role in the play is to be an obstacle which Darcy needs to overcome and accept in order to show that he truly loves Elizabeth. This is very difficult for Darcy as she is almost his complete opposite. She is silly, obsessive, hysterical and tactless, but in the end he accepts her because of his love for Elizabeth.

In conclusion, Elizabeth, Mr Darcy and the reader may feel that Mrs Bennet is a foolish, insensitive woman, appearing to be loud, superficial and quickly irritated, but equally rapidly calmed down. This is because, throughout the novel, Jane Austin allows her more negative aspects to surface at different times throughout the novel by emphasising them through her words and actions. However, I feel that she is in fact a very caring and affectionate mother, who always has her daughter’s best interests at heart. Yet, this side of her personality is not often portrayed, forcing Mrs Bennet to be seen as an interfering, thoughtless woman.

Analysis of Characters of Chaucer and Austen

In contrast, during the Hanoverian period during which Austen lived, society was based on the material possessions of an individual (or their future inheritance), family connections, and marriage. Chaucer outlines his time period through his characters: the church body through the Friar, and the working class through the Plowman. Likewise, Austen uses her protagonist, Mrs. Bennet, to mock how people of her own social class behaved during her era. Chaucer uses the Friar to demonstrate the immoral nature of the church during his time.

One of the groups of people that Chaucer satirizes is the clergy. Amongst them, he attacks the character of the Friar as corrupt and dishonest. Historical evidence shows that friars were more often than not very corrupt and schemed to obtain worldly goods such as money. Many friars “came under wider criticism for worldliness and immorality” (Christianity…). They acted as if they had no money, but were in actuality living a fairly luxurious life. Chaucer compares the coat of Hubert, the Friar, to that of “a lord or like a pope.

Of double worsted was his semi-cope” (Chaucer 8). Hubert was also “rounded like a bell”, indicating that he had enough food to eat, and did not necessarily have to beg for sustenance (8). Once at the house of a crippled man, the Friar asks for food. “Now, dame,” said he then, “je vous dis, sans doute, Had I of a fat capon but the liver, And of your soft white bread naught but a sliver, And after that a pig’s head well roasted (Save that I would no beast for me were dead), Then had I with you plain sufficiency. I am a man of little gluttony.

My spirit has its nourishment in the Bible”. (313) This statement by the Friar epitomizes the relationship of the common people to those of the church at this time: while pretending to not have or need a lot, the clergy will steal from the lower class. “[The Friar] uses his position in the church to get money” (The Frior…). The middle class however, does not mistrust the church body as shown by the Plowman. In contrast to the corrupt church, Chaucer demonstrates the honesty and piousness of the middle class through the Plowman during the Post-Classical period*.

Even though the church was trying to extract money and goods from his class, the Plowman “paid his taxes, fully, fairly, well, / Both by his own toil and by stuff he’d sell”, meaning that he trusted the church and was honest (Chaucer 15). “Chaucer here negates the commonly held perception of the peasant’s supposed hatred of the church” (FREE study…). Chaucer writes that the Plowman was a good Christian follower as he uses the two greatest commandments to describe the Plowman: “He loved God most, and that with his whole heart/ … / And next, his neighbor, even as himself (Chaucer 15).

The Plowman also “[lived] in peace and perfect charity”, another allusion to the teachings of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible. Another example of his piousness is shown when Chaucer writes that “[he’d] thresh and dig, with never thought of pelf, / For Christ’s own sake, for every poor wight, / All without pay, if it lay in his might” (15). The fact that the Plowman did not think of pelf, or money gained in a dishonest way, shows how he was not materialistic like the clergy.

Chaucer also states that the Plowman would work (without thinking of gaining money) for the sakes of Jesus Christ and those poor, and less fortunate without receiving money. Although people of this period could live while not thinking about money for the sake of charity, money was one of the main focuses for people, especially women, in Jane Austen’s time. Austen demonstrates through her character, Mrs. Bennet, the narrow-mindedness of women of this era. Jane Austen was born into a family of the landed gentry: a social rank consisting of landowners who did not have to work, and could live solely off the rent income.

Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, was written about those in this social class, and their interaction with others in society. Mrs. Bennet directly personifies the women of her time as “she [had] five daughters, and finding them husbands [was] ‘the business of her life’” (Reef 88). “[Marriage] was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune… ” (Austen 106). As Mrs. Bennet was very much occupied with seeing her daughters married, she “seemed incapable of fatigue while enumerating the advantages of the match” (124).

This match refers to her eldest daughter possibly getting married to a man who has recently rented a house near Mrs. Bennet’s own and was “so rich” (124). From today’s standpoint, this point of view and way of living seems very materialistic, it is actually a very practical way to think for this time period. As property at this time was only passed down to male heirs, it is very understandable that Mrs. Bennet was so focused on marrying her daughters off to rich men because she and her husband (Mr. Bennet) had five daughters and no sons.

This meant that the family property and money would go to a male cousin once Mr. Bennet died, and the females of the family would be turned out onto the streets. Another example of the time being reflected by Mrs. Bennet is the fact that she took her daughters to balls. Balls were common social events and a place where many women went for entertainment and in hope that they might find a husband. Because they learned from their mother, Mrs. Bennet’s daughters “[talked] of nothing but soldiers and balls” (Reef 90).

