User:English Honours DDUC/The Answer Section

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1.1 Pride and Prejudice(1813) by Jane Austen(1775-1817) 2 Frankenstein (1818) 3 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE(1813)


The aim of the discussion board is to discuss the various themes and structures of the texts in the literature course and also discussion about the various social reforms and evils that prevail in the current setup .

Pride and Prejudice(1813) by Jane Austen(1775-1817)

Ques)Discuss Elizabeth and Charlotte's views on marriage. How do their views affect their decisions?

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
These often quoted lines from Pride and Prejudice(1813) by Jane Austen(1775-1817) places the broad scope of the novel and defines the institute of marriage within the boundaries of a business transaction. Charlotte's and Elizabeth's views on marriage are totally different from each other.

Charlotte, 27 years old, is the daughter of Sir William and Lady Lucas. A sensible,intelligent young woman,she is an intimate friend of Elizabeth. She believes that a a woman should be demonstrative in love and should not conceal her affections. According to her "Happiness in love is a matter of luck" and "It is better to know as little as possible about the person with whom you are to pass your life."

After Elizabeth rejects the marriage proposal of Mr. Collins, Charlotte starts to encourage him. She is aware of the fact that she is plain looking, poor and well-past her prime; and realizes that it will be difficult to find a husband. Although she is aware that Mr. Collins is a stupid, pompous man, "neither sensible nor agreeable", she accepts him without any reservations "solely from the disinterested desire for an establishment." Unlike Elizabeth,love and emotions were not necessary for Charlotte. She tells Elizabeth- "I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home."'

According to Mangalam – Charlotte's career is a representation of every middle class girl especially of those who are not lucky enough to be bailed out by an imaginative author. Charlotte empowers herself after her marriage to Mr. Collins.

Elizabeth is different from Charlotte. Although she is as honest as any other girl in searching for a husband, she does not compromise on her values. This is evident when she rejects two proposals – one by Mr. Collins and the other by Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Collins is a stupid man resting on Lady Catherine De Bourgh for moving up in the society. Darcy on the other hand is a proud aristocratic man of an income of ten thousand pounds a year. Both of them propose in a similar way. Both make Elizabeth aware of her low family connections and the vulgarity of her family. Elizabeth's answer to both of them is a firm "NO". Elizabeth will accept a man only when he treats her as an equal unlike Charlotte.

Mr Darcy realizes that Elizabeth will not be removed from her familial roots. He will have to accept her as an equal. Elizabeth succeeds in humbling the pride of Mr Darcy. Because of Elizabeth, Darcy settles Wickham's debts and gets Wickham to marry Lydia.

Although Elizabeth also marries a man who would provide her with an establishment like Charlotte, it is how Elizabeth humbles Darcy's pride and marries an equal that makes her different from Charlotte.

Mangalam,B."An Estate of Their Own:An Interrogation of Class and Gender in Pride and Prejudice." Pride and Prejudice.Delhi:Worldview Publications,2007.


Frankenstein (1818)

Que : "Am I to be thought the only criminal , when all humankind sinned against me. Comment ."

Ans: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) is a novel encapsulating a wide spectrum of themes viz. birth, creation, fear of sexuality, isolation/alienation and parental nurturing and society's effect on the growth of an individual. As Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak in her essay, "Frankenstein and a critique of Imperialism" says, " Frankenstein is ostensibly about the origin and evolution of men in society"

