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The Feminist Critique and Five Styles of Womens Roles in Pride and Prejudice

Laura Dabundo Feminism in Jane Austens novels is inseparable from education, although of course the former term was hardly in her vocabulary. Nonetheless, in the introduction to the landmark Jane Austen and the Discourses of Feminism, Devoney Looser argues that, in a male-dominated society, Austens own difficulties in securing publication and in not claiming authorship while creating independent, strong-willed heroines like Elizabeth Bennet identify her as a feminist. Moreover, Looser asserts, A focus on gender politics is the strength all feminist work on Austen exemplifiesand its a strength that one also finds in Austens own writings (6, 8). The anonymously published Pride and Prejudice well exemplifies all these issues because Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters represent five distinct roles for women in the changing, revolution-rattled world of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in which Jane Austen wrote and set her novel, where education becomes the ticket to a better life. Austen lived and wrote in terms of gender politics, and a family of five young women including one who is fiercely self-reliant is illustrative of the difficulties and vexations posed for girls and women at this time. Hence discussing this novel in these terms is inevitably a feminist issue.1 When Elizabeth visits Lady Catherine de Bourgh at her imposing estate, the great woman is aghast that all five [Bennet daughters are] out [in society] at once? Very odd! Elizabeth protests that, were it otherwisethat is, were the coming out of the younger ones to have been delayed till the elder marriedthey should not have had their share of society and amusement. . . . The last born has as good a right to the pleasures of youth, as the first. And . . . I think it would not be very likely to promote sisterly affection or delicacy of mind (165). This exchange captures in several different ways the changing climate for women. First of all, outspoken, never-circumspect Elizabeth casts her
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vote in favor of an articulation of the rights of a group previously downtrodden or degraded, surely summoning to mind the topical arguments ranging over the Rights of Man and of Woman as enunciated at this time by Thomas Paine, Edmund Burke, and Mary Wollstonecraft. But Elizabeth is not opposed to the more traditional basis of familial claimsthus sisterly affection that nods toward Lady Catherines notions of how things are supposed to be, how things have always been, according to strictures of precedence and hierarchy and the demands of family and relationship inherited and still powerful in the eighteenth century. This is a world where conservative and radical meet, as we shall see. Last, Elizabeth makes a claim for delicacy of mind, which might be interpreted in several different ways, pointing toward traditional female sensibilities or perhaps toward an educated mentality of a more enlightened climate. Education, as we shall see, is itself a vexed issue for young women. And Elizabeth is caught in her worlds transition. Hence all her responses note the ways in which the world in which the Bennet sisters come of age is not the world that Lady Catherine is desperately trying to retain. Pride and Prejudice presents people in movement, not stasis. In the 1790s, when the novel was first drafted, England was at war with France, and the British crossed the English Channel at their own peril. But did they stay at home? No. Even though they were confined to the island of England, they rambled all over it. Reflecting the reality of her times, in the course of her narration Austen has the inhabitants of rural, seemingly settled Longbourn House in the village of Longbourn in Hertfordshire near the market town of Meryton scatter to many different places. Some go to London, some to Rosings and Hunsford in Kent, some to Pemberley in Derbyshire when plans for an excursion to the Lake District collapse, and others to Bristol and to Newcastle. And they visit the homes of others in their village, such as Lucas Lodge and Netherfield Park, and in the wider world of Meryton, where aunt and uncle Phillips dwell. Even Mr. Bennet, who likes nothing so much as to stay put and read in his library, is forced to scurry off to the big city,
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where his wife, fancifully but dramatically, imagines that he will die in a duel with Wickham (294). These are much-traveled folk, in short, who wander all over the map, lending more drama to their lives than one might expect. Life is not stable, in other words. It is in transition, as indicated by the peregrinations of these characters. Moreover, whether these people travel in packs, in twosomes and larger groups, or singly, they bring with them their own prejudices and encounter and mingle with new and different ideas and ideals in the trajectory of their travels. And all this traveling is a way to focus on the element of change in the novel. Prideful and prejudiced may be where these characters begin, but by the end of the novel their worlds have certainly expanded, and those will be rewarded with happy endings who are willing to adapt and change. Similarly, by following