Popular culture was also reflected through Austen’s character. Both Austen’s character (Mrs. Bennet) and Chaucer’s characters (the Friar, Hubert, and the Plowman) use traits of how different people acted in different times to show an in-depth picture of society at that time. It is through writing that readers and historians alike can catch a glimpse of what the social order looked like at the time. This thought provokes the following question: Which author(s) will the future generations read and what will they tell us about our society?

A Look At Pride And Prejudice English Literature

Pride and Prejudice is a novel written in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s by Jane Austen. At this time period there was also a rise of the “Second British Empire”. “Austen wrote it at a time when there was the rise of the “Second British Empire,” and was one of the first authors to ever divulge into the writing possibilities of a topic such as Post Colonialism” (Brant, British Colonization). Pride and Prejudice however explores several other literary theories aside from Post Colonialism (notably Feminism, Marxism and Realism).

Post Colonialism is the aftermath of colonization and is viewed as one of the most comprehensive literary theories for this novel. Post Colonialism is a vital aspect of the novel as it demonstrates the significance of wealth and social status and also reveals social hierarchy in which the roles of men dominate over that of women. Reading the novel while applying the literary theory of Post Colonialism clearly demonstrates the importance of which first impressions are meant to reflect the Post Colonial society in which the story is situated in.

The first occurrence in which we see first impressions used to reflect the Post Colonialism society that novel takes place in is during the ball at Meryton. The ball plays a significant role in the novel as it brings two couples together, namely Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth, as well as Mr. Bingley and Ms. Jane) together for the first time. It is at this time and place that Mrs. Bennett makes her first impressions of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, both who possess great wealth and power. As expected, Mrs. Bennett living in a Post Colonialism society thinks astonishingly high of them, despite not even speaking a word to them. Mrs. Bennett thinks of them to be exceptional and noteworthy young men. During the course of the ball however, it is learned that Mrs. Bennett’s perspective of Mr. Darcy quickly becomes bitter. Mrs. Bennett had hoped that Mr. Darcy would be able to “colonize”, so to speak, one of her daughters allowing them to prosperous, wealthy life but we see that she does not think the same when we read, “[Mr. Darcy] was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by having slighted one of her daughters” (Page 8, Pride and Prejudice).

As mentioned earlier, the ball at Meryton plays a vital role in the structure of the novel. Another example of those that meet for the first time and make first impressions are Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth. “‘Which do you mean?’ and turning round, [Mr. Darcy] looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, ‘She is tolerable; but no handsome enough to tempt me’” (Page 8, Pride and Prejudice). Mr. Darcy’s seemingly rude behaviour towards Ms. Elizabeth in combination with his failure to associate with her results in an immediate dislike for one another this instantaneously holds him back from finding his way to Ms. Elizabeth later on in the novel. However, Mr. Darcy’s judgment of Ms. Elizabeth changes throughout the chapters that follow shortly but her sense of him as “self-important” and “arrogant” remains the same until halfway through the novel Pride and Prejudice. In this situation, Mr. Darcy symbolizes a dominant nation that has yet to completely colonize but is showing progress and is described through Mr. Darcy’s lust for Ms. Elizabeth’s love. One may not view this as a strong example of Post Colonialism as the love that unfolds between Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth is true and pure in its fundamental nature as it is neither about Mr. Darcy’s status nor his wealth. Despite Ms. Elizabeth’s initial impressions of Mr. Darcy is that he is a man who was rich in status and in wealth, she eventually is able to look past his material and social benefits and into his personality instead. This was where we are able to see the literary theory of Post Colonialism be applied between Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth and how it ties in with first impressions in the novel. Even though the love between them is true and pure in its essence, we can see that Mr. Darcy is somewhat “colonizing”, so to speak, Ms. Elizabeth as she symbolizes a low member of the society and in doing so creates the ascent of her power, social status and wealth.

The other main arrangements of characters who meet at the ball at Meryton are Mr. Bingley and Ms. Jane. Throughout the course of the ball, Mr. Bingley and Ms. Jane get along well as if they were perfectly compatible. “Jane was so admired, nothing could be like it. Everybody said how well she looked; and Mr. Bingley thought her quite beautiful, and danced with her twice” (Page 9, Pride and Prejudice). They interact effortlessly and this can likely be traced to their laid-back attitude; Mr. Bingley and Ms. Jane in no way cause the obstacles in which the novel places in the way of their happiness. It’s noted that their feelings for one another seem to change at the smallest of magnitudes and a conclusion is reached that there is no development of love, but only the delay of its consummation. In this scenario, Mr. Bingley would represent the powerful nation if we apply the literary theory of Post Colonialism as he is professed of great wealth and status. As a result, Ms. Jane becomes “colonized” as she essentially has a desire for wealth. Smaller countries favour to be colonized by a larger and more powerful country as it allows for their independency along with increases in both status and wealth, and also flourishing growth under the rule of a mother country. Thus, as Jane is attracted to Mr. Bingley’s wealth, it becomes clear that there is a direct correlation to the process of being colonized. This is where one can see a clear example of the Post Colonial aspect of Ms. Jane’s first impression of Mr. Bingley.

