Hsc Comparitve Study Pride & Prejudice

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  • Topic: Marriage, English Anglicans, Novel
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Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen vs. Letters to Alice ... by Fay Weldon Good literature
* 19th century- literature was purely for women to become ‘accomplished’ instead of educated * 21st century- women able to use reading and writing to voice an opinion, educate and create, e.g. Weldon stated that novels were “not for information but for enlightenment”

City of Invention/ examples
WELDON TELLS US WHAT IS GOOD LITERATURE AND AUSTEN SHOWS US! * Alice is informed of the types of houses built in the city of invention. * The city is used as a continuous metaphor throughout the book * Imagery of bad builders (writers)- “shoddy buildings” to those with “frilly curtains,” “opened” and “unopened” doors where people look once and leave. They serve no meaning. * “Really good builders” like Austen “carry a vision out of the real world and transpose it into the City of Invention” * Weldon convinces Alice that Austen is one of the “finest builders of the city invention”- * “she knows how to end a scene, an episode, a chapter before beginning the next; when to allow the audience to rest, when to and how to underline a statement..” * ^ shown in Elizabeth’s rejection to the marriage proposal of Mr Collins, “in silence” though she was aware she may never receive proposal again. * Silence-absence of dialogue-purpose? To show the polite society of the 18th century; they were discrete about their social status, to allow the reader time to think about consequences of rejection. * Readers in Austen’s context- shocked as they were expected to jump at marriage * Readers in 21st century- rejection of arrogant man understood * Comparison of contexts allows us to understand both views of Elizabeth’s decision * Austen’s literature enlightens the reader about the social codes and conventions * Lydia chose which conventions she would follow- “Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman”- arrogance shows that she values social status * Authors write to “create a shared experience between reader and writer” * 21st century- find hard to see good literature, we become Alice and recognise the “struggle” of Austen to “describe the flow of believes that typified her time” at a time when writing wasn’t acceptable * Authors help us escape reality into the “city of invention” and return enlightened. Women’s choices

Similarities and differences in decisions between Elizabeth, Charlotte and Alice Context
* 19th century- marriage- top priority- “women were born, poor and stayed poor, and lived only by their husbands favour”- societies expectation was that women were to find a husband who would provide them with money and social class * 21st century- woman independent- more choice in marriage, employment and education

Women making own choices regardless of societies expectations * Elizabeth doesn’t marry Mr Collins,
* “I am perfectly serious in my refusal, you could not make me happy and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so”- wants to marry for love and happiness, not security or social acceptance, “only the deepest love will induce [her] into matrimony” * Values- high moral standards, good sense

* Fits in with Austen's believe that it was “better not to marry at all than to marry without love” (Weldon) * Comparison - Charlotte accepts Collins proposal
* “I am not romantic, I ask only a comfortable home”- proud tone- socially accepted views of marriage for security * Alice neglects study to write
* “I do, you see, feel just a little guilty in encouraging you in your literary interest.. only if you pass your exams as well.. will this family ever be reunited”- differences in family values * -(like Elizabeth) disregards societies image and chooses to “dye her hair black and green with vegetable dye” * Metaphorically Weldon says “it take great courage to swim against the...
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