PICK ONE FROM THE LISTDOESNT MATTER WHICH ONE YOU CHOOSE)

Pride and Prejudice Essay



Final Draft Due: Wednesday, November 14th



Length: At least six pages, one of which can be the works cited page (double spaced with one-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman font).



Primary Sources: Jane Austenas Pride and Prejudice. This means that the majority of the citations (and hence evidence) in the essay should come from this source.



Secondary Sources: At least three secondary sourcesa and hopefully more. Secondary sources are sources beyond just the literary work(s). These sources can be print articles or books, ebooks, scholarly online journals (such as Persuasions Online), scholarly websites (such as The Victorian Web), or electronic sources from one of the libraryas databases (such as the Literature Resource Center). Please avoid other, non-scholarly websites and electronic sources. Cite sources that give literary criticism of the work(s) you are discussing or that provide necessary social or historical context for your topic. Remember, a source does not count if it is not cited within the text: in other words, just listing it on the works cited page but not citing it in the text does not count.



Documentation: MLA Style (including both in-text citations and a works cited page).



Points: This essay is worth a possible 500 points.



Grading Standards: Rubric for Longer Literature Essays



Minimum Standards: Essays must be no more than one page short of the minimum length (based on double-spacing, one-inch margins, and a 12-point font) and no more than one source short of the minimum number of secondary sources. Any essay that does not meet these standards will not be accepted and will have to be resubmitted as a late essay (with late penalties) once it does meet these standards.



Time to Complete: This essay should take approximately 12 hours outside of class to complete (two hours per page), depending on your skill level and the pace at which you work.



Code of Integrity: Please write the following a?Code of Integrity Pledgea? at the bottom of the last page of your essay, and sign your name after it: a?I pledge that this work is entirely my own and that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized help in doing it.a?



Submit: (1) a paper copy of the essay to the professor in class and (2) an electronic copy of the essay to Turnitina in the Assignments button on Blackboard (the essay will not be graded until both versions have been submitted).



Assignment: Select one of the lettered questions/topics, and write an essay that convincingly answers or responds to that topic question:



A. Dear Jane: Are Jane Austenas Lessons on Dating and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Good Advice or Bad Advice for People in Contemporary Society?



Pride and Prejudice is one of the most widely read and influential romance novels in the history of the world. In fact, many contemporary readers still turn to it for Austenas a?lessonsa? on dating (which was called courtship in Austenas day) and on marriage, as demonstrated by recent a?guidebooksa? like Jane Austenas Guide to Dating, Dating Mr. Darcy: The Smart Girlas Guide to Sensible Romance, and Dear Jane Austen: A Heroineas Guide to Life and Love. Of course, this raises the question: what are Austenas lessons on dating and marriage as revealed in the novel? For example, what are the criteria that Austen believes that a person should use to determine whom he or she should marry, to what extent does she think that a woman should show her interest in a man (if at all), how does she suggest that a man should showa and act upona his interest in a woman, how does she believe that a woman can best discern a manas true intentions toward her, how does she think that a man should behave (sexually or otherwise) towards a woman whom he is seeing, to what extent does she believe that friends and family members should interfere with a personas romantic choices, and to what extent does she suggest that wealth is legitimate consideration in deciding whom to marry? Considering (at least some of) these questions, argue for whether Austenas lessons are good advice or bad advice for people today (or perhaps botha and if so, in which areas and to what extent).



B. Pride and Class: Is Jane Austen Reinforcing or Challenging Societyas Views on Class in Pride and Prejudice?



In Pride and Prejudice, one of the most important social issues that Jane Austen scrutinizes is class. However, exactly what are Austenas views on class as revealed in the novel? For example, does she seem to approve ofa or not to approve ofa the practice of judging people (positively or negatively) because of their class (as seen in her presentation of characters who do make such judgments), does she seem to agreea or not to agreea with the idea that a characteras class is necessarily linked to his or her moral character, does she seem either to favor or to look down upon certain classes, and to what extent does she seem to believe that class shoulda or should not limita whom a person can marry? Considering these questions, argue for whether they show Austen either reinforcing societyas views on class during her time or else challenging societyas views on class during her time (or perhaps botha and if so, in which areas and to what extent).





C. Pride, Prejudice, and Premarital Sex: Is Jane Austen Reinforcing or Challenging Societyas Views on Fallenness in Pride and Prejudice?



In Pride and Prejudice, one of the most interesting social issues that Jane Austen scrutinizes is fallenness, which is the ostracized state that women enter by having premarital sex or committing adultery. However, exactly what are Austenas views on fallenness as revealed in the novel? For example, does she seem to approve ofa or not to approve ofa premarital sex (as seen in her presentation of the character who falls), does she seem to endorsea or not to endorsea harsh punishment for premarital sex (as seen in her presentation of characters who call for such punishment), does she seem to approve ofa or instead to make look unfaira the guilt-by-association experienced by the family members of the fallen woman, and does she seem to absolvea or instead to condemna the man in the relationship? Considering these questions, argue for whether they show Austen either reinforcing societyas views on fallenness during her time or else challenging societyas views on fallenness during her time (or perhaps botha and if so, in which areas and to what extent).



D. a?So odd a mixturea?: Is Mr. Bennet a More of a Good Father or More of a Bad One in Pride and Prejudice?



Mr. Bennet is one of the funniest characters in Pride and Prejudice, appearing as the a?cool dada? of the novel, but is he more of a good father or more of a bad one? On the one hand, one could argue that he is more of a good father: that he lessens the drama and tension in the Bennet household through his use of humor, that he allows his children the freedom to make their own choices, including about marriage, that at least some of his daughters turn out well and behave in an exemplary manner, that he acknowledges and learns from his mistakes as a father, that the bad things that happen in his family are not really his fault, but rather the fault of others or simply beyond his control, and that, in the end, things do not end up so badly for his family after all. On the other hand, one could argue that he is more of a bad father: that he is distant and disengaged from his family, that he does a poor job of disciplining and protecting his daughters, that he fails to be a good financial provider for his family, that he sets a bad example with his own marriage, that he shows favoritism toward some of his daughters, that some of his daughters do not turn out so well and are not well behaved, and that it is only because other people intervene that the consequences of his bad fathering do not end up hurting his family. Considering these issues, argue for whether you believe that Mr. Bennet is more of a good father or more of a bad one.