It may appear bizarre to compare people to countries, but in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice we see that this is entirely applicable. During the time era in which Pride and Prejudice was written, the difference in social classes was so extensive that there was no “in between class”, and this difference was also present between mother countries and un-colonized regions. They either were, or were not; either black or white, no shade of grey. It is quite apparent that throughout the course of this novel, the theory of first impressions plays a vital role in outlining the Post Colonial aspects of the society at the present time. The encounters at the Meryton ball in Pride and Prejudice are examples of Post Colonialism, as well as how first impressions are closely related to this literary theory.

Intertextuality or the link between two texts has long been recognized as

Intertextuality, or the link between two texts, has long been recognized as a very important part of literature from the classics, like Plato, Aristotle, Horace and Longinus, to Bakhtin, Kristeva and others twentieth-century theorists such as Genette, Barthes, Derreida and Riffaterre, among others. (Alfaro, 1996:269) According to The Collins dictionary “the term intertextuality refers to the relationships or links that may be found among different books or texts”. It has changed the readers’ and writers’ understanding of the modern and postmodern literature.

Jane Austen classic novel Pride and Prejudice isn’t exception. It’s still inspires nowadays writers, filmmakers, illustrators and visual arts performers.The intertextuality between Jane Austen Pride And Prejudice and Helen Fieldings Bridget Joness Dairy, generates the reader’s expanded understanding of a postmodern text’s meanings. The Intertextual figures (allusion, quotation, calque, plagiarism, translation, pastiche and parody) are used in the Helen Fieldings novel. (Genette, 1997) The interconnection helps to reflect and influence an audience’s interpretation of the text.

The knowledges about the links between Austen’s and Fielding novels are doing influence on reader’s perception.Intertextuality, the interrelationship to other previous texts is submitted among Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice and Helen Fieldings Bridget Jones Diary through the overarching similarity of plot, protagonists characters and social acceptance.The Bridget Jones’s Diary is a laugh-out-loud reinterpretation, of “stole” Jane Austen’s novel plot. Helen Fieldings novel was directly influenced by the 200 year old love story. The allusion to Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice are incontrovertible, because Bridget Jones’ Diary author Fielding told that “when she started writing her first novel about Bridget, she only had a collection of her original newspaper columns from the Independent featuring the character, but no plot. (Caitlin, 2016). Fielding (2013) said in her interview sincerely and openly, “And so I just stole the plot … and then the book increasingly began to mimic and nick stuff from Pride and Prejudice. But it’s a very good plot and I thought Jane Austen wouldn’t mind, and anyway she’s dead.”First of all, the characters of Bridget Jones and Elizabeth Bennett are likewise placed with the challenges and love crisis they endure from. Both their mothers behave stupidly, and they are impatient to get young woman married. Similarly, in Bridget Jones Diary, Bridget’s mother introduces her to a recently divorced, wealthy man. Bridget is certain on her mother’s motives and she claims, I don’t know why she didn’t just come out with it and say Darling, do shag Mark Darcy over the turkey curry, won’t you? He’s very rich. (Fielding 12). Secondly, both protagonists fall in love with a man whose last forename is ” Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) vs. Mark Darcy (Bridget Jones’s Dairy). (Gymnich, and Kathrin, 2010)Moreover, both protagonists have parallel feelings. To look deeper, we have found more similarities between Bridget and Elizabeth’s traits of character. They both are impulsive, suborned, embarrassed and passionate, by their mother. Obviously, it is difficult to imagine Elizabeth having harmful habit: smoking, drinking, overeating. The Bridget’s thoughts openness is related to postmodern cultural context. She was listed her short time daily lifes plans:”1. To put the social skills from the article into action. 2. To make Daniel think I have inner poise and want to get off with me again. No. No. 3. To meet and sleep with sex god.4. To make interesting contacts in the publishing world, possibly even other professions in order to find new career.” (Fielding, 54)To summarize, Elizabeth and Bridget has separate life style. The self-expression of these women is different and depends on the values, physical and mental freedom, and the women rights in the society. The two hundred year is giant leap in human brain evolution. Elizabeth lives in the calm society, but Austen’s ironical way of depicting Elizabeth allows her to present her heroine as both a “proto-feminist” and a “fairy-tale heroine”. (Brownstein, 1997:54) Bridget has plenty of possibilities to express herself: to work, to have leisure time, to get married or not and etc. She is acting like pop culture heroine, but seeks the deep feelings, strong relationship.The social acceptance is still relevant problem in the British society. Until these days the women social status depends on many different dimensions, but the marriage is one of the most important aspects. As the novel Austen’s Pride and Prejudice shows, to find a man was as difficult for the eighteenth-century women. Elizabeth Bennett had some possibilities to get the social acceptance and equality in the eighteenth-century: the marriage, governess, aging spinsterhood at home, or becoming a teacher. (Bush, 1975) The modern woman, as show Bridget in the novel, has the same experience in the twentieth-century. She wants to get married not either for economic reasons, but she needs the right social status. According to Widlund (2005), another similarity between the novels is that both Austen and Fielding use irony as a narrative strategy in order to criticize the societies they live in, particularly with regard to its gendered values. There are plenty Austen’s novels’ adaptations, interpretations during twenty-century. Bridget Jones’s Diary relies on the following feature: 1. This mode of writing does not aspirate to to originality, but consciously aims at reworking the parent text, a fact readers are expected to acknowledge; 2. It refers to other adaptations of Austen in various media; 3. It is inherently comparative, requiting readers to read a particular text through adaptations of the same parent text; 4. It is thoroughly commercial in nature. (N?nning, 2012)Bridget Joness Dairy is greatly imaginative novel that has the relation with Pride And Prejudice. It’s recognizable the intertextual links of the plot, protagonists characters and social acceptance. The postmodern society has changed regarding the objective distance between the eighteenth and twenty centuries. Bridget’s behaviour depends on the postmodern society values, technologies development, and feminism movement. Bridget’s thoughts merges Elizabeth’s mind and composes perfect chick lit reading.

