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University Degree: Jane Austen

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  1. Discuss the ways in which marriage is represented in Pride and Prejudice.

    Women were the 'property' of their father until they married and often marriage was the only option. A key theme of the book is Mrs Bennett trying to marry off her five daughters and the book opens with the famously quoted sentence, illustrating the views of Mrs Bennett and many women of the time who may have been reading the book; 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a great fortune must be in want of a wife.' (pg 3) This quote establishes the focus of the novel and reveals to the modern reader a contemporary view of society and marriage.

    • Word count: 2409
  2. Northanger Abbey

    After being ignored in her request to 'get out this moment', Catherine 'having no power to get away, was obliged to give up the point and submit' (Austen, p.62). This scene deals with the themes of fidelity and betrayal on many levels; it highlights Austen's betrayal from sentimental realist literature by incorporating gothic scenes, it then betrays the gothic genre by turning the kidnap of Catherine into nothing more than a dull 'tourist excursion' that does not even make it to her expected gothic scene at Blaize Castle.

    • Word count: 1622
  3. Free essay

    Midterm Written Celebration: Jane Austen

    There are many passages where Fanny is described as reading or at least with a book. She has so much motivation to have time alone to read she is willing to spend a good deal of time in an unheated room. Another part of Fanny's strong intellect is her interest in spending time with others of high intellectual standards or at least those who attempt to display good intellect. This is also an attribute of Fanny's good judgment. She desires to spend time with Edmund because he teaches her and helps guide her reading.

    • Word count: 3413
  4. 'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman' (De Beauvoir 1949) How does Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility reflect this statement?

    The majority of feminists agree that gender is obtained through childhood and early womanhood due to social conditioning, rather than biological reasons. Millett saw this as originating from law, economy and education, all of which allowed very little room for feminine expression. As a result women were valued less; to use just one example, Oxford University did not grant degrees to females until 1920. Somewhat ironically, the estate the Dashwoods are forced to leave is named Norland, or 'no-land' (Doody 2004: x), an accurate representation of what they have claim to as a family of woman; nothing.

    • Word count: 2363
  5. 'Two basic kinds of narration exist - the omniscient and the limited' Tomashevsky)

    Austen uses omniscient narration in Northanger Abbey in order to fully develop her characters. In the novel, she focuses mainly on the key character, Catherine Morland. In doing this, she is able to fully develop the character and provide a detailed description of both the physical features - 'she began to curl her hair', 'her complexion improved, her features were softened by plumpness and colour, her eyes gained more animation and her figure more consequence'.

    • Word count: 2195
  6. A major theme in 'Les liaisons dangereuses' is seduction, not least the seduction of the reader by Merteuil and Valmont. Discuss.

    This description of her plan to corrupt the young na�ve virgin C�cile has a hint of humour, a prevalent feature in the correspondence between her and Valmont, and one that the reader is inevitably drawn to as the book develops and her character is more deeply understood. Through this 'bonne id�e', in a series of manipulative and immoral schemes, the action develops. We take the most from their letters; they inform, entertain and empower us. In comparison we learn almost nothing from the letters of C�cile, 'Je ne sais encore rien, ma bonne amie,' and she has revealed everything about her character very quickly, thus removing her ability to create intrigue and suspense.

    • Word count: 1287
  7. Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child?: Representations of Mothers in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

    Dashwood was alike uninfluenced by either consideration. It was enough for her that he appeared to be amiable, that he loved her daughter, and that Elinor returned the partiality" (13). As generous as this attitude may be, however, it also illustrated a certain lack of prudence in Mrs. Dashwood. Thus, as a parent, she is not without fault. Like Marianne, Mrs. Dashwood is romantic and whimsical, more prone to act on feelings than reason. Also similar to her youngest daughter, she often misjudges both the characters and situations of individuals.

    • Word count: 1475
  8. Decoding and Interpreting Virginia Woolf's Writing StyleA Room of One's Own is one of the most significant feminist texts of the twentieth century

    A Room of One's Own seems to be an inner dialogue where Woolf mainly presents her ideas and opinions. For example, consider the three opening lines of the essay, "But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction-what has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain" (3). The use of the first person pronoun so early into the essay clearly illustrates that the text consists of her thoughts, her feelings, and her views. This bold statement and unique narrative use within the first few lines of the essay could be interpreted as Woolf's attempt to imply that it is her essay and that she will make it what she wants it to be; no one, particularly no man, will confine her writing style.

    • Word count: 1605
  9. One of the first letters we see in Pride and Prejudice is the letter from Mr. Collins to the Bennet family explaining of his wishing to come and stay with them. As soon as the letter is read we see Mr. Collins

    Another reason that we see quite early in the letter is that of the possibility of marriage with one of his fair cousins. We see that Mr. Collins wants to heal the rift between the two families. "I have frequently wished to heal the rift." This gives the impression that he actually wants to help out, but as we read on we see that he has just become a clergymen and that the only real reason he wants to come as Lady Catherine de Bourgh has gave him permission to.

