Pride and Prejudice and Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen.

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‘A deeper understanding of relationships and identity emerges from pursuing the connections between Pride and Prejudice and Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen.’ Compare how these texts explore relationships identity.

Through the contextualisation of texts, connections can be made which reinforce or challenge responder’s perspectives on universal values. Universal truths carry meaning which are able to transcend changes in social, cultural and historical context in order to continue influencing responders of today. The importance of relationships within the lives of individuals within society has been both supported and challenged as a social landscape has developed into a more independent one. Identity and what constitutes an individual’s identity has altered drastically with more focus on education as opposed to wealth and status. Connections made between Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen and Fay Weldon’s non-fiction text Letters to Alice allow development of a deeper understanding of these values, utilising a range of literary techniques to enhance meaning. Through the connections made between PP and LA, responders gain a deeper understanding of the purpose of a marital relationship within society, especially its importance in the lives of women. In the patriarchal society of Austen’s context women have no individual rights of their own and since inheritance was passed through the male linage marriage was the economic bases of life and the only option for women with limited fortune and beauty. The subsequent importance of marriage has been supported by the critic Ginger Graph, “the world of this novel; marriage is the market, and the young woman are the merchandise.” Austen has reflected the purpose of marriage as a tool for economic survival through her pragmatic characterisation of Charlotte Lucas who agrees to marry Mr Collins despite his, “conceded, pompous, narrow-minded nature,” she admits to Elizabeth that she “asks only for a comfortable...
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