Essay on Jane Austen 's `` Pride And Prejudice ``

1136 Words Jun 18th, 2016 null Page
Fay Weldon’s monologic epistolary novel Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen provides a heightened understanding of the values in Jane Austen’s seminal classic Pride and Prejudice. Through creative reshaping of the core values of the middle class in the 19th century in Pride and Prejudice, Weldon supplements Austen’s novel and modifies it in a contemporary light. By studying these two novels in reference to each other, the reader gains an understanding that cannot be found in one novel alone.

Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, is set in the early 19th century in England and is focused on the upper-middle class Bennett family. The main character, Elizabeth, is intelligent and witty, but quick to judge and stubborn. Although her own life is circumscribed by societal expectations of women, Elizabeth herself is prejudiced about how others should behave. She is a complex character and the novel traces her journey of self discovery when it sets herself against another complex character, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

One of the key values of Pride and Prejudice is the importance of marriage. Few women at the time had an income, and they weren’t able to inherit, so marriage was the only way to gain financial security. Women’s lives were focused around attracting a husband so they cultivated qualities that were seen to be desirable in a wife - ladylike activities like drawing, singing, dancing and music. Austen paints the family matriarch, Mrs Bennett, in particular, as…

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