• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways and to what ends does the romance genre draw on the conventions and expectations of the fairy tale? Discuss with reference to Pride and Prejudice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways and to what ends does the romance genre draw on the conventions and expectations of the fairy tale? Discuss with reference to Pride and Prejudice. Up until more recent times women have occupied a suppressed place in the hierarchical structure of society. As a reaction to the values of and their position in a capitalist society which is intrinsically individualistic, Romantic writing has grown to become mainly dominated by female writers. These writers have purged to find an escape from their position in a world obsessed by material wealth and social status. The protagonist in Romantic writing and fairy tales is usually involved in a quest. The goal he or she aims for is usually opposed by other forces. The overcoming of his own pride is an obstacle for Mr. Darcy to overcome in Pride and prejudice. The opposing forces can often be enemies of the romantic ideals. One example of this in Pride and prejudice is the unsuccessful endeavours of Miss. Bingley to attract Mr. Darcy because it opposes the romantic ideal of a kind of love which is impervious to wealth and status. The opening words of the novel express the attitude that 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'1 It is presumed that, in the name of his, and his families, own material interest he must find a wife. ...read more.

Middle

Edward Lewis could be compared to 'Prince Charming' in Cinderella. These characters have a set role in the plot and have a definite quality that enables them to be easily characterised, for example, if the character is evil, he or she is purely evil and is a 'villain'. This kind of set role enables a definite opposition of forces, such as good against evil. The diversion from our perception of reality provided by the romantic genre and fairy tales can bring about excess of pleasure in the participator because of its ability to draw on the reader's imagination and bring them closer to a more perfect reality. The sense of illusion created by Romance offers solutions to problems which cannot be solved in reality, the idea of having something that shows us how things could be rather than how things are can be a cathartic and helpful experience. It may be good to have a goal to aim for even if it is impossible to reach because it can bring us closer to those ideals. Characters in Romantic writing and Fairy tales usually, through the course of the narrative, usually undergo some sort of transformation. The villains and hindrances are the catalysts for these transformations. In chapter three in pride and prejudice Mr. Darcy is heard by Elizabeth to say about her: "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour ...read more.

Conclusion

She also mentions 'His sense of her inferiority - of its being a degradation - of the family obstacles which judgement had always opposed to inclination'10 The "family obstacles" he talks of are due to her social inferiority. It is the fact that her family does not have the grand reputation to match his and if they were to be wedded it would reflect badly on his family. Later, in chapter fifty-six, Lady Catherine de Bourgh calls Elizabeth "a woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family."11 She goes on to say that her "alliance will be a disgrace"12 and that Mr. Darcy should be wedded to her own progeny because "Their fortune on both sides is splendid."13 The conversation between Elizabeth and the irascible Lady Catherine is one of the greatest oppositions of the ideal of Romantic love in Pride and Prejudice. It is the fact that Lady Catherine is trying to prevent a marriage of unconventional love which is so opposed to mercenary interest. She is trying to put a stop to their special emotional bond which defies the voice of authority, reason and ultimately the values of a capitalist society. Their defiance has no political or necessarily intelligent reason but is due to something conceived as 'true love'. This concept is the driving force of the romantic 'quest' in the novel and is what potentially offers us the 'escape' or catharsis that both Romantic writing and the fairy tale can be an effective medium for. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. Free essay

    Pride and Prejudice

    for not dancing with any of the women in the room 'You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room'. This shows that he thinks very highly of himself as he believes none of the girls are pretty enough to dance with him while his friend Mr Bingley believes that many of them are very beautiful.

  2. What are the Variations of humour portrayed in Pride and Prejudice?

    Mrs Bennet knows that rain is imminent, so deliberately sends Jane on horseback so she will have to stay with the Bingley's longer if there is bad weather- "This was a lucky idea of mine indeed!" exclaims Mrs Bennet, not thinking how seriously ill Jane could become in the rain.

  1. In what ways do public and private worlds affect our judgement of characters in ...

    Elizabeth and Jane often comment on how shameful her public behaviour is, an example being her un-courteous reception of Bingley and Darcy on returning to the county, Austen's narrative stating that 'he was received by Mrs Bennet with a degree of civility that made her two daughters ashamed'.

  2. An analytical commentary on Pride and Prejudice (emphasis: Chapter VI, pp. 21-23)

    marriage should proceed the act of falling in love and that 'happiness in a marriage is entirely a matter of chance' anyway, so marriage should be primarily motivated by social advancement. It is ironic, then, that so much importance should be placed on the transgressions that precipitated the premature marriage of Lydia and Wickham.

  1. ‘In what ways is “Pride and Prejudice” a Cinderella story?’

    would never exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters." (Chapter 37.) This trait in her father's disposition allows Lydia to elope with Mr Wickham from Brighton. Elizabeth's mother and sisters also inhibit her, not by being malicious or unkind, as with Cinderella, but by their rudeness

  2. 'Pride & Prejudice' - 'It Is a Truth universally acknowledged, that a single man ...

    and states that it is quite common for a young lady to refuse their first proposal. "that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of them man whom they secretly mean to accept..." Further into the story, Mr.

  1. How effectively does the opening chapter of pride and prejudice introduce the reader to ...

    Each individual's nature is revealed through clever dialogues and in the way the characters speak. '"Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.' Austen's use of hyperbole and Mrs Bennet's hysteria reflects her phenomenally exasperating character.

  2. "Examine the decisions, about their futures, made by the women characters in "Pride and ...

    His proposal was far from a spontaneous act of love. It was planned and his choice calculated with Mrs Bennet. Elizabeth was clearly aware of his intentions, and tries desperately to avoid being put in a position where they can come out.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work