    • Word count: 3238
  10. 'Examine the ways in which the epistolary structure of Les Liaisons Dangereuses creates drama, intrigue and suspense.'

    This ordering of letters crafts a sense of psychological entrapment between Mertueil and Valmont which is compounded by her limited information 'je ne sais encore rien,' and 'c'est peut-etre celui-l� qui doit m'�pouser' she writes. The reader, however, is already told by Mertueil in the previous letter who she is to marry and is therefore better informed than C�cile. This layering of knowledge and dramatic irony is prevalent and integral in the development of drama and suspense. As a result of her linguistic ineptitude, although she is the innocent victim, we find it difficult to relate to C�cile and pity her.

    • Word count: 1201
  11. How is Justine Presented in this Chapter? How Does Shelley Use Language to Create Effect in this Chapter? How Does Shelley Present Women as a Whole in the Novel?

    As the trial progresses, she quickly loses control; "her countenance altered. Surprise, horror and misery were strongly expressed. Sometimes she struggled with tears". Justine is presented as a victim of the legal system as all evidence against her is circumstantial and subject to interpretation, a fact acknowledged by herself "I hope the character I have always borne will incline my judges to a favourable interpretation where circumstance appears doubtful and suspicious" and the court "none of our judges like to condemn a criminal upon circumstantial evidence, be it ever so decisive".

    • Word count: 1710
  12. "Austen creates intensely personal microcosms of intensely political macrocosms." Discuss in relation to Pride and Prejudice.

    or "secret scribbler": isolated from high society and politics in the middle of the English countryside, in the villages of Steventon and later, Chawton. There can be little doubt that Pride and Prejudice is a novel in which there is a strong sense of limitation, if not of complete withdrawal and isolation. The 'smallness' of the Bennets' park translates into the all too evident financial restraints imposed by having five daughters - in Lady Catherine's view at least, the literal size of the park symbolises the limitations of Elizabeth's potential choices of husband.

    • Word count: 5013
  13. Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    The series of events that led to their friendship was crucial to their eventual reciproctating respect and adoration. Austen incorporates barriers between Elizabeth and Darcy to build a strong foundation, and to show that a vital part of a lasting marriage is knowing one another prior to making a commitment. Throughout the first part of the book, Elizabeth and Darcy exchange several harsh words, and are driven away by each others apparent rudeness, only to discover their common fondness. This primary rejection provides Austen with a chance to show that judging based on first reactions is impractical and immature.

    • Word count: 1257
  14. What is Jane Austins Naratology?

    I am going to concentrate my analysis in the first part of the novel, that is to say, the first 35 chapters. Narratology will be my method, so we will have to distinguish between narrator and focaliser in the novel to get to the answer I mentioned before. Those two names stand for the one who tells and the one who sees respectively. The one who sees, the focaliser, will be our main concern when analysing the novel, because focalization is the most subtle means of manipulating the information presented to the reader.1 Elizabeth Bennet is the protagonist of the novel.

    • Word count: 2327
  15. Jane Austen's Views towards Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    As this chapter began with the first sentence revealing the theme of marriage to us, the last sentence in the chapter outlines the rest of the book and the marriages to follow. " The business of her life was to get her daughters married". We find out later that Mrs Bennet is not so very lucky to have all of her daughters in happy marriages. Yet she has still been showed as a very lucky mother towards the end "The Bennets were speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world".

    • Word count: 2388
  16. Commentary on passage (A) from “Novelas Ejemplares”

    The house is a contrast of cleanliness and defective ornaments. Again, we question the thieves' devotion when we see a cheap and vulgar statue of the Virgin Mary. The people within the house are a curious mix, from rough looking youths to apparently respectable old men. Monipodio is the caricature of a ruffian and his intelligence is shown up by the two boys who answer his requests with straight, almost insolent remarks. After the passage Monipodio is so impressed with the boys' skills that he promotes them to elders, thus dispensing with their year of apprenticeship.

    • Word count: 1276
  17. Olivier, Olivier and Europa, Europa.

    If the Jews were not winning, he would definitely not be run towards them. He is selfish and a coward who has no principles and convictions. He fights for nothing. If he were just not handsome and lucky, he would surely have died at the very start of the war. Therefore, I say that Perel is not a hero. He does not have any worthwhile purpose in life that gives meaning to his whole personality. By a meaningful purpose, I do not mean the goal to survive, but a strong passion characteristic of heroes, a cause outside of him that governs or guides the course of his life.

    • Word count: 1901
  18. The short story of the "Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D. H. Lawrence is an examination of relationships within a family.

    Walt would often go to the local pub, the "Prince of Wales", for a drink with his co-workers and is often brought home in a drunken stupor by them. This angers and embarrasses Elizabeth and she believes that on this night, not only has he gone to the pub, but also he has had the nerve to actually walk by his own house to get there. Now we get a glimpse into the friction within Elizabeth's relationship with her husband "Eh, he'll not come now till they bring him.

    • Word count: 1164
  19. Elizabeth Taylor's Journey in Life: Analyzed by Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development.