the adventures of five sisters in the Bennet family plus Caroline Bingley, Charlotte Lucas, Anne de Bourgh, and Georgiana Darcy, as well as Mary King, with whom Wickhams name is attached for a time, and the nameless other young women who fill out the dance cards in the novel, Pride and Prejudice considers womens lives at the juncture of greatest challenge and change. These young women are poised on the verge of matrimony, when they must forsake their patrilineal homes for those of their husbands, with all of their futures and fortunes likely lying in the balance. Now, this is to some extent how the European world had been for some time with respect to marriage; in Austens focus on the moment of severest test for nearly a dozen or more young women, the question of marriage is not new. From time immemorial young women have traded their ancestral homes, whether modest or grand, for those of their new mates. What is changing in this world in particular is that these young women now and suddenly hold the power to choose with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives. No longer are marriages arranged for young women; this revolutionary new world grants them not only the chance to fall in love but also the occasion, even the obligation, to act on that feeling. A feminist perspective can illuminate this issue,
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demonstrating a womans ability to be more calculating than she would have been in an earlier time. Charlotte Lucas is a good example, for she acts in accordance with her own wishes to devise and then implement her own marital strategy. Elizabeth may not approve of Charlottes choice, but Charlotte has considered her circumstances, especially her age, and taken care of herself, even if it means a life with Mr. Collins. For Charlotte, this marriage represents an estimable improvement over lifelong spinsterhood. The rewards of the marriage plots, in contrast to what the young women face, are not nearly so great for the young men whom these women encounter and wed. That is, while the future happiness of a young man may rest with the outcome of the marital stakes, his economy and status will probably abide as it is. Messrs. Darcy, Collins, and Bingley stay at the same rank where they begin the novel, wed or unwed. And, similarly, George Wickham, who hopes to change his station through a prosperous union, instead remains as dependent on others as he ever has been following his misplaying of the marital sweepstakes. Things will be for him as his wife wishes, not according to his designs. The shifting world is evident in the power to affect change available now to the young women, for the most part, while the men stay where they are. Thus the focus of the novel is on the women. To characterize the Bennet sisters as illustrating five different styles of young womanhood, we might first distinguish the more static or conservative from the more progressive or radical. Jane, Mary, and Kitty all follow inherited cultural models and established paths. Jane, no matter how admirable and good, is finally passive in response to Bingleys courtship of her, which of course nearly costs her an enduring relationship with him. Charlotte Lucas, very perceptive and calculating, as we have seen, counsels Elizabeth that Jane has not made appropriately transparent her preference for Bingley in a way that will secure his undying affections (22), and Elizabeth learns from Darcys letter that he acts to disengage Bingley from what he mistakenly thinks is a hopeless infatuation because he does not detect Janes feelings
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(197). Jane does not, in short, act for herself. She is beautiful enough that perhaps she has never needed to, but she must suffer for a perceived loss in the same way that proper, dignified, and sensible Elinor Dashwood must silently grieve the displacement of her affections in the earlier Sense and Sensibility. That is how eighteenth-century women were expected to behave. Circumstances ultimately benefit Elinor and Jane, but not because of decisive energies they expend to affect their fates, for in many ways they both belong to the eighteenth century. Others must intervene or act on their behalf in order for things to work out positively and happily for them. Similarly, Kitty, the fourth Bennet daughter, who is very much a minor figure, is also passive. She is a follower of her younger and much more vigorous sister Lydia, perhaps because she is slight and delicate (292), characteristics that lead Deirdre Le Faye to suggest she possesses a certain weakness of nature and body (185). Certainly, Kitty never shows any initiative. She is just Lydias sidekick. That secondary position, too, is in keeping with traditional expectations for young women, and we shall consider Lydia shortly. Kittys dependence is shown when, at different times, their father declares both that Kitty can never marry and that she can marry anyone. That is, he first asserts that she will be locked up for the next decade following Lydias disgrace (300) and then changes his tune once all the misfortunes are straightened out and happiness is restored to say that he is receptive to the next importuning suitor (377). Clearly, Kitty has nothing to say or do to affect either the fall or rise in her fortunes. She is merely a prompt or shuttlecock to the whims of her fathers wit, also an inherited female position, the female used to show off the obviously superior male, another eighteenth-century stricture on women. Mary Bennet, the absolute chronological center of the pentagon of sisters, occupies a different though no less reactionary position from those of Jane and Kitty. When she is first introduced to the reader, she is made the butt of one of her fathers jokes in the same manner as we have seen Kitty has been treated. He says to her, What say you,