Jane Austen is positioning and preventing us the importance of marriage and

Jane Austen is positioning and preventing us the importance of marriage and social rank within the world of the Regency period with a limited social mobility, showing many aspects of marriage and demonstrating how one can make the most of their life regardless of the circumstances. With this cultural and social context, the author uses a number of couples in order to expose and satirize societal values of the XVIII and XIX centuries and to explore the nature of the ideal marriage.

We will see a world full of different marital situations, revealing many aspects of marriage, but with one thing in common; they all show that they are unique in their own way.The plot, as the first sentence of the novel, is mainly about marriage and social class. Jane uses the characters’ relationships in order to satirize and make a comedy of the idea of marriage, contradicting the conventional ideals and beliefs of the society in that age. For this reason, she writes about a number of important courtships in different situations, such us the relationship of Mr.

and Mrs. Bennet; Lydia’s scandalous and disgraceful elopement with Mr. Wickham; Mr. Collins’s attempt, and finally Jane and Bingley’s timid associations. These couples are the backdrop to the central romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. In Austen’s time, courtship was a central and absolutely necessary act for the society, in which family and marriage created a public and central position in the social and economic classes. It was common that women looked for husbands before their parents died in order to keep the continuation of the family heritage and if was possible, to get a rich husband for reaching the high class, due to most of women were practically born poor, and stayed poor, and lived well only by their husband’s money. Jane shows marriage as a constant pursuit of husbands, money and better life style.The author uses Elizabeth Bennet in order to represent her values and attitudes on the importance of getting married for love and not other reason. We often see the story through Elizabeth’s eyes in order to position and empathize with her ideals of getting married for love. Elizabeth is almost the only woman who is looking for a man without paying attention on his wealth and differs from her daughters and mother to be wed with a man to who does not love. The character of Elizabeth does not fit this generalization. Although she makes some mistakes because of her pride and prejudice attitudes, she can realize them and learn from her errors. Without a doubt, she is the heroine of the story and the pioneer for sexual equality.The first of the couples is Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Although little is said about how they met and got together, it is possible to infer from their conversations that this couple was a bad one. He had married a woman sexually attractive, without realizing that she was not smart. Mrs. Bennet’s special attention on Lydia and her comments about the common things between her daughter and she before getting married reveals this similarity. On the other hand, Mr. Bennet’s comment on Wickham being his favorite son-in-law reinforces this parallelism. Furthermore, the disagreements and argues between them, whether to give permission or not to their daughter for getting marry as soon as possible with the first rich man that appears, where she saw the perfect chance to automatically place a few of her five daughters into the rich community. Marrying off her daughters serves as the main purpose in Mrs. Benet’s life and her obsession. Meanwhile, Mr. Benet isolates himself from his family, finding refuge on his huge library, which in the end, comes again to his only happiness. These characters show to the readers the anger, loneliness and the insanity of two people who are wed without love.Lydia and Wickham’s Marriage is other example of Austen’s idea of a bad marriage. It was based on good looks, false love, and appearances for the society, sensual or sexual pleasures and youthful vivacity. When none of them can see the in relationship the other’s qualities, the marriage will solemnly fade away. Along the novel, this kinship gradually disintegrates. Lydia comes to visit her daughters frequently, with the justification that her husband is enjoying himself in London or Bath, avoiding staying alone at home. As a result of this, both characters appear to be miserable with their married life and constantly try to escape. Through this couple, Austen shows that hasty marriages based on false love, superficial qualities, and looks do not last much time and only lead to unhappiness. These two characters help to satirize the ideals of marriage by going against them and showing a contrast to the relationships of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy.The marriage between Jane and Bingley is an example of successful marriage. Elizabeth expresses her opinion of this couple in the novel really, believed all his (Bingley) expectations of felicity, to be rationally founded, because they had for basis the excellent understanding, and super excellent disposition of Jane, and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her and himself..However, there is a plan in their relationships. The flow in that both characters are too gullible and too good-hearted to ever act strongly against external forces that may attempt to separate them. Mr. Bennet says: You (Jane and Bingley) are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income. So, their marriage is in between success and failure. However, they have a natural compatibility for one another. They have real feelings and learn to value each other more and more due to their difficult courtship. They have no feelings of selfish desires or others, just the feeling that they are truly in love. It was generally evident, whenever they met, that he did admire her; and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love.Jane and Bingley both have a personal attraction towards one another. They have dignity and both are very sensible. Unfortunately, the interference of outside forces causes trouble in the kinship. His sisters and Darcy relieve that Benet family is too far down in the social ladder to deserve such love and attention from him. Jane and Bingley’s relationship serves to demonstrate the reverse of the caring upper class. The Regency Period was a time for limited social mobility, where the upper classes were reluctant in dispersing their wealth among those who were not born with this privilege.Mr. Collins comes to the Benet’s home in order to get a wife. He first lays eyes on Jane but she was already engaged. However, his attraction immediately turns towards Elizabeth. His proposal to Elizabeth is not a pleasant one, although he is too ignorant to notice it. She finds his wealthy cousin, Mr. Collins, a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man. Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr. Collin’s marriage proposal was a revolutionary landmark in the context of the novel. Although it is quite obvious that rejecting a man who you do not love is a common fact today, in 1813 it was a less obvious matter. He could provide Elizabeth a house, a good life style and a long-term stability for her family. Despite of this, she realized that it was impossible to love such a man. It shows her courageousness to make decisions based on her own conventions and desires, and not the wants of society As readers, we are influenced to agree with Elizabeth decision-making and attitudes on getting marry only for love and correct purposes, and not on the ground of appearances. In spite of been rejected by Elizabeth, his attention is rapidly transferred on Charlotte Lucas. The marriage between Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins is a comical and even devastating relationship. He could not possible be in love, taking into account that one week before he had loved Jane and Elizabeth. However Charlotte, old and silly, marries Mr. Collins in order to get financial stability and social security. She is under the pressure of her mother and the social class, seeing Mr. Collins as her only option. Charlotte says, I see what you are feeling, you must be surprised, very much surprised, so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it all over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am no romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and, considering Mr. Collin’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. Nevertheless, she soon realizes that he is an intolerable man, and often finds herself embarrassed to be married with him. However, Charlotte continues accepting this disreputable man because he is the only alternative to poverty and social isolation. She yields to society and she accepts the loneliness of her marriage with Collins because to her it seems better than the alternative of social isolation. Austen again shows us with this new example; the consequences of getting marry without knowing the partner and with no love for one another, having a complete life with no happiness.Finally, it should be discussed the central romance of the novel, the marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy. This couple represents the characteristics of a successful marriage. One of these characteristics is that feelings are not based on appearances. Although in the beginning, they were distant from each other for the misunderstandings and prejudice of the first impressions. He insulted Elizabeth by refusing to dance with her. He said where she could hear him that he was in no mood the preferred young ladies slighted by other men. However, he began to admire Elizabeth in spite of himself, and after further contact with Elizabeth, he realizes that she is the most intelligent, discerning, and virtuous woman he has ever met. He begins to fall in love with her, but his pride prevents him, at first, from lowering himself to her social class. Nevertheless, she becomes his obsession and admiration until he cannot bear it longer. He informs his feelings and affection for her and proposes marriage. Elizabeth is surprised, but she rejected his proposal. He sets out to prove his love publicly to the dismay of his high society and royal connections. After all, they could go through the problems due to the series of events they both experienced, which gave them the opportunity to understand one another and the time to reconcile their feelings for each other. So, their mutual understanding is the basement of their relationship and will lead them to a peaceful and lasting relationship. This example reveals the importance of getting to know each other and having real feeling for the other person, which Jane tries to highlight that the only way to succeed in a relationship is love. So, Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage is a couple with understanding and we all know that this component is very important in helping to judge positive and negative points of each other. Darcy and Elizabeth are among the few couples within the story that marry for love. They are also among the few characters that find happiness. In this way, this is a successful marriage. Jane uses this example for representing her beliefs about love and also for proving that happiness in marriage can be reached just if there is love for one another.Society today puts an important value on marriage: being sure that the only reason for getting married is truly love. Austen throughout her novel describes the societal state of 19th century in England with awareness of the social issues that affect her society, where marriage is based on economical reasons and social background rather than compatibility and love. Austen writes about the effects that social class has on marriage, and marriage on class. With great irony and satirist, Jane shows how people are influenced by social rank and wealth, and marriage is the status that all women strive to achieve. The author satirizes the convention of marriage in her novel placed on an acquisitive society, demonstrating that the mere personally liking, wealth, and class factors can produce only misery, shame, unhappiness and isolation. The juxtaposition kinship between the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy show the audience that happiness can only be reached if both of them marry for anything else than true love. Going deeper in pride and prejudice, it shows us the power of money and the importance of social rank in past, and gives us an opportunity to analyze also our society and to have some kind of relations between past and now. For this reason, Pride and Prejudice may never gets old because it is easily noticed today the importance of money and social rank. It continues in its own way and maybe it will continue happening like an endless circle. However, her commentary on the fixed social structure provides a solution for the social problems of the time; that even the restrictions and distinctions of class can be negotiated when one rejects false first impressions.

Assignment One By Anthony McDaniel

HUM 112

Dr. McGeehan

April 30, 2019

Question One: Author Information and why Work was Written

Jane Austin only wrote about what she knew; however, Pride and Prejudice appears to have been inspired by the events surrounding Jane’s life. Although this is not a bibliography of her life, there are several resemblances to her life that appeared in the novel. More specifically, it has been noted that her inspiration for the novel may have also had to do with the relationship that she had with her sister.

Being from a well-to-do family, Jane had first-hand knowledge of what women of her era had to do in order to become financially stable (1).

Her inspiration was also based on the lives of other members of her family such as her father and her brother, who were clergy men, which appears to be the inspiration behind the development of the character Mr. Collins, who was also a clergyman. Assumptions have also been made that her inspiration for this work was her relationship with a gentleman by the name of Tom LeFroy.

