Monday, March 30, 2009


"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.


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