18th Century Domestic Novel
Jane Austen - was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. She experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she abandoned, and wroted 3 major novels and began a 4. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote 2 additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published in 1818, and began a 3., which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it. Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th century realism. In her novel, Jane Austen observes the social habits, customs, beliefs, attitudes and practices of eighteenth century upper class society in England. Her novel is predominantly concerned with courtship and marriage and the importance of marrying for love. She writes of families invarious circumstances struggling to maintain or enhance their social position through marriage. Main characters:
Mr Bennet, Mrs Bennet
Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine, Lydia- the Bennet daughters Charlotte Lucas- Elizabeth's friend
Mr Charles Bingley- a rich young man
Ms Caroline Bingley and Mrs Hurst- Charles's daughters
Fitzwilliam Darcy- Bingley's friend
Georgiana Darcy- sister of Mr Darcy
Mr and Mrs Gardiner- Elizabeth's uncle and aunt
Lady Catherine De Bourgh- a rich old lady, aunt of Mr Darcy
Mr Collins- Mr Bennet's cousin
Brief plot of the story:
Charles Bingley moves to Netherfield estate. All neighbours are overwhelmed especially Mrs. Bennet who wants to marry one of her daughters to him. Although Bingley has a friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, whom everyone starts to dislike from the beginning because of his proudness and unwillingness to talk to the locals. In a while a connection is created between Jane and Bingley. On the other hand, Darcy finds himself attracted to Elizabeth but she dislikes him and is attracted to George Wickham. George spreads rumours about Darcy which makes Elizabeth's antipathy to Darcy grow. Meanwhile William Collins appears who claims that Lady Catherine De Bourgh has sent him to marry and he proposes to Elizabeth. She refuses him and that insults him. Jane comes to find that Bingley and his family have unexpectedly left to London. Jane resigns to a life without Bingley but Elizabeth is angry for her sister and suspects Bingley's sisters and Darcy are trying to do them apart. She visits Charlotte, who married Collins of security, at her new home. There she meet Darcy. He proposes to her but she refuses him believing that he is responsible for Jane and Bingley breaking up. After facts revealing it shows that Darcy is innocent and realises that her own pride prejudiced her against Darcy. She starts to feel love for Darcy. Suddenly Jane informs Elizabeth that Lydia and Wickham have eloped but Lydia is found and they two marry. Bingley returns to Netherfield and asks Jane to marry him. At the wedding Lady Catherine accuses Elizabeth of being secretly engaged to Darcy. That is not true and Elizabeth reacts strongly against her. That makes Darcy realise that Elizabeth's feelings have changed and he proposes to her again. This time she accepts.
Concepts of marriage: we get various concepts of marriage in this work Mr. Collins and Lucas marry not of love but for confidence and security Elizabeth and Darcy overcome difficulties and marry of real love. Jane and Bingley marry of mutual love.
Wickham is a fortune hunter and tries to elope with Georgiana Darcy but finally he marries Lydia who is immature and irresponsible. Mr and Mrs Bennet have an unhappy marriage.
Verbal irony: is found at two characters- Mr Bennet and Elizabeth.
Genre: it is a domestic novel ommiting external life.
Examples of pride and prejudice:
Bingley's sisters disapprove of his relationship with Jane because of her mother's lower class. Elizabeth is prejudiced against Darcy at the beginning because of his proud behaviour and also the rumours from Wickham. Darcy acts too proudly and is prejudiced against the locals until he falls in love with Elizabeth.
The first sentence of the story:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. It expresses the conventions of the era that last till nowadays. A representative of this sentence is surely Mr Collins. He gets married just because he is led to and he does not especially care to whom.
Analysis of Major Characters
Not just because of her qualities which are admirable is she consider as one of the well-known female characters in English literature. Besides her intelligence and humor is she also lovely, clever. What is spectacular about her, is that in the novel she converses as brilliantly as anyone. Nevertheless, her sharp tongue and tendency to make hasty judgments often lead her astray. This story shows how she had to copy with obstacles as personal failings (looking for true love and romantic happiness with Mr Darcy while going though her mistaken impression of Darcy), hopeless mother (forcing her to get married), a distant father, two badly behaved younger siblings and also several snobbish, antagonizing females. As she step by step recognizes Darcy´s nobility, she realizes her error of her initial prejudice against him. Fitzwilliam Darcy:
I consider him as Elizabeth´s male counterpart, but because of narrator´s intention to relate Elizabeth´s point of view of events often, she seems to be more sympathetic character. Darcy is acording to me her right choise. For his tendency to judge too hastily and harshly. He is intelligent, forthright but overly proud and overly conscious of his social status. Things start to change as he goes against his haughty aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by continuing to pursue Eliza. Darcy proves himself worthly of her while she suddenly regrets her previous judgment of him. Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley:
The courtship of beautiful Elizabeth´s sister Jane and Darcy´s wealthy best friend started at the ball in Meryton where they immediatly started to attract each other. Their romance occupies a central place in the novel. This characters are vague and can be described together as cheerful, friendly, good- natured and always trying to think the best of the others. Jane´s gentle soul creates a foil for her sister´s fiery, contentious nature, while Bingley pictures contrast to Darcy´s stiff pride. What is specific about them? Their goodwill and compatibility which remarkably contrasts to Darcy´s and Eliza´s romance. Love of Jane and Bingley exhibits true love unhampered by either pride or prejudice, in their simple goodness. Mr. Bennet:
Who is a man, driven to exasperation by his wife and difficult daughters is consider as one of the most intelligent figures of the story. Thank to this, he is the closest to Eliza. His dry wit and self- possession in the face of his wife´s hysteria make him a sympathetic figure. He reacts by withdrawing from his family and assuming a detached attitude punctuated by bursts of sarcastic humor. Mrs. Bennet:
She is that character that has strong features during the whole story. She is described and presented as miraculously tiresome woman. Nearby her noisy and foolish features is she one of that women consumed by the desire to see her daughters married and everything seems like it is the only goal she has in the world. But her goals tend to backfire. The author uses her continually to highlight the necessity of marriage for young women. Mrs. Bennet also serves as a middle-class counterpoint to such upper-class snobs, demostrating that foolishness can be found at every level of society.
Pride and Prejudice plot analysis
And the beginning we meet the Bennet family- five single daughters with no money and suddenly a young, rich, single man moves into the neigborhood. No surprise, that we have there mother pushing her single daughters on this single man. Poor, single daughters? Conflict caused by Bingley when he is falling for Jane. That is inconceivable! It is inconceivable for his sisters and friend too. His sisters try to keep him away from marrying her and Elizabeth´s estimation about Mr. Darcy sinks lower and lower while before it was just dislike now it is disgust. Everything thanks to Wickham, who drips poison into her ears. At one point Darcy shows his heart by saying, that he can not repress his emotions any longer. But Eliza ´s reaction said something like „ if you were the last man alive, I still wouldn´t mary you“ this is point where Elizabeth learns that people´s exterior masks can easily fool her. The only thing I noticed now- from haste to love is pretty close… What for suspense is coming? Lydia decided to run away with Wickman, better said she decided to live in sin with him. If you wish the best to your sisters you should never do something like this. After this would noone marry a woman who has a fallen sister. But right now money, which plays so big role in this story are saving our romances. Mr. Darcy uses money to force Wickman to marry Lydia thus the Benent family is saved. So that is the end, quite happy and with no pride and prejudice.