Pride and Prejudice: A Feminist Criticism

A/N: This week’s post is an academic essay on Pride and Prejudice with a focus on feminism. 


The iconic story of Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, but even though it was written by Jane Austen it was not published under her name. This was because that during the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was still considered shocking and scandalous for a woman to write for money.

This meant that when a book was published under an anonymous name it was often because it was in fact written by a woman. This also held true for the rest of Austen’s published work such as Sense and Sensibility, which was also published anonymously.

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A Close Reading of Pride and Prejudice

A/N: An Academic Essay for the letter Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth in the iconic story of Pride and Prejudice.


 

There are numerous possible methods on how to analyse the iconic love story of Pride and Prejudice by the renowned Jane Austen, and a historical criticism is merely one of the more obvious ones.

I will, however, not analyse the entirety of the story, but rather centre most of my focus on a selected extract. For this extract I have chosen the letter, which Mr. Darcy presents to Elizabeth as his way of explaining and justifying his actions. The extract takes place about half-way through the story and it can be argued that it is the essential turning point for not only the relationship between Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth Bennett, but also for the story as a whole.

The letter is the result of Mr. Darcy overcoming his pride and realising that his unwillingness to accept the foolishness of Elizabeth’s relations has cost him his chance of extraordinary happiness. This realisation is brought on by Elizabeth’s refusal of his proposal of marriage, something which his pride deemed an impossibility. The letter itself also has the consequence of Elizabeth herself overcoming her prejudices towards Mr. Darcy, which has stemmed from a accumulation of personal pride, an unwillingness to give up her introductory impression of him and unverified rumours created by a charming, but duplicitous man by the name of George Wickham.

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