Claire Emerson 5-9-13
Mr. PokrywczynskiEnglish 10 Honors Period 6
Conduct Book Reflection
You never get a second chance at a “first impression”; unless you're told by a book how to make that impression. Pride and Prejudice is an extremely clever piece of literature written by Jane Austen in the early 1800s. She pokes fun at the times and criticizes the odd qualities which made this time period unique. Today, many of the viewpoints made in this book have remained the same, and some have developed and stretched as ideas. Austen's take on conduct books for example sparked interest in her readers and people around the world. Isn't it odd to think that a book written on how girls are to act was written by men? Women were not viewed equally as men and were constantly instructed on how to conduct themselves. They were once thought of as props, fragile beings, and insignificant in many circumstances. They were not to take part in any physical activity, this was viewed as unattractive. They were expected to be advanced on instruments such as the piano or violin, sing, dance, and write poetry. Amiability and beauty were the basics of what men looked for in searching for a partner. Due to entailment, women had no choice but to basically throw themselves at any single man. (The richer and more well connected the better.) Conduct books like Fordyce's Sermons taught women how to walk, talk, sit, dress, and behave, as if they were completely clueless and individuality was non-existent. Reading these books on how to live life properly, made living life restricted and expected. Many women (aka Mary Bennet and Charlotte Lucas) were not their own people, because they did as someone else/something else instructed them at all times. They were not sincere; they were careful and plain. Men could do as they pleased, and often chose a wife from among a sea of girls, all vying for attention. Men had “superiority”, or so they thought. Even today this feeling of rank still...
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