As gentlemen’s daughter, Jane knew what it was like for women in her position, who were from well-to-families, and who were daughters who needed to find a man of a certain stature and financial gains to care for her, thus, the character Mr. Bennet was conceived (1). Overall, her inspiration lies in her need to tell a story, which emphasizes the need for personal happiness over the need for wealth.

Question Two: Summary of Main Ideas

As Elizabeth and the Gardiners approached Pemberley, she is overwhelmed by its splendor and enormity. Upon their arrival, they sought to find out how Darcy’s employees thought of him. To their surprise, Darcy was described as being a benevolent and caring person, of whom, they were pleased to be his employees. Of course, such a response came to be unexpected by the Gardiners, although they has never had the pleasure of meeting him. However, what they had heard about him was his level of pride. In response, Elizabeth began to wonder about what her life would be like had she been Darcy’s mistress, as well as accepting his proposal for marriage (2).

As the Gardiners and Elizabeth investigate the grounds of the domain, they are astonished to by their interaction with Mr. Darcy. This interaction was unexpected which caused Elizabeth to be embarrassed her presence there, but Darcy does not seem to mind her presence, as he expressed a sense of politeness. He had returned home sooner than he had expected because he knew that guests were coming. He also expresses to his guests that he would like for them to meet his sister, Georgiana. The Gardiners are in awe about his level of graciousness and Elizabeth was filled with amazement about the way things are at the moment (2).

Question Three: Writing Style and Audience

Austen’s writing style in results in a detailed depictions of her characters, as her use of indirect discourse results in her use of writing in a third-person narrative. There is a dimension of insight in her writing that reflects a level of intelligence that the reader is compelled to recognize. Her style also reflects her exceptional writing ability and her psychological aptness that she is able to capture in her characters (3). Her writing is vivid to the point where the reader feels that he/she is present as the action takes place. As a result, she is able to capture the reader’s attention as she effortlessly takes to the reader to unexpected places and situations.

Based on the various themes centered around romanticism, it can be concluded that the intended audience for Pride and Prejudice is women and young women in particular. The central characters are women who are in search of the ultimate romantic attachment to a gentlemen of means who will be able to provide her with a secure and financially stable life. As a result, women as opposed to men are more likely to find this novel more appealing and relatable. What can be more romantically relatable than the line towards the ending of the chapter where Jane writes: “Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each were overspread with the deepest blush” (2)

Question Four: Impact and Relevance of Work Today

The impact and relevance of Pride and Prejudice during these modern times is that it is not far removed from the realities of modern day romantics who still believe in the power of love. Compelling love stories and the search for romance is a timeless ideal that continues to day. Like Shakespeare, Austin’s Pride and Prejudice explores the strengths, weaknesses that exist in relationships that exist among people, particularly when it comes to the experiences of pursuing a loving and romantic relationship.

Although this novel was written some 200 years ago, the relevance of the storyline continues to prevail. This supports what many have claimed, that Jane Austin was ahead of her time. A professor at Aberystwyth University located in Wales made three compelling points about the relevance of Austin’s writing by stating that: (1) “It’s certainly possible to read Austen’s novels as reassuring escapist fantasies, each book culminating in a marriage that appears to uphold the social order. We also love the fact that Jane Austen was a minute observer of human foibles;” (2) “Her novels are attuned to all those petty ambitions, desires and jealousies we like to think we keep hidden from our peers. We take vicarious pleasure in seeing hypocrites exposed and social climbers ridiculed;” and (3) “But there’s a far more interesting third reason why we still read Austen, two hundred years on. Her novels, especially Pride and Prejudice, are often considered to be harmless comedies of manners and morality, always set in polite society. But they actually contain much darker, more subversive subtexts, and we’re still able to respond to these. Austen’s novels aren’t fairy tales. Far from it.” (4).


1. Pride and Prejudice: Possible inspirations from Jane Austen’s life. (2015).

2. Pride and Prejudice. Chapter 43.

3. Shashkevich, A. (2017). Stanford Literary Scholars Reflect on Jane Austen’s Legacy.

Al-Mudallai, J. (2013). Why Pride and Prejudice is as Relevant Today as Ever Was.

Elizabeth Bennet Challenges to Patriarchy

Elizabeth Bennet is the second daughter in the bennet family, in both the novel and film of Pride and Predudice she is portrayed as the most intelligent and witty Bennet daughter. It is no doubt a fact that Elizabeth Bennet is one of the most heroic, well-known female characters in English literature. Pride and Predudice was set in Regency England. A time when women were to listen and agree to what men said. A time when touching the opposite sex was to be minimal ans so on.

But Elizabeth Bennet challenged this patriachal setting. She would not let any man intimadate her, and is known for confronting anyone on any rude behaviour. Lizzy knows how to challenge people through her wit and smart retorts instead of getting angry and petty as women of the regency era normally would. She refuses to submit to the low presumptions of her, set by those around her. She would prefer to be single and sacrifice an insecure financial future than to be stuck in a loveless marriage.

She acknowledges her faults and tries to right them rather than deny them.

