Theme Of Women In Letter's To Alice

Improved Essays
As time progresses, societal norms and standards change. It is through the comparison of such texts where the reader can be enlightened on the ever-changing values that although similar in nature, have the potential to evoke varying responses from the reader. Two texts, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Fay Weldon’s Letter’s to Alice although written nearly 200 years apart, explicitly relate and articulate the differing contexts and responses. Austen and Weldon explore themes of women’s roles and expectations in their respective societies, in particular in terms of education and marriage, similarly Weldon aims to enlighten the modern reader regarding the social restrictions place on women during the regency era. Whilst the perceptions vary, …show more content…
Whilst education is now readily available for women in the developed world, Weldon seeks to dispute its meaning in terms of the modern institutionalized way of teaching and learning through her epistolary novel written to a fictional niece. “Being able to visit the city of invention, that is what education should be about”, this extended metaphor referenced throughout chapter one suggests education no longer involving the human experience or creativity. Due do its epistolary form, a personal and trusting atmosphere is created, hence the reader is inclined to acknowledge Weldon’s beliefs. Weldon, irrespective of her seemingly rebellious nature, still shows the tradition life style associated with the 1980’s. The repeated reference to the literary canon and “Capital L Literature” suggests Weldon, although seemingly rebellious, also aims to counteract the issue of forgotten classics and lack of appreciation. This text seeks to be textually dynamic in nature, hence Weldon suggests “you must know how to read a novel, before setting out to write one”, not only does her succinct statement promote the preservation of classics, it too promote understanding context. Weldon promotes literature and enforcing Austen revolutionary character as she didn’t live “pleasing a husband” as the norms of the era would suggest, but rather lived a “literary life” …show more content…
Through the submissive characters in Austen novel, it is easy to evoke a prejudice response form the reader, however Weldon explicitly encourages readers to “understand… the world in which Jane Austen was born,” through this she recognizes the importance of marriage in the era. Weldon begs the reader not to persecute characters such as Mrs Bennet and Charlotte but rather show sympathy and allow Austen’s intention to promote change to echo, as the oppressive nature fought against in the second wave feminist movement was the social norm and marriage was a requirement for security. Furthermore Weldon's depiction of marriage juxtaposed with that of Austen’s context enhances the magnitude of differences. The juxtaposition and contrasting nature of the two is clear, whilst the modern representation is described as the “stuff of our women’s magazines”, suggesting marriage is an object of fashion and frivolity, and whilst for Austen’s time it was a female “very existence”. Similarly Weldon connects the two themes of marriage and education, while deeming love worthy of time, she attempts to stress education and experience should be of priority. . It is through Weldon's comparative means of description that the reader can understand the context of both Austen and Weldon’s

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