Elizabethan Feminist Independence and Freedoms The character of Elizabeth Bennett portrays startling unique and individualistic personality traits throughout her story in Jane Student’s Pride and Prejudice. Indeed, Austin uses Elizabethan frank nature to challenge traditional notions of gender. Unlike other romantic heroines, Austin chooses to depict Elizabeth as a level headed, deductive, and observation individual who is objectively distant from her social world. Thus, Pride and Prejudice challenges traditional notions of female stereotypes through the actions of Elizabeth Bennett.
From the very start of the novel, Austin makes it clear that Elizabeth is an original character that is different from other female counterparts. Although Elizabeth resides in a family with four other daughters, her father makes it known that he favors her when he states, “They have none of them much to recommend them, they are all silly and ignorant, like other girls; but Lezzy has something more of quickness than her sisters” (Austin 4). The quickness in mind comes from the close personal relationship that Elizabeth shares with Mr.. Bennett.
In her article “The Humiliation of Elizabeth Bennett,” Susan Frisian wows how this father-daughter relationship shapes and empowers Elizabeth. Many of Mr.. Bonnet’s socially aloof traits remain imprinted on his daughter because of Elizabethan close personal relationship. Frisian describes Elizabeth as “Mr.. Bonnet’s heir, because he bequeaths to Elizabeth his ironic distance from the world, his habit of studying and appraising those around him, his role of social critic” (357). Both characters are content to isolate themselves away from their social world.
While Mr.. Bennett retreats to his library, Elizabeth remains objective in forming romantic legislations. It is important to note the similar characteristics that Elizabeth and Mr.. Bennett share. Elizabeth herself is able to manifest these objective and individualistic traits in her attempt to assert herself. Elizabeth is an unconventional character because she is able to act in an unfeminine manner. For instance, while her sisters decided to visit Jane in a Cambridge, Elizabeth chose to walk cross-country.
As Austin explains, “Elizabeth, feeling really anxious, was determined to go to her, though the Cambridge was not to be had; and as she was no horsewoman, walking was her only alternative. She declared her resolution” (24). The reason that Elizabeth chose to walk was simply out of convenience. She did not mind being unaccompanied nor crossing the treacherous territory. Elizabeth merely chose to assert her freedom and independence upon her sisters. Knowing that they would take a detour, Elizabeth chose the fastest option: to walk to the mansion.
However, as Austin denotes, “Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, Jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity… Finding herself with rare ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise” (24). Tired, but satisfied over her accomplishment, Elizabeth demonstrates to her hosts her independent nature. The mark of dirt and grime worn on her dress indicates her symbols of freedom. Again, the only reasons Elizabeth can partake in these kinds of relations are due to the close paternal relationship she shares with her father.
According to Frisian, “Through her father, Elizabeth gains provisional access to certain authorial powers… Because seen is less a daughter than a surrogate son, by paving up her mother and giving in to the father, she reaps the spoils of maleness” (358). Thus, Elizabeth is able to adopt male characteristics (ex. Speaking up, romping through muddy areas, abstaining from romantic relationships) because of she emulates her father’s characteristics of social isolation and objectivity. Austin describes Elizabeth as her novel’s sharpest and wittiest characters.
However, Austin still chooses to revolve the majority of her plot around the theme of marriage. Elizabeth herself is included in the romantic courting attempts occurring between characters. Austin shows three characters (Mr.. Hickman, Mr.. Dared, and Mr.. Collins) who demonstrate romantic interest in her protagonist. Nevertheless, Elizabeth is quick to shut down all advances from potential suitors. Austin even provides Elizabeth with a scathing response to Mr.. Collins repeated advances when she states, “l am perfectly serious in my refusal.
You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who would make you so” (80). Elizabeth obviously fed up with Mr.. Collins audacity and aggression, chooses to provide the latter with a frank and honest answer. Austin, throughout the novel, shows Elizabeth having no mercy when speaking her mind to other characters. She does not concern herself with rank and privilege, only with what she sees as the truth. Even the eloquent Mr.. Dared is at a loss of words for Elizabethan verbal proficiency.
Frisian notes that “Each time Dared opens his mouth; he is superseded by a speech of greater length and vehemence where Elizabeth answers his question with a tougher question of her own” (361). Thus, Elizabeth is able to challenge conventional gender stereotypes through her ability to engage in conversation and skillfully reject proposals made by unsuitable individuals. Student’s Pride and Prejudice erodes gender stereotypes because of its titular character Elizabeth Bennett. The protagonist is able to express her individuality and frankness thanks in part to the close relationship she shares with her father.