    (Morley, 1998) It was not until 1941, that 9 year old Elizabeth was taken to her first audition, where she got a supporting role to a child star but was then fired, within a year, because her "eyes are too old and she doesn't even have the face of a kid" (Morley, 1998). She then had to face the questions of classmates, giving the embarrassing answer that she had tried being an actress, and failed. A year later she was lucky to be perfectly fitting the part of "Lassie-girl", as she had an English accent, loved animals and could ride a horse.

    • Word count: 4429
  20. Marriage As A Social Contract In Jane Austen's 'Pride And Prejudice'.

    9, (1978) ). Unfortunately for Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, it cannot be denied that she is a "wife of necessity". Effectively disinherited through the fine print of their father's will, the Bennet girls and their neurotic mother are to become penniless on the death of Mr. Bennet, unless they can find themselves a rich husband. Elizabeth's initial disapproval of Mr. Darcy and his pride seems to undergo a radical upheaval on her visit to Pemberley, Darcy's ancestral estate, as she herself admits - when discussing with her sister the progress of her feeling's for Mr.

    • Word count: 1913
  21. Northanger Abbey - What are the novelistic conventions at which Austen pokes fun; how she gets her comic effects at the level of the individual sentence, and how this passage relates to the rest of the novel.

    As a heroine, Catherine is somewhat lacking in the typical physical traits and practical and mental abilities. However, she does have many of the emotional attributes of a classic Gothic heroine - she is sensitive and thoughtful and she has aspirations - but all these qualities are satirised by Austen. Catherine's interpretation of events and situations is elevated beyond normal, sensible intuition. The roll of paper at the back of the cabinet, so clearly mislaid and left in haste (at least, this is clear in retrospect), to her is placed there 'apparently for concealment'. 'her feelings at that moment were indescribable.'

    • Word count: 1177
  22. In a continuous essay of not more that 1000 words, analyse this passage, discussing ways in which the narrative voice and dialogue are used.

    Quite ironically she is speaking of a gentleman ending his affection, and thereafter she speaks "knowledgeably" of love. She is neither knowledgeable nor experienced in either of these matters. Perhaps the "impatience" is more pertinent to the encounters she wishes to experience. In this way, Jane Austen uses irony in her narrative as a means of showing the truth about situations and people. In Darcy's discourse he is disagreeing with Elizabeth - a pattern that emerges throughout the novel. Within the conversation between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet we are exposed to the narrative technique of showing. This technique is particularly effective as it involves the reader imaginatively and allows us to judge the characters and their relations with one another.

    • Word count: 952
  23. Discuss Woolf's evocation of time and space in the captured 'moments' of art and consciousness.

    That was all - a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with the years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark." (To The Lighthouse, p.236) The image of the traversed sky and the instant of a lighted match is telling: time and space are the crucial parameters which Woolf exploits. They reach to the very root of our being - our spatio-temporal identity - and open a disconcerting dialogue with time and space as perceived.

    • Word count: 3034
  24. Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are two of the books included in the list of love stories that have happy endings.

    No dialogue takes place in this scene; and though Elizabeth is unaware of Darcy's musings, she has begun to captivate him with her personality. Jane also intrigues Rochester from the beginning: "Ah! By my word! There is something singular about you...and when one asks you a question...you rap out a round rejoinder, which, if not blunt, is at least brusque" (150). She has just replied, "No, sir." to Rochester's question of whether or not she thought him handsome; the direct reply and the bold personality necessarily accompanying such a reply engage Rochester's interest.

    • Word count: 1529
  25. Jane Austen's use of irony in Pride & Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion.

    I also learnt that Jane Austen was a very straightforward person. She always said what she thought and felt, "Jane was always free with what she thought", (Encarta online encyclopaedia). To add comedy to her books she used irony to get her message through. She indirectly put forward what she wanted to say in a clear-cut way. There are so many reasons why she uses irony. "Jane Austen is a great ironist as well as a major satirist", (Encarta encyclopaedia).

    • Word count: 3463

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • In a continuous essay of not more that 1000 words, analyse this passage, discussing ways in which the narrative voice and dialogue are used.

    "What then follows is a narration of the character of Lydia Bennet. This character discourse includes both direct and indirect speech, and a lengthy narrative. The character is revealed to us mainly by the art of telling. This may be slightly patronizing as the reader is not allowed to make up his/her own mind in conclusion of the character, but the technique is beneficial in respect of brevity and clarity. From the narration, I surmise Lydia to be very outspoken and head strong. From the indirect speech that follows, when Lydia "orders" Mr Bingley to present a Ball at Netherfield, my interpretation of Lydia's characterization is reinforced. Through Lydia's dialogue regarding the second ball "I shall tell Colonel Forster it will be quite a shame if he does not". Again, my opinions are reinforced. The showing of the character has allowed me to reiterate that Lydia is thoroughly selfish and she uses people so that she may get what she wishes. She shows no gratitude toward Mr Bingley for his acquiesce to hold the ball. Thus, this passage displays many of the narrative techniques which Austen uses in the novel as a whole, and reveals her level of skill in being able to express her ideas through the narrative while still remaining entertaining and readable. (885 words)"

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