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Outside Looking In – Inside Looking Out:The Use of Beauty & Nature as Windows to Pride and Prejudice and Jane EyreTopic: Nature and beauty in Bronte and AustenRefined question: How are the use of nature and beauty different between Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyreand what purpose does nature and beauty serve in each novel?Philip ChoENGL 3551 – The English NovelProfessor Jennifer Green-Lewis17 October 2013Books often provide a look into a moment in time in the past through which one can esteem a certain kind of world.For Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, readers can imagine the world of the landed gentry where marriages, money, and inheritances are its prime interests.The novel is about a woman named Elizabeth Bennet who must overcome her prejudices of Mr. Darcy while Mr. Darcy must overcome his pride in order for the two to be
Cho together.Considering it was published in 1797 immediately after the French Revolution, during the war between Britain and France, and in the midst of the Pitt government seeking to eradicate revolutionary ideas and activity it world of Pride and Prejudice seems much too isolated and stable to accurately reflect its contemporary happenings.Jane Eyre on the other hand contains a substantial amount of uncertainty and unease. The novel was published in 1847, in the midst of a growing revolutions of 1848.It is a personal account of a fictional character named Jane Eyre filled with privation and vicissitudes of lower class life.Nature and beauty are themes both authors use to advance their own agenda for their novels as well as help portray the world by their imaginings.JaneAusten uses nature and the concept of beauty in Pride and Prejudiceas a means of painting its world to be a stable bubble of upper-class life while Charlotte Bronte uses nature as the portrayal of the changes/uncertainty and the concept of beauty as something that must be re-evaluated.In Pride and Prejudicethe physical beauty of a woman is a common topic portrayed as a life-long obsession for the landed gentry.Mrs. Bennet, mother of Elizabeth, is frantic over the news of a rich single man and reminisces the past when she has “had [her] share of beauty” but “when a woman has five grown up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty” (Austen 6).During the Victorian era the domesticity being married was the ideal vocation for a woman.Additionally, with the unfortunate situation for women with regards to their inability to inherit anything from their fathers their only means of social mobility and a comfortable life was to marry a man of wealth.Mrs.Bennet’s recalling of her youthful beauty and presently that of her daughters reflect a central concern for ladies of that social class and that era.