Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Works Cited

Works Cited

"Dance." Georgian Index -- Alphabetical Site map. 31 Mar. 2009 http://www.georgianindex.net/Dance/dance.html.

"Fortepiano." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merrian Webster. 30 Mar. 2009 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortepiano.

Jane, Austen,, and Howard Carol. Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics). New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004.

Joel Sommer, Littauer. "Foil." 30 Mar. 2009 . http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/terms/Literary.Terms.2.html#Foil

Pamela, Whalan. "Understanding Jane Austen's society." Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA). 07 Sept. 2003. 30 Mar. 2009 .


"Let me recommend you, however, as a friend, not to give implicit confidence to all his assertions..." (pg. 95)

In this scene, the extremely haughter Miss Bingley is telling Elizabeth that she shouldn't believe everything that Wickham tells her. Austen employs foreshadowing in this passage to let the audience know that, even though Elizabeth trusts Wickham and what he's told her about Darcy, Wickham is not to be trusted. Of course, the audience later finds out that not only did Wickham waste the money that Darcy's father left him and the money Darcy lent him but he attempted to run off with Georgiana, only to break her heart and marry Elizabeth's sister Lydia.


"And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?" "I hope not." (pg. 94)

In this scene, Darcy and Elizabeth are speaking while dancing at the ball at Netherfield. Austen's irony comes through in full force in this passage. Her two main characters are both appraising each other again in this scene after both have already determined that they don't like each other without really knowing one another. The fact that Elizabeth asks Darcy if he is ever prejudiced speaks volumes about her slightly hypocritical nature, as she is extremely prejudiced when it comes to Darcy. Darcy is hypocritical as well in saying that he is not prejudiced when we well know he is, especially when it comes to Elizabeth and her family. Austen's decision to include this piece of irony helps to characterize her protagonists as well-meaning but ultimately wrong in their primary judgements.

Blinded by Looks

"Besides, there was truth in his looks." (pg. 87)

When Elizabeth first meets George Wickham, she instantly feels a connection with him. In this passage, Liz is talking to her sister about how Wickham told her about how Darcy cut him off after the death of Darcy's father. Jane has a hard time believing that Darcy would do such a thing, but Liz believes it and defends what Wickham said. Austen's diction in this sentence points to the fact that Liz had been blinded by Wickham's "looks". She is thinking rather on how Wickham looks than to what she knows of Darcy. Again, her prejudice toward Darcy helps her to be decieved by Wickham.

Monday, March 30, 2009


"It is from my cousin, Mr. Collins, who, when I am dead, may turn you all out on this house as soon as he please." (pg. 62)

Another important plot point in Pride and Prejudice is the fact that none of the Bennet daughters can inherit Longbourn when Mr. Bennet dies. The only reason they cannot inherit the home is because they are women, and under English law of the 19th century, only men could inherit things like houses. Austen chose to include this law firstly because it was a law that were inact while she was alive and because it drives the goal of Mrs. Bennet to marry off her daughters, which furthers the main plot of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.


"Her sister made not the smallest objection, and the piano-forte was opened..." (pg. 58)

A piano forte is an early form of the piano originating in the 18th and early 19th centuries and having a smaller range and softer timbre than a modern piano. Another cultural context clue added by Austen, the piano forte was an important part of evening life in Austen's time and often an indicator to how "achieved" a young lady was. Elizabeth's talent at the piano forte is mediocre at best and this is an interesting nod to the way in which she is seen as "successful". She is not the traditional achieved woman, as Darcy sees certain women, but she accomplished in certain areas that other women are not, like independent thought and her ability to hold an enlightened conversation with a man.

Link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortepiano

Twelfth Night

"I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love," said Darcy." (pg. 45)

In including an allusion to one of William Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, Twelfth Night, Jane Austen makes a sly reference to false first impressions. In Twelfth Night, the female protagonist, Viola, must dress as a man and in serving her master, the Duke, she falls in love with him. Just like The Duke only sees Viola's outward and male appearance, Elizabeth only sees the selfish and cold exterior Darcy puts forth and not the true and compassionate Darcy.


"At present, indeed, they were well supplied both with news and happiness by the recent arrival of a militia regiment in the neighbourhood." (pg. 29)

The militia referred to here is a group of volunteer troops for homeland security against an anticipated Napoleonic invasion. Yet another cultural context clue added in by Austen to give the novel a sense of realism, the arrival of the militia also gives the Bennet daughters the chance to be taken in by Wickham and for Liz to continue to be mislead about Darcy.