Elizabeth is able to emulate her father’s objectivity into her own way of seeing the world. A sense of empowerment through this view allows Elizabeth to be brutally honest with any character she deals with. She is able to look past her society’s pressure to conform and see the wider picture of the ridiculousness of her sister and other’s desire for marriage. Essentially, Austin uses Elizabeth as an interchangeable character who is able to move in and out of her social universe. As Frisian describes, Elizabeth gains access to forms of power through her father. Thus, Elizabeth serves as an exemplary erode of sexist stereotypes.
Works Cited Austin, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Print. Frisian, Susan. “The Humiliation of Elizabeth Bennett. ” Pride and Prejudice: A Norton Critical Edition (3rd Deed. ). Deed. Donald Gray. Newark: W. W. Norton & company Inc, 2001. 356-368. Ring. Course: ENGLE 1001 (Literature & Composition 1) Student: Bikini Lieder student 100048917 Instructor: Stanley File: ENGLE 1001 UDDER 3 Date submitted: June Compare and contrast the marital or romantic relationships in “To Room Nineteen” by Doris Leasing and “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver.
Marriage: a legally, religiously, or socially sanctioned union of persons who commit to one another, forming a familial and economic bond (http://dictionary. Reference. Com/ browse/marriage). It can be argued that marriage is the relationship that has the greatest impact in our lives. From how our children will look and behave, to where we choose to live, marriage shapes and influences all aspects of our existence. My review will focus on comparing and contrasting the marital relationships in “To Room Nineteen” by Doris Leasing (1919) and “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver (1988).
Specifically, I will compare how in each story the wife feels dismayed with her husband and married life in general, and contrast how the husband deals with their wife’s aloofness and emotional distance. In “To Room Nineteen,” the wife Susan Railings gradually declines from a happily married woman (arguably the model wife ND mother in her circle of friends and relatives) to a tragic figure who commits suicide because she cannot escape her demons. After her last two children finally leave the house to attend school, Susan is left to herself; however, she unable to truly be carefree and alone to concentrate on herself.
The following passage shows how removed she has become from her husband, unable to tell him her deepest feelings and fear: “She looked at the handsome blond man, with his clear, intelligent blue- eyed face, and thought: Why is it I can’t tell him? Why not? “(Leasing, 875). Another excerpt that shows her inability to articulate her true feelings is her debating whether or not to admit what she has been doing in the hotel room for the past year “She sat wondering how to say “For a year now Vive been spending all my days in a very sordid hotel room.
It’s the place where I am happy. In fact, without it I don’t exist. “(Leasing, 887) Unfortunately, she lies and claims to be also having an affair, a shallow attempt at trying to spare his feelings. Similarly, the wife in “Cathedral” conceals the true nature of her actions from her husband, indicating a lack of trust ND fulfillment in the marriage. She maintains an odd correspondence with a blind man that she once worked for many years ago; her relationship with this man spans across two marriages and the method of communication is via audiotape .
She explains to her husband the blind man’s plight and how they are strictly Just friends; however, her behavior indicates otherwise when he finally arrives at their home. She gushes over Richard (the blind man) and embraces him as he exits his cab. The niceties continue as the converse, “l have winter in my beard now, “he said. “So Vive been told anyway. Do I look distinguished, my dear? ” the blind man said to my wife. Muff look distinguished, Robert,” she said. “Robert,” she said. “Robert, it’s Just so good to see you. ” (Carver, 209-210).
The husband’s behavior and response to their wife’s antics are markedly different from one story to the other. In “To Room Nineteen,” the husband Mathew willfully allows his wife to escape into her miserable solitude, by agreeing to all of her demands. For example, he allows her to hire a foreign exchange student to help out around the house, even though they have a longstanding maid named Mrs.. Parkers. Essentially the husband is exploiting his white’s mental health issues tort his own gain: to have an affair and remove his responsibilities at home as a father.
Conversely, the husband in “Cathedral” is loyal and genuinely cares about his wife to the point where he can be seen as Jealous. He questions her relationship with her blind male friend, but eventually concedes and trusts his wife and strikes a connection with the man. Marriage can bring about great Joy and terrible misery; as partners, husband and wife should be open and engage in honest communication. In both of these stories he wives yearned for more from their husbands; ultimately, the husband in “Cathedral” took the better approach and grew as a person and positively influenced his marriage.
Unfortunately, Mathew failed to help his wife from her tailspin and she ended up committing suicide. Words Cited Carver, Raymond. “Cathedral. ” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Deed. R. Bausch, R. Classical. New York, 2006. 206-216. Leasing, Doris. “To Room Nineteen. ” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Deed. R. Bausch, R. Classical. New York, 2006. 867-890. (http:// dictionary. Reference. Com/browse/marriage) accessed June 30, 2013