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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Dissertation Example

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This dissertation discusses Jane Austen’s novel "Pride and Prejudice", that is a reflection of the nature of courtship during the Victorian era. It is an authentically honest depiction of the triangular relationship between class, love and one’ self-perception. …
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Download file to see previous pages She says, Do not you want to know who has taken it' cried his wife impatiently, and Mr. Bennet replies 'You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.'(Austen, Ch.1). Austen undoubtedly does this to incite some form of comic relief from the reader but the interactions between the Bennets serves as very valuable benchmark against which the potential courtiers are compared.
Mrs. Bennet's anxious paranoia over the futures of her daughters stands in complete opposition to her husband's irresponsible carefree nature. It is obvious Austen also considers their relationship to be valuable, otherwise she wouldn't have made them the first characters we meet in the novel. These two are not a courting couple, those days have come and gone for them; but they do represent two aspects of society that essentially signify what is at stake for their daughters. While Mr. Bennet is an unsuccessful dreamer barely able to support his own family, Mrs. Bennet is a realist who never allows her family or the reader to forget that their only hope for happiness lies is in an equitable marriage. Her take on life is very affective on her other daughters, but doesn't seem to phase Elizabeth, who appears to take more after her father. Jean Ferguson Carr argues that Mrs. Bennet is identified by her exclusion from the realms of sense and power, and is contained within her comic role. As such, she stands in uneasy relationship to her daughter, Elizabeth (Carr, 68). She goes on to further point out that Elizabeth strives to disassociate herself from her mother who is foolish. Instead Elizabeth aspires to be knowing and witty, and treated like such; this is most likely the personality trait that incites her fiery...
The present dissertation has attempted to offer the potential reader a new viewpoint of the novel through the analysis of the main characters. This has been done in terms of some cognitive constructs such as image-schemas or conceptual metaphors. They have shed new light on the relationships among the characters in the novel. Furthermore, we could go as far as to state that the whole novel is summarized in terms of the LOVE IS A JOURNEY metaphor. The title of the novel itself: Pride and Prejudice, points to some impediments in this journey towards love.
Apart from reducing the novel to a single metaphorical system, an analysis in cognitive terms provides the grounds for the construction of the main characters and for the overall interpretation of the work. Furthermore, this kind of analysis is visual to such an extent that the work is wholly understood without the aid of abstractions. There is evidence that within this framework the changes undergone by the characters and the relationships which hold between them are explained on the basis of what we readers see and experience every day. This is one of the main reasons why the present paper is devoid of abstract explanations. For instance, the conceptualization of people as containers is tremendously visual.
Finally, we have seen that Jane Austen has made use of a series of universal constructs as the grounds for the construction of her novel. She has done this unconsciously because they are engraved on our mind in such a way that we use them automatically.
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