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What Does the Novel Pride and Prejudice and the Poem Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney tell us about Relationships?

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Introduction

What Does the Novel Pride and Prejudice and the Poem Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney tell us about Relationships? The first title Jane Austen gave this novel was "First Impressions", because the novel shows that the first impressions Elizabeth and Mr Darcy form of each other are not sound. It takes time for them to put their first impressions aside and understand and get to know each other. The first time Elizabeth and Darcy meet is in the Assembly Rooms at Meryton, and their first impressions of each other are not favourable. Darcy's words sound very rude and insulting when he rejects Elizabeth as a dance partner by saying, "she is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me". From this moment, Elizabeth's opinion is against Darcy as it is the beginning of her prejudice. As a young woman, I can understand why Elizabeth is angry and why she says with cold determination, "I may safely promise you never to dance with him". However, having read the whole novel, it is much easier to understand why Darcy said that - he is naturally shy and he is sick of being eyed up as a rich prospective husband. Despite this, it is hard to excuse Darcy completely as his words are very haughty and arrogant. Following the ball, Elizabeth talks to her friend, Charlotte Lucas about the evening and some very interesting views on marriage come out. Marriage is Jane Austen's main theme because she thinks that there ought to be more to marriage than money, and her views come out as Elizabeth's. She writes with serious purpose as women had no choice when it came to marriage and they were seen as inferior to men. All their lives were spent training for marriage. However, Charlotte sees money as an all-important driving force, which seems a shocking and mercenary attitude to us, devoid of all proper feeling. ...read more.

Middle

The barrier of prejudice has now mostly gone from between them, and there is now chance for a relationship to grow. When Elizabeth visits Pemberly with her aunt and uncle, the "natural beauty" of the grounds astounds her and when she sees the house she thinks, "to be mistress of Pemberly might be something!" which I feel is a natural reaction, and I do not think that Elizabeth would now want to marry Darcy for his money. Inside the house, Elizabeth admires the elegant and tasteful d�cor, and she compares it with Rosings and its ostentatious displays of wealth. This shows another way in which Elizabeth and Darcy see eye to eye. However, Elizabeth still seems to be blinded by prejudice, as she decides that if she had accepted Darcy's offer, he would not have let her aunt and uncle visit because they live in "Cheapside". She thinks he is too proud to allow people of such low social standing into his house. This could be forced prejudice, as she seems to be searching for reasons to dislike Darcy, even though she knows it is not fair. The housekeeper who shows them around the house gives them an honest view of Darcy as she has known him all his life and watched him grow up. She speaks about him with sincere respect, so he must show consideration for his servants. She says he was "the most generous hearted boy" and "some call him proud, but I am sure it is only because he does not rattle away like other men". This stirs Elizabeth's conscience, and allows her to review her impression of him, and she now feels guilty over her first impressions of him. The housekeeper's words dissolve the last lingering feelings of prejudice against him, and we are told that he feels a "more gentle sensation towards him". She now feels the gratitude for his loving proposal that her prejudice warded off at the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their "nervous childish talk" shows they have moved past "preserved classic decorum" and the defensive fa�ade has been dropped, and they are now letting their feelings show. The words "juvenilia" and "childish" take them back to when they were children with a fresh start and the past no longer colours their relationship. They have obviously had relationships in the past that they rushed into and later regretted because it was not real love, and they are described as "mushroom loves", that grew quickly and was short lived. We are also told that they ended in hate and bitterness, which made them wary for future relationships. These brief loves remind us of Lydia and Wickham's relationship in Pride and Prejudice, which is based on sex, not love, and we expect them to end up feeling the indifference that Mr and Mrs Bennet show for each other. Indifference is, in some ways, even worse than hate, because it means that you feel absolutely nothing for the person. We do not know how the couple's relationship ends, but we suspect that it will be successful, because we are told that they have a "vacuum of need" underneath the stilted conversation. The need for love and care in the end brings them together and strengthens their links. Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship in Pride and Prejudice is mirrored in the relationship of the unnamed couple in the poem. They have allowed their past experiences to colour their relationship, which made both of them slow down. When they were finally ready to begin a relationship, they took their time and built a very strong relationship that we expect will stand the tests of time. Both pieces of literature serve the same overall purpose and give the same message, that relationships need time to grow so you can really understand the other person's mind. When a strong relationship has been built up over a long period of time, there is little chance of it disintegrating or falling into indifference. ...read more.

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