It is best seen that Elizabeth Bennet would not let any man intimidate her, and makes sure to confront a man for his bad behaviour. In the book (Austen, 1813) Pride and Prejudice when Mr Darcy rushes into the room where Elizabeth sat and immediately began asking about her health. She answered Darcy with cold tact. Darcy follows her surprising response by divulging his (what he thinks is romantic and touching… but in a Mr Darcy way) love to Lizzy. “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Lizzy eventually speaks and acclaims she can not accept, as she felt nothing for “such a man” and she then point out that herself and Darcy seldom, if ever could speak well to each other. This is something not many other women would even think of doing. Lizzy did think before she said what she said and realised he would be upset, and she felt bad, but she needed to confront “the elephant in the room”. In the film however this scene is conveyed very differently. It is done very effectively, instead of Darcy’s sudden enterace into the room, Darcy and Lizzy are seen out in the rain, under a gazebo. Both the characters are soaked. The rain is a clear symbol of the instability of withs about to unfold, as well as the natural, dull lighting is an icon of sorrow. Lizzy’s facial expressions also become very effective and show the emotions she truly feels.

As Lizzy does in the novel (Austen, 1813, pp. 186-188) addressing the faults within her relationship with Darcy, she does to in the film. She says what is needed to be said with extreme expression on her face, adding emphasis to how she feels. This is definitely not the way women would convey their disagreement with a man.

Elizabeth is very good at keeping a clear head when faced with a challenging conversation. This is seen best in the novel (Austen, 1813, pp. 336-339) when Lady Catherine De Bourgh comes and requests to speak with Lizzy outside, where she suggests there is a rumour of Lizzy and Darcy getting engaged. Lizzy manages to keep a calm mind in response. And says she in short that she and Darcy have nothing going, and even if they did she asks why she could not accept. She then adds that even if promises to not accept Darcy’s hand, that it wouldn’t make Darcy and Miss De Bourgh any more probable. As they are not in love and love should be a choice, not forced from birth.

In the film this same situation is portrayed in a slightly different way. Lady Catherine force it upon Lizzy to play the piano for her, even though Lizzy refuses, Lady Catherine will not accept no for an answer. Elizabeth give the instrument her best efforts but cannot play as well as Darcy’s younger sister. Lady Catherine uses Lizzy’s “poor” piano skills to try make Elizabeth look inferior to herself and the Darcy family. But Lizzy does not let the incident get to her and carries on with living up to her personal values.

The most prominent way in which Lizzy challenges patriarch in both the novel and the film is when she refuses the proposal she receives from Mr Collins, whom will receive her father’s estate when he passes away. Mr Collins expect Lizzy to be overjoyed by his proposal, as Elizabeth would get to stay home and have a decent life ahead. But instead she witfully declines/ rejects the proposal. The only minor difference between the novel and the film in this scene is how Collins is described. In the novel he is portrayed as apparently opposite to in the film. In the film he is a petite, pathetic little man with almost zero confidence. In many ways this could be a reason for it to be so simple for Lizzy to reject his proposal with her wittiness and sarcastic remarks.

In conclusion Elizabeth Bennet successfully challenges patriarchy both in the film and novel is Pride and Prejudice. Because she keeps to what she believes in, even if it may have negative effects on her life of her own or that of her family’s. in the end she is lucky to come out successful and have learnt that some of what she thinks and says should not be. She will always stick to her values even if its against that of patriarchy.

Words: 951

Analysis “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel of manners written by Jane Austen. The novel follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book, who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and eventually comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness.

A classic piece filled with comedy, its humour lies in its honest depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Great Britain.
Mr Bennet of Longbourn estate has five daughters, but because his property is entailed it can only be passed from male heir to male heir.

Since his wife also lacks an inheritance, Mr Bennet’s family will be destitute upon his death. Thus it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others, which is a motivation that drives the plot. Jane Austen’s opening line—””It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife””is a sentence filled with irony and sets the tone for the book.

The novel revolves around the importance of marrying for love, not for money or social prestige, despite the communal pressure to make a good (i.e., wealthy) match.

Pride and Prejudice has consistently appeared near the top of lists of “”most-loved books”” among literary scholars and the reading public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature with over 20 million copies sold, and has inspired many derivatives that abound in modern literature.

For more than a century, amateur and professional dramatic adaptations, reprints, unofficial sequels, films, and TV versions of Pride and Prejudice have portrayed the memorable characters and themes of the novel, reaching mass audiences. The 2005 film Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, is the most recent film adaptation that closely represents the book, with the 2016 action, comedy, and horror spin-off Pride and Prejudice and Zombies being the most recent Hollywood film adaptation.

Representation of Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

Although love is considered significant in the world we live in now, it was not the case in the 18th century- Austen’s time. As time progressed, so did education, fashion styles, medical practises and most importantly social constructs and values. Love and marriage in Austen’s century, though it had some similarities, it was considerably different. Pride and Prejudice, a romance novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813 depicts the manner of marriage and love in the Regency era. It is a story of transformation, in which the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet and her counterpart change to believe that love does transcend all things.

The novel delves into the passion and excitement of love, but also the detachment that exists between loveless couples.

Marriage in Austen’s time can be described as a business transaction. For the women, the man’s income was all they could depend on. And usually for men, the women’s dowry or ‘portion’ would be taken under consideration.