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Mary? for you are a young lady of deep reflection I know and read great books, and make extracts (7), to which, put on the spot, Mary unfortunately cannot think of something sensible to respond, and her father observes that she is adjusting her ideas (7). He is patronizing her learning. Her likely choice of serious, tendentious tomes would relegate her to the category of bluestocking, an Enlightenment figure of scorn, a term that, even while conceding female intelligence, minimized womens intellectual aspirations and accomplishments. Marys bookishness raises an important issue with respect to the position of women in this world because finally that position will improve only when education is open to them. Austen considers education for women, as epitomized by reading, very carefully in Pride and Prejudice, and offers, in contrast to Marys empty scholasticism, Caroline Bingley, who is certainly not a figure to admire in the novel, and who tries to impress Darcy by reading. However, she tries to read exactly as he is doing, and she is quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her own book, which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his (55). The reader can laugh at the superficiality and even stupidity of Miss Bingley, trying to read a second volume before reading the previous one, but at the same time, the narrator has risked playing into the hands of readers who expect women to behave this way. Caroline Bingley is thus no better or worse than her times. In addressing female literacy, Elizabeth tells Lady Catherine, of her home life, that we were always encouraged to read (165), though she also points out that I am not a great reader (37). Thus what Mary, truly a great readerwhich probably means an indefatigable bookwormrepresents may be the opposite extreme from Caroline Bingley, who is clearly not a reader at all, with the middle ground achieved by Jane and Elizabeth, who are educated to converse sensibly, to recognize folly and evil, but not to become exempla of pedantry and concomitant pedestrianism. And that middle ground, the novel suggests, is where the hope of the feminist future lies. Marys reading habits enable the narrator to make an additional
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timely comment on female learning particularly relevant to a feminist perspective. When Mr. Collins, cousin of and heir to Mr. Bennet, first visits the family, he is asked to choose a book to read out loud and finds at hand a copy of Fordyces Sermons to Young Women (68), likely left in view by Mary. This is a revealing text for the narrator to single out, for in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, first published in 1792 and therefore contemporaneous with the writing of Pride and Prejudice, Mary Wollstonecraft chooses the popular Sermons to Young Women for vituperation. She rejects Fordyces recommendations that women be passive, docile, and homebound. She asks witheringly, Are his recommendations for women not the portrait of a house slave? (102). Wollstonecraft has no patience for Fordyces platitudes and lack of respect for female intelligence or resourcefulness. Fordyce and Collins seek to keep women down, silenced, and powerless. Consequently, Pride and Prejudice, by casting the boring Mr. Collins as a reader of the tedious, tendentious, and irrelevant dicta of the sort authorized by Fordyce, very subtly strikes a blow not for the condescension toward womens learning by these men, but rather for respect for and encouragement of it along the lines proposed by Wollstonecraft. But, finally, the novel argues for all things in moderation, a position Jane and Elizabeth have adopted, though Jane is passive and Elizabeth active, as we shall see. To return to the Bennet sisters, then, we next come to Lydia Bennet, who is the diametric opposite of the learned young woman, more in keeping with Caroline Bingley in chasing men, though with much less subtlety. After Lydias public outbursts and her heedless pursuit of men in uniformswhich the more demure man-chasing Miss Bingley disdainsthe narrator describes Lydia as having high animal spirits, and a sort of natural self-consequence despite being but fifteen and the youngest of the family (45). That is some excuse for her behavior, but not much. However, her secret flight with Wickham, ill-considered, reckless, and foolish, shows that she is immature and easily deceived, for her letter to Harriet Forster indicates that she thought she was elopThe Feminist Critique 45

