Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s  Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s  Pride and Prejudice - Start

2018-10-22 31K 31 0 0

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice - Description

1813 . preVictorian. (Georgian) literature. Genre: English early 19. th. century (Romance). *Genre comes from the comedies in Shakespeare (not funny, but good marriage for the ending).  . *Of all 6 novels, hero of . ID: 693290 Download Presentation

Download Presentation

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.

Presentations text content in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice


Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice



(Georgian) literature

Genre: English early 19


century (Romance)


*Genre comes from the comedies in Shakespeare (not funny, but good marriage for the ending)


*Of all 6 novels, hero of

Pride and Prejudice

is “most dazzling” (Penguin)


*Themes of personal happiness and the grounds on which it might be achieved


*Fairy tale:  wrapped in gorgeous language

* Like Shakespeare—what makes good language, like food, feels good in the mouth, nourishes the intellect,

* Male “hero” is inaccessible

* a friendly conflict (we do not sniff death, perhaps this is why Austen calls the text “rather too light and bright and sparkling)—vein of Shakespeare where all life was either death or marriage


General themesNovel concerned with transformation and seduction

Social pride and prejudices

Social context

Political context

Fictional context

Romantic fantasy (and yes, no woman of little education spoke this way in the early 19



Must a happy ending be unsatisfying?



1) Like Iago (from Othello) she is articulate (a case for English classes everywhere!)

2) Like Hamlet, she is independent-minded

3) Like us, she is not rich

4) Like some of us, she is unconventional—“she embodies a very different kind of femininity from that of the typically passive, vulnerable, and child-like romantic heroine; her wit and outspokenness make her the most immediately attractive of all Austen’s female protagonists” (xiii)

a) Social criticism:  instead of outright criticism, like Shelley, takes us through a story using pathos.  Lesson:  you want to convince someone, use pathos.  Logos won’t always work

5) Does this make her a Modern character?  Perhaps—she is active, visible, independent, unlike most women of Austen’s era



The alluring is what we don’t see

1) social norms dictate no physical contact

2) dates, until marriage, were heavily chaperoned

3) dance was important—allowed the person to touch hands




ConflictThe confrontation:

Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice

:  “highly articulate confrontations allow a means of expression,” expressing passion in a way, any way, because expression of passion positively was linked to sexuality, which, in this conservative Protestantism, was outlawed (xii).


 Marriage as a social institution:

1) prevents the spread of disease

2) economy:  children produced, contributing to military and workforce

3) marketed as morality

How does the US government reward marriage?

Therefore, Austen reinforces social values (marriage as ideal—makes the MAN happy)—think rhetorical technique, but criticizes social conventions (repression of the female)—lessons to be learned.  You draw more flies with sugar. 



Men scared of feminists?  The chief antagonists in this text are women.  FGM—continued by women. 


What is Austen’s agenda:

Skillful use of romance to shape her detailed analysis of social manners. 


Medium:  the private world of morals and manners


Venue:  marriage.  Should marriage be personal choice or family aggrandizement (enlargement)


These books were written during a time of moral evaluation in England


The absurd

Mr. Collins:  tool to create sympathy for Elizabeth through his awfulness because of his criteria for a good wife:  obedience, moral steadfastness, “modesty and economy” attractiveness—really, is that all?  He wants someone submissive and domestic, an ideal of the time that Austen was reacting against.


The contrast:

Mr. Darcy:  Darcy is highlighted because of Mr. Collins’ absurdity.  Her very difference from Collins’ standards is what attracts him to Elizabeth:  her lively spirit and mind—this becomes a way to make Mr. Darcy a political tool in the novel—a man who seeks an alternative to the socially constructed “norm” of femininity.


The balance:




people, so the context is


to serve a



challenges the status quo, but there is a “concern with harmony, decorum, marriage… social





Women in 19


century England:

-class status determined by their father or husband

-rarely interfered with class conflict or party politics

*test partially inspired by the aftermath of the French Revolution (1789-1799):  from aristocratic to liberal Enlightenment values.


Edmund Burke wanted to keep women in their place:  said family values would be threatened if women gained rights—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote

A Vindication of the Rights of Men

in response:  men like Burke keep women as merely sexual objects enshrining sexual inequality not to “preserve the family” as he claimed but to reserve their power. 


This era assigned reason to men and feeling to women (how does literature deal with this?  Look at our great male feeling protagonists—aren’t they great because they feel and are men?  Hamlet, Akhilleus, Hektor, Orestes, even Cal?  

For W. Shelley, it is culture, not nature, which dictates that women behave as passive creatures of feeling, just as it is culture, not nature which has allowed a ruling class to be decadent (think pre-Revolutionary France!).

Education is the KEY!



“In the middle rank of life… men, in their youth, are prepared for profession, and marriage is not considered as the grand feature of their lives; whilst women, on the contrary, have no other scheme to sharpen their faculties.  It is not business, extensive plans, or any of the excursive flights of ambition, that engross their attention; no, their thoughts are not employed in rearing noble structures” (8). 


 In contrast, author Hannah More argues against feminine liberation out of fear that if given equal rights, the sexes will forget their “natural” differences:  “Each sex has its proper excellencies, which would be lost were they melted down into the common character” (12). 


Elizabeth is the perfect medium—celebrating her femininity, for women and men are different, but demonstrating, with restraint, that one may be liberated while maintaining control of herself. 


 Austen presents this, but Eliz. Is not perfect.  Her first impressions are often dreadfully wrong, and she must reevaluate her own perceptions.


The book could be read as a criticism of More’s argument that womens’ happiness is dependent upon restraint and submission (isn’t this the essence of neoclassicism?)—central theme in the novel is happiness and where it comes from. 


Eliz. is closer to Wollstonecraft’s creature than More’s ideal of a submissive woman, and she triumphs, gets the man, reforms society without ever stepping beyond the bounds of propriety. 


Jpeg citationshttp://stgeorgefest.org.uk/2009/Darcy%20and%20Elizabeth%20at%20Ball.jpg








About DocSlides
DocSlides allows users to easily upload and share presentations, PDF documents, and images.Share your documents with the world , watch,share and upload any time you want. How can you benefit from using DocSlides? DocSlides consists documents from individuals and organizations on topics ranging from technology and business to travel, health, and education. Find and search for what interests you, and learn from people and more. You can also download DocSlides to read or reference later.