Source: Pride and Prejudice Endnotes by Carol Howard


"Yes: these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain to they both like Vingt-Un..." (pg. 23)

Vingt-Un is French for "twenty one", the name of the card game. Austen's inclusion of this French term shows that many parts of England were influenced by the Norman invasion more than two hundred years before. French words trickled into the English language, usually as a fancier way of saying a simple English word.


"That is very true," replied Elizabeth, "and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine." (pg. 21)

Pride is the most important idea in Jane Austen's novel and this sentence perfectly illustrates this. The problem is not that Elizabeth OR Darcy is too prideful, it's that both of them are too prideful. Darcy has too much pride to see Elizabeth as an equal or even good enough to marry him and Elizabeth is too prideful to see past Darcy's cold manner and misguided actions. Austen's characterization of her two protagonists as too prideful shows that pride can lead to prejudice and severely color decisions.

Hack Chaise

"... and I dare say he had heard somehow that Mrs. Long does not keep a carriage, and had to come to the ball in a hack chaise..." (pg. 20)

A "hack chaise" is a rented carriage, like an old-fasioned taxi. This peice of gossip is important because it reveals how the Bennet women, including several other families, see Mr. Darcy. Because of his cool nature, the majority of the people Darcy met at the ball at Meryton now believe him to be extremely proud and that he thinks of himself as above the rest of him. The idea of misjudging people because of their outward actions or appearances is a prominent theme in Jane Austen's novel, just as the people of Meryton misjudge Darcy because he doesn't like conversing with strangers or dancing.

Link: http://www.jasa.net.au/study/indivsoc.htm

Darcy/Bingley Foil

"Bingley has never met with pleasanter people or prettier girls in his life . . . Darcy, on the contrary, has seen a collection of people in whom there was little beaity and no fashion, for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest..." (pg. 18)

In this passage, Austen uses foil to contrasts the views of Bingly and Darcy about the ball at Meryton Town Hall. This shows the drastically different personalities of each young man. While Bingley is open and inviting, Darcy is cold and austere. These two personalities are extremely important to the plot of Pride and Prejudice-- Darcy's harsh exterior is one of the main things that causes Liz to judge him and Bingly's openess is an important part of his relationship with Jane.

Link: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/terms/Literary.Terms.2.html#Foil

The Liberty of a Manor

"...as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor..." (pg. 17)

The liberty of a manor means that the owner of the house has the right to hunt game on the grounds of the manor. Austen includes this small fact about Bingley to help the reader understand that Bingley is very well possessed now and that his owning his own manor means that he a prime candidate for marriage.

Source: Pride and Prejudice Endnotes by Carol Howard

The Boulanger

"... and the two-sixth with Lizzy, and the Boulanger..." (pg. 15)

The Boulanger was a simple dance done with couples in the 18th and 19th century. It was an especially popular dance at balls because couples traded couples several times, so everyone got the chance to dance with different members of the opposite sex. Austen references this dance because it was a dance done during her time and adding in cultural context clues gives the novel a more realistic sense about it.

Link: http://www.georgianindex.net/Dance/dance.html

Father/Daughter Relationship

"I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good humored as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference." (pg. 6)

In this early passage, Austen establishes the special relationship between Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth. Mr. Bennet has no real connection to his other daughters and frequently mocks Lydia for her frivolity, but he loves Elizabeth dearly and even protects her from having to marry Mr. Collins. Austen's decision to have Liz relationship to her father be so strong says a lot about Liz's sensible nature. Mr. bennet's appreciation of Liz's mind as opposed to her pretty face tells the reader that Liz is not like her other sisters but has more substance.

Opening Line

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." (pg. 5)

In her opening line, Austen lays out the main plot for her entire novel. Pride and Prejudice centers around the issues that arise in trying to find a husband in Victorian England. However, while the plot of Austen's novel does center around marriage, the deeper themes are more about judging people unfairly and getting over yourself.
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." (pg. 24)

In this quote and others like it, often spoken by Mrs. Bennet, the time period is well shown. Austen makes a point of letting the reader know that for young girls, especially ones of a lower class than others, happiness is not the point in getting married. Getting married was simply what young women had to do in order to guarantee their own survival.