Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

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Jane Austen is an expert at juxtaposing romance and wit. Her novels are highly prized not only for their irony, humor, and depiction of English country life, but also for their underlying serious qualities. Austen’s plots highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. With each page, Austen is able to illustrate the absurdity of society in 19th century England through the entertaining individuals that she creates. It is easy to read a Jane Austen novel and label her characters as shallow and conceited, or shy and tenderhearted. But it is more complex than that. What really differentiates a heroine from a villainess? In many of Jane Austen’s stories, characters from different books share similar traits. However, in Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice, it is not the heroines that share comparable qualities. Instead, there are striking similarities between Elizabeth Bennett, the protagonist in Pride and Prejudice, and Mary Crawford, the antagonist in Mansfield Park.
Mary Crawford and Elizabeth Bennett are similar in their liveliness, their wit, and their playfulness — all in contrast to the heroine of Mansfield Park, Fanny Price, who is quiet, reserved, and solemn. So what makes us see Mary as villain and Elizabeth as a heroine? The answer is very simple: their moral compasses. Mary isn’t judged for her vivacious, strong-headed personality — she is judged for her moral failings, for her “faults of principle”, her “blunted

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