Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Essay

Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Essay

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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 a re-evaluation of the authors purpose and value, advocating a renewed understanding of the texts.

Through Pride and Prejudice, Austen subverts the repressive patriarchal society of Regency England to accentuate the necessity of autonomy for women in obtaining fulfilment. The shallow foundation of matrimony is exposed through Mrs. Bennet’s caricature, where ‘The business of her life was to get her daughters married,’ reflecting the androcentric society of the 1800’s. Austen reveals the dependence on men and the need for an individual to have a sense of identity to obtain happiness through her metaphorical critique ‘…want of proper resolution… made him the slave of his designing friends… led him to sacrifice his own happiness to the caprice of their inclinations,’ emphasising society’s need for reformation, thus representing Elizabeth as a divergent heroine through her subversion of traditional attitudes towards matrimony for financial necessity. This is evident upon her rejection of Mr Coll...


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...des 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 growth.

By exploring intertextual connections, Austen and Weldon both advocate independence as tools which can determine personal fulfilment in response to respective social expectations. Collectively, a comparative study of both texts enhances our understanding of the timeless ode of literature and introspection in attaining personal growth, thus offering a heightened understanding of distinctive contexts.

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