Good Parents, Good Children
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frakenstein are two classic pieces of literature that are worth studying. This essay will discuss the ideas and concepts of parenting in both books. While some characteristics are shared between the two, there are also differences. The specific topics to be discussed are what makes a good parent, what parents owe their children, and what children owe their parents. The general approach will be to identify examples of good and bad parents and children and determine what makes them so.
What makes a good parent? Before we can identify which parents are good or bad, we must make a distinction between the two. Good parents are portrayed as being sympathetic to their children, providing both material and emotional support, and listening to their children. Bad parents, however, are ones who do not meet these guidelines. To determine what the authors considered makes a good parent, the examples of parents in the texts must be examined. There are multiple examples of parents in Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein’s parents, Alphonse and Caroline, are the most apparent case of natural parents. Many argue that Victor is the parent of the creature, although the creature was not born of natural means. For our purposes this paper, Victor will be considered the creature’s parent since he brought the creature into existence, and the creature acts human in nearly all aspects. Shelley has other examples of parents including Henry Clerval’s father and the peasant, De Lacey.
The main examples of parenting in Pride and Prejudice are Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Their presence in the novel allows for extensive comments on their parenting skills. There are also several examples of relationships that are similar to parent-child relationships such as that between Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. It can also be said that Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were at times like parents to the Bennet...
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