ing (290). Moreover, her inability to judge the character of Wickham accurately jeopardizes her sisters positions as well as her own, for the entire Bennet sorority will be damaged goods, not deemed marriageable, if Lydia is not married to Wickham after they abscond. This is most assuredly according to the dictates of a hidebound, traditional morality. Lydias high spirits and self-confidence do not translate into license; rather, obviously, she is the victim of the double standard against which women are measured and held to account in these times. She does not behave conservatively, and a conservative society rings her upand all to whom she is related. If Lydia becomes a fallen woman, her sisters will fall with her, at least out of favor in the allimportant marriage arenas. The womans plight here is sorry indeed, and the verdict results from the judgment of a very hierarchical society still controlled by eighteenth-century codes of propriety and morality. In Jane Austens world, naive young women can certainly be at the mercy of predators. Wickham has had the very young Georgiana Darcy in his sights before Lydia, and in Sense and Sensibility Willoughby has ruined Eliza, whom Colonel Brandon rescues, and pursues Marianne probably without noble motives. In Emma, Harriet Smith is the natural daughter of someone who prefers to remain anonymous. Thus the fathers identity is protected while hers is exposed, and her mothers is erased. Women, we see, are frequently wronged by men. On occasion, if the young women are fortunate, they may be redeemed, but there is no equality in the womens positions, options, and outcomes vis--vis those of men. And the means for the redemption, which comes to Lydia, Eliza, and Harriet, is entirely out of their hands. With these odds against them, not very many women can flourish; in fact, the only ones who do are those willing to accept the tides of change and adapt. Enter the central figure of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet. J. B. Priestley calls her the key figure of the novel, lively and sensible, practical and affectionate, humorous and independent-minded. She is a real girl, a person in her own right, with a will of her own, and
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he compares her to the outspoken and lively heroines of Shakespeares comedies: Rosalind, Viola, and Beatrice (98), who easily hold their own, especially in oral sparring, with the men against whom they are pitted. But Elizabeth is also a product of her times, even as she looks beyond them. As sparring partners, Elizabeth and Darcy are well matched, as Elizabeth points out the first time they dance together. I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds.We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the clat of a proverb (91). Darcy deflects the purport of this observation, and the rest of the conversation is vexed on both sides. Elizabeth does not expound upon her points, and he refuses to be drawn into commenting. And most readers probably feel dissatisfied by the exchange as well. For one thing, Elizabeth is hardly unsociable. And as the novel proceeds, Darcy is ultimately shown as a hospitable benefactor at his estate, who eagerly welcomes the Gardiners to Pemberley and graciously organizes a dinner for his sister and Elizabeth to get better acquainted (263), so that his personality, too, does not accord with the proffered characterization. Similar to Elizabeth he may be, but the parallels are deeper, more profound than at the level of party banter. Rather, Pride and Prejudice shows two young people with strong feelings and loyalties and great moral rectitude and probity who both must confront a challenge and respond and change. Darcy has had to learn to accept and act upon his love for Elizabeth, despite his reluctance, as his ungracious first proposal manifests (189-92), and to learn to respect her, which her rejection teaches him. He tells her how all this has come to pass when he makes his second proposal. He reviews for her how he has changed, from having been an indulged only son who was, in his word selfish and supercilious, especially toward those whom a class-based society considers his social inferiors. In truth, as we see, deep inside he is not like that at all, but that is his surface realThe Feminist Critique 47

ity, and that is the reality he has shown at Longbourn and Rosings. But when Elizabeth rejected his first proposal, she humbled him, he says, and he is grateful (369). These are extraordinary sentiments for a young man of wealth and position to achieve and to acknowledge. The feminist critique of Austen demands a hero able to bend and grow to meet his heroine, and Darcy shows himself willing to change as the result of a young womans judgment of him, hopeful of her changed feelings toward him when he learns how she has stood up to his aunt (367), and that leads toward happiness. Elizabeth, too, will have to learn to accommodate change. In the first half of the novel she is fun-loving but not very deep as a person. At her first encounter with Darcy, she is easily hurt by his initial flippant dismissal of herand all the other young women at the local assemblycensuring them as unworthy of his attention, even punishment . . . to stand up with (11). To save face, she is able to turn the insult into humor and use it against Darcy in mockery within her circle. Nonetheless, very early on even her father, who later admits how essential she has been to him, dismisses all five daughters by saying, They have none of them much to recommend them . . . they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters (5). And, of course, it is that quickness that also draws Darcy to her and that enables her later to oppose his aunt, who has come to break up any possible attachment between them, with the words, He is a gentleman; I am a gentlemans daughter; so far we are equal (356). Society has not yet achieved the plane at which she might say, He is a gentleman; I am a gentlewoman, for her place is still dependent upon a male, but she is further along than any other young woman in this book and at this time, and her reward is the man she loves. But she needs to be educated to reach this point. The pivotal scene for Elizabeth, which enables her to transcend her hurt feelings and her youthful shallowness and achieve enlightenment, falls in the precise center of Pride and Prejudice, when she reads the letter in which Darcy, immediately following his first proposal of mar48 Critical Insights

riage, justifies his actions, attempts to clarify her misconceptions about why he broke up Jane and Bingleys flirtation, and provides the truth about Wickham and himself (196-203). Elizabeth learns how, in her uncritical acceptance of the views of her friends and family that Darcy is proud and prejudiced against people with less property than he possesses, she has been seriously mistaken about his genuinely valuable inner worth, how judging quickly and superficially is in fact its own kind of pride and prejudice. In short, she is educated. In the same way Darcy has had to acknowledge his love for Elizabeth, despite his reluctance as his insolent first proposal manifests (189-92), and to learn to esteem her as part of his education. Now Elizabeth will need to change as well. The value of education in transforming lives is evident when Elizabeths learning is tied to an act of literacy, reading a letter. With dawning comprehension, Elizabeth cries, How despicably have I acted! . . . I, who have prided myself on my discernment!I, who have valued myself on my abilities! . . . How humiliating is this discovery! . . . I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself(208). That moment of self-awareness out of selfabasement, when the naked self stands revealed, is powerful and telling. Like Adam and Eve, who do not realize their nakedness until their Fall, so too Elizabeth must fall, must be ashamed, and must know herself for this first time, as she very simply and poignantly acknowledges. William Deresiewicz asserts that Pride and Prejudice provides the clearest instance, at least in Austens early novels, of the transformative powers of self-knowledge, because its heroines transformation, her self-recognition, is the most stunningly swift (36). And Elizabeth is now transformed, able to travel to Pemberley and to see the similarly transformed Darcy for who he well and truly isthe good, kind, and patient master, brother, and landowner, the worthy and able man of property and principle, as his housekeeper first reveals (246-50), beneath the shy, socially aloof figure Elizabeth encountered previously. Love now follows education, matched, equal, and fair.
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That importance accorded to self-knowledge is an insight characteristic of the romantic era, of the period dawning after the gloaming of eighteenth-century neoclassical Enlightenment. Here Austen shares the realization of the value of self-knowledge with her contemporary, the great confessional romantic William Wordsworth, whose magnum opus is his autobiography, The Prelude, fittingly subtitled on its 1850 posthumous publication, growth of a poets mind. Wordsworth comes to know that he cannot be the poet he is destined to be until his mind has grown in self-awarenessuntil, that is, he knows himself. And that is the understanding Elizabeth reaches. She cannot truly be herself until she knows herself, and with that understanding, she parts company from her unenlightened, traditional-minded sisters who are securely mired in the eighteenth century. Shakespearean or romantic, Elizabeth Bennet, who can defy Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her nephew Darcy when they both disparage her, is not the traditional, stereotypical female of the literature that her author inherited from the previous century, which the other Bennet sisters reflect. Tony Tanner comments on the woman that Elizabeth Bennet becomes after receiving and reading Darcys letter, If we dont know ourselves, we dont know our world (16), and now Elizabeth has the authority that comes from her self-knowledge truly to know her changing world and not be defeated by it, as all her sisters are threatened to be. Knowledge of the self opens one up to know ones world. The novel thus spans two cultural eras, and its characters reflect the past and the future times. In Pride and Prejudice alone, writes Claudia L. Johnson, Austen consents to conservative myths [marriage as the proper destination for heroines in order to live happily ever after], but only in order to possess them and to ameliorate them from within, so that the institutions they vindicate can bring about, rather than inhibit, the expansion and fulfillment of happiness (93). Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy are worthy people deserving of the happiness they earn because both are willing to change in the face of, and when challenged by, an environment of great stressors.
