Connections enrich understanding in the pairs of texts set for study. To what extent is this made evident in the texts you have studied?
Connections, made explicitly and implicitly between texts enables readers to gain new insights and confirm they’re understanding of conceptual ideas. The investigation of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and “Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen” by Fay Weldon stress the notion of how contexts can determine an individual’s understanding. Austen and Weldon criticise the class structure and privileges those who challenge authority, thus allowing readers to make their own conclusions on the concept of hierarchy based on their knowledge of their own context. Austen criticises women who marry to gain economic and social standing but Weldon emphasises the fact that in Austen’s context women were viewed as a commodity and that it was part of the norm. The response we get from Weldon’s confirmation of the importance of context is that Austen was well ahead of her time in terms of challenging the class structure and the role of women. The implicit connections examined through these texts are the values that endure the test of time making them universal.
The grounds of marriage are formed on the basis of genuine love but can also be seen as an avenue taken to gain financial and social security. Austen challenges the incessant need for women to marry in her time while Weldon supports her views by recontextualising her context to fit the contemporary period. Through this, the reader’s understanding of women becomes enriched through the examination of what a woman values in both contexts. The necessity of marriage is stressed and explored through Charlotte’s character as she marries Mr Collin’s despite being the second option. Her pride is not compromised as it is outweighs the financial security she gains from him. She was well beyond the average marrying age and would have been left in destitution had she not married....
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