A Comparison Of Letters To Alice In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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Values and attitudes are often reshaped through modern texts in a reflection of their respective contexts, thus illuminating the universality of central ideals. A comparative study of Austen’s bildungsroman novel, Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Weldon’s meta-fictional hybrid text, Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen (1984), through their intertextual connections, provides a heightened appreciation for both. Whilst Austen examines the significance of autonomy and introspection to achieve fulfilment and moral growth, Weldon enriches readers’ understanding of complex social mores in Pride and Prejudice through reflecting the rise of neoclassicism in a postmodernist society. Both texts offer insight into autonomous beings, thus prompts…show more content…
Weldon exposes the desire of instant gratification and lack of reflection and engaging in Literature in a 1980’s conformist society through her opposition to the timeless value of literature of having ‘the power to influence, for good or for bad, the minds of so many,’ to her sibilance, ‘the easy tasty substances of the screen.’ She juxtaposes the contemporary beliefs of Regency England in, ‘Elizabeth Bennet…listening to the beat of feeling…must have quite upset a number of her readers, changed their minds,’ metaphorically representing the influence on her society through Pride and Prejudice’s ability to educate readers’. Weldon reveals her appreciation for the facility of texts to divulge universal ideas through endorsing ‘Literature with a capital L’, providing readers with ‘lessons in moral refinement’ through evoking the symbolic multi-dimensional, ‘City of invention.’ Through this, she provides a metaphor and a recurring motif for the literary canon, to highlight the moral direction given through the composers purpose to influence readers as they, ‘offer a happy ending through moral development…’ Here, Weldon’s declarative tone reflects the ability for composers to persuade their readers. Ultimately, both texts advocate the significance of literature in shaping and reshaping values, to enhance self examination for personal transformations and moral

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