In Pride and Prejudice, the marriage between Wickham and Lydia was purely based on money, and perhaps Lydia’s foolish adoration towards Wickham. Wickham married Lydia for the money, which he lacked. Before their matrimony Mr Gardiner stated in a letter “They are not married, nor can I find any intention of being so,” however after there was a discussion between Darcy, Wickham and Mr Gardiner regarding the ‘payment’ behind their marriage Wickham was more than ready to marry Lydia. Mr Darcy was willing to pay off all Wickham’s debts and give them another thousand pounds if Wickham was to marry Lydia, and Wickham would only marry Lydia if those conditions were provided to him- this is a marriage completely based on a monetary deal. Furthermore, the narrator says, “Wickham still cherished the hope of more effectually making his fortune through marriage.” This clearly shows that not only women, but men also gained financial means from marriage. Another
example in the text where marriage is represented as a business deal is when Colonel Fitzwilliam states, “there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.” Austen uses dialogue, to reinforce the fact that marriage is money and the bluntness of Austen’s choice of words results in the reader of the modern era to be strongly opposed to what marriage use to be. The novel represents marriage as a business trade, shown by the relationship between Wickham and Lydia. Each gains wealth from the other, and not care, trust or love- the morals of a marriage in today’s society.

Men looked for women who had many ‘accomplishments,’ not necessarily if they loved them, or if they were intelligent or had good personalities. “A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, dancing, drawing, and the modern languages…,” stated Caroline Bingley. Not only accomplishments were to be perfected, men looked for beauty as well. In the case of Mr Bennet, he followed the social trend where he married based on appearances and accomplishments. Mrs Bennet was a beauty, however she turned out to be a frivolous, foolish and oblivious character, resulting in an inharmonious marriage. A woman in a marriage was about presentation, to be beautiful and accomplished- to not embarrass the husband. Therefore men did not search for their soul mate, but rather a woman who was presentable. Not only did Mr Bennet marry to a beauty, it is also the case for Mr Bingley who loved Jane for her beauty. Austen represents marriage to be decided on by a woman’s charm and accomplishments, in order to win a man’s heart a woman had to be talented in all the art forms. To be accomplished was a vital requirement for women.

Marriage for women is represented as their ultimate goal in life, because it was impossible to live independently- especially the women who belonged to the genteel class. Genteel women were not allowed to pursue professional careers or university degrees. The only accepted occupation was to be a governess, however they were not highly respected. Consequently, women depended on marriage to have money of which men would be the one who provided it. Charlotte Lucas did not, “think highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object…” and that was the reason for
her to marry the pompous Mr Collins. Charlotte did not love Mr Collins, she was twenty-seven and still dependent on her family- the only goal she had was to be married, and she was desperate. For women to be dependent on family was something to be ashamed of and the only way to escape out of under the protection of family was to marry. Using characterisation, Austen represents marriage as the most important event, the only respectable option for women. Marriage was a must for those living in the regency era, unlike today, where living independently is accepted and even encouraged.

Not only was marriage from the Regency era different from today, so was the concept of love. Love was not sought for in Austen’s time, rather it would just be convenient if you were really in love with your fiancé. Pride and Prejudice represents love as an unnecessary asset in a relationship. It is not required to love someone, in order to be with him or her and even be married with them. In the case of Charlotte and Mr Collins, love was not apparent. After Charlotte accepted Mr Collins’ proposal, the narrator states that, “his attachment to her must be imaginary.” Charlotte did not love Mr Collins, but accepted his hand in order to obtain a comfortable home. She was not looking for love to be happy, she wanted social security, which could be provided by the clergyman. Charlotte’s view on love represented society’s view, which is that love is not a vital component of marriage, but rather gaining financial security. The absence of love within a marriage was acceptable.

Another type of love was radical, new, true. Mr Darcy and Elizabeth represented true love, though it was formed from misunderstanding and disagreeable first impressions. Love grew despite the differences; Austen’s protagonists are in true love, the type of love where they can conquer all things. Elizabeth, “…with tears in her eyes [replied], ‘I love him,’” though her pride influenced her to misjudge Mr Darcy she overcame her wall of prejudice and was deeply in love him. Similarly with Mr Darcy, he disregarded his embarrassment and preconceptions and confessed his love for Elizabeth. Austen composed the two central characters to fall in true love, implying the idea that true love is the better and more rewarding. Elizabeth did not totally conform to the social constructs, she was self-reliant and
romantic- she wanted love, unlike Charlotte who wanted a comfortable life. And because she did not follow the ways of conduct books, she was rewarded with true love. Though the two characters were deeply in love, they were not hopelessly in love, another radical aspect of the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Mr Darcy confessed to Elizabeth that he,” ardently admire and love you [Elizabeth].” He uses the word ‘admire,’ showing that there is respect and equality between the two, Mr Darcy did not love Elizabeth only on her appearances but of her ‘impertinence’ and ‘liveliness of your mind.’ Love, in Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s case is represented as the first step towards eternal happiness, it is the ideal marriage with a balance of emotion and rationality.

Both the social and radical perspectives of marriage and love were represented in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Through Jane and Bingley, Charlotte and Collins and Lydia and Wickham the social standard of marriage is presented. And through Elizabeth and Darcy, a new outlook of marriage and love was formed. Today’s society revolves around love, but in Austen’s time finding marriage was far more crucial. Jane Austen renews the ideas of love and marriage and re-presents them by moulding them with her values. Though she writes in the romance genre, she ventures away at times to create her idealistic true love. In conclusion, marriage is represented as a business transaction, love may be thoughtless but to find true love is to fall in love with ones personality and not only their appearances. Austen believes that marriage is based on the strong foundation of true love and intellectual unity within the marriage.