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Pride and Prejudice Essay

1. What is the decisive moment that causes Lizzy to not only change her mind about Mr. Darcy but fall in love?

The decisive moment that causes Lizzy (Elizabeth) to not only change her mind about Mr. Darcy but also fall in love with him took place during her visit to Mr. Collin’s home on the Rosings Park estate which is the family estate of Darcy. On the three occasions that Elizabeth and Darcy meet during this period, Lizzy was exposed to certain truths about Darcy that made her change her mind. First, Darcy’s proposal of marriage completely took her off-guard. Although she refused his proposal, Lizzy was nonetheless impressed and flattered by the fact that Darcy had loved her all these months.

Second, the letter that Darcy gave Elizabeth cleared many of her misconceptions and prejudices. She understood from Darcy’s account why he had created a distance between Bingley and Jane, and about his own reasons for disliking Wickham. It was Darcy’s letter that helped her see the reality. He had doubted Bingley’s true feelings for Jane as he had seen his friend fall in love on several occasions before. Darcy didn’t want the Bennet family to feel disheartened by any adverse change in events. So before Jane could get too much involved with Bingley, Darcy thought it right to take Bingley away so that later she doesn’t face a heartbreak.

As far as Wickham is concerned, Elizabeth realized after reading Darcy’s letter that he had very genuine reason to despise Wickham. Wickham had tried to seduce Georgiana and tried to elope with her when she was just fifteen years of age. No brother can tolerate such advancement towards one’s sister.

Later in the novel, when Darcy helps Elizabeth in finding her sister Lydia who had eloped with Wickham, Lizzy came more close to Darcy romantically.

2. Pick two of the romantic poems studied by two different poets and compare how the romanticism compares to “pride and prejudice”.

Two of the greatest Romantic poets in the history of English literature are P.B. Shelley and John Keats. Shelley’s “To A Skylark” and Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” are jewels that adorn high romanticism. Romanticism as reflected in these two poems speaks of the ideal versus the real, imagination, subjectivism, poetic creation, change versus constant, and many other traits of romanticism. Of all these traits, the most common quality between these two Romantic poems and Pride and Prejudice is that of ideal versus real. The novel deals with the issue of marriage. Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage is the ideal and perfect marriage amongst all the seven marriages shown in the novel. Their union shows that the ideal bond is between two people of equal standing.

Physical appearance is not the right parameter to judge a person, as shown through the marriage of Wickham and Lydia, the most unsuccessful marriage in the novel. The series of events that lead Elizabeth and Darcy to analyze and study each other’s nature and personality, eventually bring them closer. Theirs is not a case of blind love and that is how all marriages should be. A marriage is successful only if it takes place between like-minded people. Idealism, an important trait in ‘To A Skylark’, can be found in the marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth. The optimism of ‘Ode To Autumn’ where Keats says that “If winter comes can spring be far behind”, can be traced in Pride and Prejudice in the way Darcy and Elizabeth finally unite despite their initial prejudices.

3. How does the realism of “Flaubert” go against the romanticism of both Austen and the poets?

Flaubert’s realism was in reaction to the high Romanticism of late 18th and early 19th century in England. The realism that was practiced by Flaubert negated the idealism of Romanticism. In the novel ‘Madame Bovary’, Flaubert shows how the romantic notions of an ideal marriage in the mind of a country woman led to her downfall. Unlike the idealism that helped Elizabeth find her ideal suitor in Pride and Prejudice, in Madame Bovary the same idealism backfires. Thus, Romanticism of Jane Austen, Keats, and Shelley do not hold true in case of Flaubert’s realism.

4. We covered both realistic and romantic artwork pick two pieces from each (2 romantic and 2 realistic) and relate whether the (bennett’s), (emma bovary) or (charles bovary) would have this piece on their wall and why. Four pieces of art and three choices as to where to put them.(no pavilion at Brighton).

The Bennets would put up Fuseli’s Nightmare and Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire: Desolation because both these artworks depict high romanticism. Both Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth are intellectual beings, who love to read classics. So they would prefer more imaginative artworks such as Nightmare and The Course of Empire: Desolation. Emma Bovary would prefer J.M. Millet’s The Gleaners for in her young days she is full of romantic notions of love and marriage. Moreover she is a country girl, so the picture of gleaners working on the countryside farm would appeal to her. Charles Bovary represents the world and characteristics that is abhorred by Emma. He is unimaginative, unintelligent, stupid, and naïve. He would probably put up a picture that is as realistic and mundane as Bonheur’s The Horse Fair.


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