Presentation on theme: "Pride and Prejudice English IV. Gentleman Seeks Eligible, Accomplished, Lively Lady with Fine Eyes Likes Ladies who can paint tables, cover screens, and."— Presentation transcript:
Gentleman Seeks Eligible, Accomplished, Lively Lady with Fine Eyes Likes Ladies who can paint tables, cover screens, and knit purses. She must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions. All this she must possess, and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading. Dislikes Disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Please direct all contact to Bonham Park, c/o Miss Caroline Bingley, Concerned Friend.
Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) Part of a close-knit family Educated at home Began Pride and Prejudice at age 21; finally completed manuscript 14 years later.
Jane Austen on Marriage In December 1802, Austen received – and accepted -- her only known proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, a family friend. Harris was not attractive — he was a large, plain-looking man who spoke little, stuttered when he did speak, was aggressive in conversation, and almost completely tactless. However, he was the heir to extensive family estates located in the area where the sisters had grown up. With these resources, Austen could provide her parents a comfortable old age, give her sister a permanent home and, perhaps, assist her brothers in their careers.
Jane Austen on Marriage By the next morning, Austen realised she had made a mistake and withdrew her acceptance. In 1814, Austen wrote a letter to her niece, Fanny Knight, who had asked for advice about a serious relationship, telling her that “Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without Affection.”
Best-Known Works: Sense and Sensibility (1811) Sense and Sensibility Pride and Prejudice (1813) Pride and Prejudice Mansfield Park (1814) Mansfield Park Emma (1816) Emma Posthumous works: Northanger Abbey (1818)Northanger Abbey Persuasion (1818) Persuasion
Jane Austen Austen’s realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security.
Theme: Love & Marriage Traditionally, marriage had been regarded as an alliance between families, as a pairing on the basis of wealth or birth, or as an arrangement made by parents without regard to the personal preferences of the young woman and the young man – especially without regard to the feelings of the young woman. However, in the latter part of the eighteenth century – certainly in Jane Austen’s England – radical changes in attitudes toward marriage were occurring.
Theme: Love and Marriage Marriage was coming to be regarded as a lifetime, intimate, happy companionship based upon love, esteem, and compatibility, and both woman and man were to have voice in choosing the spouse. As positive as this new attitude seems, however, the woman was still subordinate to her husband legally and economically. “Nature has given women so much power that the law has wisely given them little.” Dr. Samuel Johnson
Theme: Love and Marriage For most women, marriage was the only real choice in order to have economic security and a respectable, fulfilling life. Her place as a woman was determined by her status as a wife, legally and economically subservient to her husband. In Jane Austen’s novels, as well, we find that marriage is the only real choice to insure a woman’s place, her happiness, and her successful future.
The poet W. H. Auden wrote of Austen in 1937: You could not shock her more than she shocks me, Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass. It makes me most uncomfortable to see An English spinster of the middle class Describe the amorous effects of 'brass', Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety The economic basis of society.