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There is a connection between these two characters that probably is at the heart of their attraction to one another and also that may serve to bind them in the future more closely once they resolve their external misunderstandings and grievances, their self-pride and prejudice against the other. It may be what Elizabeth is talking around, sensing, but failing to identify accurately in her party prattle when they first dance together. Now, at the end, as they summarize their differences and plan their future, Elizabeth remarks that, in Darcys letter that opened her mind and led to her change of heart, the adieu is charity itself (368). Roger Gard fittingly captures what this means by describing this interchange and noting of Darcy, Hes a sincere Christian, which his close, God bless you (203), coupled with Elizabeths gracious yet simple acknowledgment, tells it all (105). In the heat of his passion and his resentment against her, Darcy nonetheless has remembered to offer a blessing to her, recognizing that whatever her faults, or his, she is nonetheless deserving of Gods mercy, sanctioned by him, and her comment on this gesture indicates that she understands. They are not ultimately different, whatever their social class and background, education, privilege, and gender distinctions, in what most matters. Furthermore, Darcys benediction and Elizabeths comments indicate that each is cognizant of the dignity and needs of the other, and that theirs most likely will be a union of the kindly and generous-minded. Proving this beneficence, Darcy tells Elizabeth that he intervened in Lydias affair exclusively for Elizabeth (366), without knowing if she would have him or not. Thus he redeems Elizabeth from the risk of being brought down by her sisters unsuitable behavior out of benevolence of spirit. As Gard says, he acts in accord with charity, quietly practicing his faith. The proper response, signaling accord, is gratitude, which Elizabeth tenders. Their education, then, is steeped in humility. As a result, Darcy and Elizabeth are well suited to one another in what matters; readers know that theirs will be a marriage of trust and fidelity, affection and generosity. The narrator tells us that this is borne
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out in the ways they open their home to their family, friends, and former foes, all welcomed as part of the family party at Pemberley (384). Specifically, in fact, we hear that, in addition to Georgiana Darcy, whose home Pemberley is, Mr. Bennet, Lydia, Kitty, all three Bingleys including Caroline, the Gardiners, and even Lady Catherine are received as guests of the Darcys with presumed forbearance and forgiveness. For their part, Lady Catherine, Lydias acolyte Kitty, and Caroline Bingley, for instance, must revise their thinking, adapt to a changed world, if they wish to be guests at Pemberley with Elizabeth as its lady. The result is a picture of grace bestowed by the hosts. Hence, in this world of new challenges and changes, people are asked to redefine and perhaps relinquish hold of what had been seemingly unchanging verities, such as the place of women. Rather, there are the enduring virtues of charity and kindness, while misguided pride and mistaken prejudices get short shrift. Now, under the press of circumstances, these people will come in contact with other people and places different from those they have known in the past and learn to change and adapt or be passed by. The stage is set for womens emancipation, and the key is education. For Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy will share this new future from a position in which each knows his or her own mind and is able to act decisively in accordance with what appears to be best for both, in a marriage of equals.

1. My discussion of the educative process at work in the novels is parallel to several earlier studies of this topic. In Jane Austen and Education (1975), D. D. Devlin discusses the process by which Austens heroines, and often other characters as well, come to see clearly themselves and their conduct, and by this new vision or insight become better people (1). Devlin concentrates on how this process works in Mansfield Park. Laura G. Mooneyhams Romance, Language, and Education in Jane Austens Novels (1988) explores the ways Austens heroines learn to use language in order to negotiate the patriarchy. Barbara J. Horwitzs argument in Jane Austen and the Question of Womens Education (1991) also focuses on education as the process by which Austens heroines achieve self-knowledge. 52 Critical Insights

Works Cited
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 1813. The Novels of Jane Austen, vol. 2. Ed. R. W. Chapman. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. Print. Deresiewicz, William. Jane Austen and the Romantic Poets. New York: Columbia UP, 2004. Print. Devlin, D. D. Jane Austen and Education. New York: Macmillan, 1975. Print. Gard, Roger. Jane Austens Novels: The Art of Clarity. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1992. Print. Horwitz, Barbara J. Jane Austen and the Question of Womens Education. New York: Peter Lang, 1991. Print. Johnson, Claudia L. Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988. Print. Le Faye, Deirdre. Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels. London: Frances Lincoln, 2002. Print. Looser, Devoney. Introduction: Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism. Jane Austen and Discourses of Feminism. Ed. Devoney Looser. New York: St. Martins Press, 1995. 1-16. Print. Mooneyham, Laura G. Romance, Language, and Education in Jane Austens Novels. New York: St. Martins Press, 1988. Print. Priestley, J. B. Austen Portrays a Small World with Humor and Detachment. A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Thirty-three Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen. Ed. Susannah Carson. New York: Random House, 2009. 95-99. Print. Tanner, Tony. Introduction. Pride and Prejudice. By Jane Austen. 1813. New York: Penguin, 1986. 7-46. Print. Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. 1792. 3d ed. Ed. Deidre Shauna Lynch. New York: W. W. Norton, 2009. Print.

The Feminist Critique


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