Mary Shelley came from a literary background as she was the child of Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. She later married P.B.Shelley. Her works always had a mark of influence/ rejection of the various intellectuals she came in contact with. Mary Shelley being unconventional just like her mother defied the conventionalities. As Lee Strennburg says in his essay, " Mary Shelley's Monster: Politics and psyche in Frankenstein" ,"she rejected her utopian and radical heritage and opted for a more conservative and pessimistic view of the world ".her mother's early death , her quarrels with William Godwin and marital difficulties with Shelley being some of the reasons of her swaying away from Radicalism Tn Frankenstein , Mary Shelley tries to make the conditions responsible for a man's personality prominent.Mary through her book Frankenstein tries to say that a benign character born in this world is made malignant because of the atrocities committed on him .Whatever this society does, gets printed in the thoughts of this individual and gets reflected in his deeds and conduct.She tries to project the blank mind of this individual as " Tabula Rasa " which acts what is being written on it.To this David Punter in his essay "Gothic and Romanticism" also says , "Mary Shelley's here concerned to present the monster in the light of Rosseaustic theories , as born innocent a being who will have his psyche formed by his contacts and circumstances " Mary Shelley gives an authorial backing to her metaphor of Tabula Rasa being used for the creature who eventually becomes a monster was once a compassionate being. The monster first shows his capacity for the compassion when e refuses to take food from De Lacey's supplies , once he realizes that by doing so, he causes them hardship.To this incidence James O'Rourke in his essay "Nothingmore Unnatural": Mary Shelley's Revision of Rosseau" this is the best argument for the original goodness of the monster and the monster exercises compassion even as it conflicts with his own self preservation"
But then, the family for whom , he felt so ardently became yet another reason for his monstrosity.When one day he goes to the old , blind man, all his housemates , behave very bitterly with him , "Agatha fainted and Safie , unable to attend her friend , rushed out of the cottage.Felix darted forward , and with supernatural force tore me from his father to whose knees i clung " Frankenstein is a book about the rejection of the strangeat both social and psychological levels. Lee Strennburg in his essay "Politics and Psyche in Frankenstein" "Mary Shelley shifts from politics to psyche in Frankenstein , not merely as a reaction against the utopianism of Godwin , but rather as a reaction against this entire worldview of a revolutionary age ". Frankenstein's creature's becoming a monster can be traced back to the ill treatment meted out to him by his creation , his child, as James O' Rourke " the ontogeny of Frankenstein's creation recapitulates a Rousseauen phylogeny". He does not identifies with the creation, fails to give the parental support he owes to it.He thereby condemns the creature to what others behold , a MONSTER . Punter says, "Frankenstein has a fixed opinion about his creation's physical appearance .Instead of feeling a quasi-paternal affection for him , he reflects him out of hand ".Later , the monster becomes a philosphor and asks his creator,"No father had watched my infant days , no mother had blessed me with smiles and caresses or if they had all my past life was now a blot , a blind vacancy in which i distinguished nothing"
"did i request thee , Maker of my clay , To mould me man? did i solicit thee From darkness to promote me?" Paradise Lost Thus, it can be very well said that the monstrosity in an individual is not innate but inherent.In fact to this Punter says , 'any doctrine of tabula rasa , must support that , if circumstances were only right , the perfection of the individual is a possibility".In the conclusion, it can be said that showing the crimes of utmost degrees being committed on monster , Mary Shelly wants to say that , (in Punter's words), "Frankenstein may have committed a heinous sin/ a social crime but in the end , he is one of the monster may not be wholly blameworthy , even for his later acts of violence , but nonetheless , he is a different and must be chastisised as such".



Q) Write explanatory and critical note on:

   The Bingley-Jane Bennet courtship.


    Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice explores the various 
  aspects of love and marriage and is essentially a novel 
  that discusses the idea of courtship as a prominent 
  aspect of marriage.
  This novel has all in all three courtships,Charlotte-
 Mr.Collins, Jane-Bingley and Elizabeth-Darcy courtship.
 While the novel's main focus is on Elizabeth-Darcy relation-
 ship it cannot be denied that Jane-Bingley's prolonged 
 courtship is principal to the plot.
               After Bingley's arrival in the neighbourhood, there
 is an anticipation at Longbourn for his probable aim of
 arrival as to secure a wife. After the Merryton ball, it is 
 expected by everyonethat Jane would probably be his future 
 wife.His attentions to Jane is reason enough for Jane's friend 
 to rejoice over their union but it is not acceptable to the 
 Bingley sister's and they try to estrange Jane and Bingley by
 convincing him to go to London. Jane's low connections are
 enough to negate the idea of a conjugal tie between Jane 
 and Bingley. His departure to London lessens the spirit at
 the Bennet camp, but yet they don't loose hope.
 Their hopes are shatterd by a letter from Caroline Bingley
 in which she mentions a hopefull tie between her brother 
 and Georgiana Darcy. Jane is furthur despirited when on 
 her visit to London she receives no reply to her letters to
 Bingley, and has a cold response from Bingley sisters on 
 her visit to them.She looses all her hopes of a tie with 
 Bingley. Meanwhile at Rossings Park Elizabeth comes to 
 know of Darcy's hand in keeping Bingley away from Jane.
 Here narrating the story would be out of context but later 
 on Jane and Bingley are reunited by the efforts of Darcy.
               Jane and Bingley courtship, at a closer look reveals 
 the various factorsthet dominated a relationship. To start
 with B.Mangalam in essay 'Interrogation of class and gender'
 elaborates rhe idea of social prejudice that required Bingley
 to marry someone socially higher like Georgiana Darcy to im-
 prove his rank in society. Shampa Roy in 'Gender and Genre'
 terms their relationship as 'arranged love'. Jane is forced to 
 go to Netherfield in ill weather, without a carriage , by her
 mother, so that she may get ill and spent some time there.
 Both Jane and Bingley are obliged to the society to behave 
 in a certain manner. In 'Much Maligned Men' G.Aparna points
 to the fact that " it was a society where men were required 
 to improve their stations in life." Since Bingley had acquired 
 his wealth through trade heb must marry a socially high posit-
 ioned girl . But at the end their love ends victorious and they 
 are married against all odds.
 Thus, the Jane-Bingley relationship though racking the fire of 
 Elizabeth-Darcy's relationship, transgresses the boundaries set
 by society and shows the triumph of the love that is free from 
 Pride abd Prejudice.
             BY:- ANISHA, BA (HONS)ENG, 1st YEAR