Short response paper one: Due February 18, 2020 in class
This response paper's purpose is to give you the opportunity to think carefully about Pride and Prejudice and to analyze some key scenes and character developments in the early and middle parts of the novel. Selecting and discussing significant quotations from the novel is crucial to your paper’s success.
Some writing reminders:
1) In the first P, present a clearly stated and interesting claim (state a thesis or claim in the form of an assertion which must be proved with supporting topics and evidence) about the work. Underline or bold your thesis.
2) In the following Ps, support that claim with an ordered written analysis, using textual
evidence (quotation with reference by page number and citation of text); and
3) As you write, keep your thesis or major claim before the reader's attention,
making a connected argument, and moving toward a conclusion. Use quoted
evidence from the texts in each body paragraph to support your claims. These paragraphs must have a clear relation to your thesis, the main idea you are examining.
Length: Three (3) typed, doublespaced, paginated and stapled pages, with in-text page references for all quotations in your essay. Example: (45).
NB: Edit carefully for clarity and specificity of detail in your paragraphs, and provide appropriate quoted examples. Pay attention to matters such as spelling, punctuation, agreement, comma splices and run-on sentences, and correct all sentence fragments.
NB: All essays must have a title of your own devising. Please don’t write “Pride and Prejudice Response Paper.” Make sure your title is both interesting and descriptive.
Italicize titles: Pride and Prejudice
In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the so-called marriage plot is used to portray the different ways eligible women act and how they might decide to marry a man. After several plot twists and much learning, Elizabeth Bennet will marry for “affection.” But Charlotte Lucas either foolishly or prudently marries for economic security and not for affection. Juliet McMaster states, “Although Jane Austen lived in an age in which marriages of convenience were frequent and matrimony was often almost the only means of support for women, she insisted that love was necessary for a happy marriage” (McMaster 290). As we have seen, the novel’s plot is often dominated by the economic status of the marriageable characters.
Marriage or the lack of a suitable marriage actually shapes the fates of the female characters in Austen’s novels. In Pride and Prejudice, there are constant references to marriage’s importance. However, because women’s lives were largely determined by whom they married, if a woman were not to marry, she would be deemed pitiable and have little social status. Further, because women had to depend on men to support them financially, not marrying was almost unthinkable. The only way a woman would be able to survive unmarried was if her family was financially stable and provided a place for her in their home. (See the class handout with the conversation about becoming an “old maid” between Emma Woodhouse and her friend.)
Writing prompt on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:
A helpful way to understand this novel is to examine scenes that involve “marriageable” or eligible characters to see how they come to know one another and themselves through social interaction. Choosing three scenes that feature candid self-revelation, or misplaced pride and prejudice, or varieties of sly deceitfulness, discuss how the characters treat each other in their words and actions. Actual marriage proposals and the frequent talk from “above” and “below” about who is worthy socially and as a potential marriage partner are interesting places to look for your quoted evidence.