Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Susan Fraiman on "The Humiliation of Elizabeth Bennet" (p356-367) Caroline Philbrook
The Humiliation of Elizabeth bennet, is more about Elizabeth and her relationship with her father, Mr. Bennet and how their relationship is special, also talking about Elizabeth's marriage proposal and money in general.
This passage also widely talks about how women don't get to hear everything, and are the last to know from the men. These are a few of Elizabeth Bennet's "Humiliation" passage, also talking of course about her embarrassing moments.
1. Why do you think Elizabeth and Her father have such a close relationship?
2. Why do you think Elizabeth is so headstrong and does her own thing, rather then giving in to marriages that would help her financially?
Friday, May 27, 2016
Harding begins by acknowledging that Austen provides a place of escape and refuge with her writing for the sensitive when “the contemporary world grew too much for them” (p296). His interpretation is that her books are meant to be read and enjoyed by the people whom she disliked. He believes that thinking of her work as “satire” is misleading. Instead, she uses satire as a means of existence for her critical attitudes. She was required to remain on good terms with those in her everyday life, and knew that her existence depended on the values they implied. According to Harding, it is in this way that her novels gave her a way out of that dilemma through her use of satire that was unobtrusive and allowed for “spiritual survival” (297).
Her method, as stated by Harding, is as follows: She offers her readers every excuse for regarding the people whom she detests and fears as exaggerated figures of fun. For example, Mr. Collins is given a bit more comic exaggeration than Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is a “possible human being” (p298). Comic effect is gained when she brings the caricatures into direct contact with “real people.” For example, when Mr. Collins visits the Bennets and brings his proposal to Elizabeth.
In addition to the proposal scene being comic fantasy, it is also a glimpse of Elizabeth’s nightmare in which economic and social institutions have power over the values of personal relationships and that the “comic monster” is almost able to get her. (p298)
In short, he sees Austen’s use of satire as a means of self-preservation, that her caricatures are a criticism of real people in real society, and that people turn to her books not for escape, but for an ally against things and people which were to her “hateful” (299).
Harding presents Collins as a caricature who is not necessarily “real.” However, his second marriage situation would be considered a “real” event of that time. Similarly, do you think Darcy is a “real” caricature? Is his proposal another glimpse into Elizabeth’s nightmare? Or the “real thing?”
The Pursuit of Happiness is considered to be a fundamental part of our lives. It is written in the Declaration of Independence, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." What we choose to pursue as our happiness is another story. The book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen follows the tale of the Bennet family as the matriarch Ms.Bennet attempts to marry off her five daughters.
Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia are tremendously different characters, therefore what they pursue as their happiness differs between all five girls. For this blog post I am examining what the five sisters pursue as their happiness.
The eldest sister, Jane, is one of the characters we become the most acquainted to throughout the book, and is probably the most "agreeable" of all the sisters. In the beginning of the book she immediately attaches herself to the eligible suitor Mr. Bingley, with whom she gets along with quite well. I believe that Jane's pursuit of happiness is a wholesome marriage, unlike others who pursue riches or passionate love, she is searching for a loving and mutually loving marriage.
The second eldest sister, Elizabeth is the focus of the story, and arguably the most interesting character in the book. Upon meeting Mr. Darcy, she finds him to be a pompous, prideful jerk, but after spending time with him, her feelings begin to grow. I believe that Elizabeth is looking for an intelligent, passionate love. Her relationship with Mr. Darcy is formed on their shared intelligence, and creates the perfect platform for a strong love.
Mary, the middle child and plain jane of the family is portrayed as a tranquil, studious girl. I believe that Mary is really in the pursuit of knowledge, rather than love.
Kitty, one of the younger sisters, around the age of 16 or 17, is chiefly intrigued by the young officers who work in Meryton. At this point in her life she doesn't seem to be in pursuit of anything but a romantic fling with an officer.
Lydia, the youngest of five, is like her elder sister Kitty, and at this point in her life, she is really just occupied with the fantasy of having a handsome officer court her.
All in all, while the five sisters are very different, their pursuits of happiness are all true to their personalities and fitting for their ages at the time of the story.
(I realized after posting this I never included questions...)
1. What are your thoughts on the pursuits of happiness of the sisters? What about other characters in the story?
2. What do you deem your pursuit of happiness? Is it similar to any of the sisters?
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Due: Friday, May 27, 2016
Weight: 50 points
Below is a list of ancillary articles you selected in class Monday, May 23, 2016. Please read your ancillary article and write a short blog post about it with discussion questions for Friday, May 27, 2016.
· Polina: “Limitations and Definitions” (315-19)
· Emily: “Pride and Prejudice and the Pursuit of Happiness” (348-55)
· Hannah: “Regulated Hatred”: An Aspect in the Work of Jane Austen (296-99)
· Liam: “Jane Austen and the War of Ideas” (319-26)
· Sarah: “Getting the Whole Truth” (376-83)
Still need to pick:
Monday, May 23, 2016
For today's class, I wanted to discuss the powerful impact Jane Austen has on readers today. Undoubtedly one of the most successful women writers of the nineteenth century, Austen--unlike Dickens--has actually been out of print, falling out of vogue in the decades immediately following her death (1820s and 30s) and returning to prominence in the 1850s with the introduction of cheap "Yellow-Backs."
Questions for discussion (please post in the comment box):
1) Why do you think Austen is still so popular today?
2) Why do you think Austen "fell out of favor" with Victorian readers?