Elizabeth thinks she detests Darcy because his qualities (or as she would call them, faults) are the opposite of what she prefers. He is not amiable, social, or talkative and so she assumes him to be arrogant, condescending, and mean. Also, they are from different social circles and classes. However, theres an obvious attraction from the start and whether subconsciously or not, they are drawn to each other.Nowadays, we have the good girl and bad boy binary, the wealthy with the lower class, the interracial relationships, the young with the old, and so on. The movies Knocked Up, Pretty Woman, and The Notebook are a few good examples. The question is whats so appealing in what appears to be an incompatibility between two people?
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Research Paper for Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice
Shakespeare writes, Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments. Love is not love /
Which alters when it alteration finds / Or bends with the remover to remove: / Oh no! it is an ever-fixed
mark / That looks on tempests and is never shaken (Sonnet 116). In other words, love does not break
from flaws and imperfections the truest and most genuine love survives, overcomes, and flourishes.
This is Pride and Prejudice in a nutshell. It is a story about a girls hurt pride that leads to her prejudiced
opinion about a man. Elizabeth Bennet is our heroine who appears to be an excellent judge of character,
but her keen judgment is often biased and uninformed. This novel is essentially Elizabeths progression as
a critical thinker it is her move from a closed-minded girl who makes flawed assumptions to a
perceptive young woman with prudence and moderation.
Our goal in this class is to progress in a similar way to become Elizabeth Bennets who observe a
situation, not from one narrow angle, but from a large, more inclusive perspective. This is why our
research paper isnt merely a close reading of Pride and Prejudice; it is also about life and issues we face
in life, particularly when it comes to relationships with one another. By observing the many issues the
novel brings forth, I want you to have enough freedom to explore what truly interests and inspires you.
Your research paper should be approximately 4-5 pages in MLA format (Refer to Hacker MLA
on http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/ or The Owl Purdue on
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05/ for more details) with a Works Cited.
Friday, December 8th by the end of the day through Canvas
Your paper should include 4 sources (including the novel). Here is an important note you need
to remember: the research paper Im assigning is about the issues raised in Pride and Prejudice,
not necessarily the book itself, so the book counts as one source. Here is a breakdown of source
requirements (not including the novel):
2 Books or Articles in Periodicals (scholarly): The first required book is our novel. For
the remaining books/articles, you may want to consult our library; however, there are
some e-books available as well. This means that certain books are available to you
electronically from the comfort of your own home. (From the Library homepage, click on
Catalog, and then click on E-books. A few key phrases to try are: jane austen, jane austen
and pride and prejudice, jane austen and eighteenth century, and jane austen and romantic
Several articles can be found in literary journals and some are available full-text online.
(From the Library homepage, go to Article Databases, and from the provided list, the best
for our research are ProQuest and Literature Resource Center. However, you also have
the freedom to explore and find your own).
1 Web Sources: This can be an entire website or an article from a website. The Literature
Resource Center provides links to credible websites that you can use. Plus, Google is the
largest search engine; however, some materials may not be very reliable. Besides asking
me whether or not a source is valid, you can also filter through the pages of information
by prioritizing them. The best would be sites that end in .edu but there are several great
sources that dont necessarily end in .edu. You should then look for the organization that
has provided the information (For example, CNN.com ends in .com but is still a valid
source). Usually the homepage of each website should contain information about who is
sponsoring/publishing this information.
1 Multimedia Source: This gives you an opportunity to explore an interesting variety of
sources that are not necessarily in print. If you look in Hacker, you can find a list of
various multimedia sources. Some examples are songs, movies, pictures, TV
programming, and so on.
Here is a little check-off list you should follow before submitting your essay:
? I have written a total of 4-5 pages
? I have 4 credible sources (including the novel)
? I have a strong thesis that I support consistently
? I analyze all my sources
? I proofread my essay
? I included a Works Cited page, correctly formatted
Research Project Topics
From the 5 possibilities below, choose only 1 for your research paper:
1. Do opposites really attract in romantic love?
Elizabeth thinks she detests Darcy because his qualities (or as she would call them,
faults) are the opposite of what she prefers. He is not amiable, social, or talkative and so she
assumes him to be arrogant, condescending, and mean. Also, they are from different social
circles and classes. However, theres an obvious attraction from the start and whether
subconsciously or not, they are drawn to each other.
Nowadays, we have the good girl and bad boy binary, the wealthy with the lower
class, the interracial relationships, the young with the old, and so on. The movies Knocked
Up, Pretty Woman, and The Notebook are a few good examples. The question is whats so
appealing in what appears to be an incompatibility between two people?
2. Are first impressions accurate in determining a persons character?
Poor Mr. Darcy lost Elizabeths good opinion the moment she overheard him call her
tolerable. From that point on, he was the boogeyman in thought, action, speech, and
disposition. Even his kindness was an insult to her. But Elizabeth was very wrong about him
and she learned a useful and necessary lesson about people in the end.
In fact, we often hear the saying that first impressions can be deceiving, but are
they always? Cant you get a feeling about someone and be right, does society feed our
boxed way of thinking, where people are a certain way and nothing can change that, or are
we often mistaken in our assumptions about people?
3. Is social class still important in our society?
In Pride and Prejudice, social class is very important, noticeable, and necessary to
indicate the worthy versus unworthy members of society. The lines separating people were a
lot more evident than perhaps now. There was plenty of social climbing, titles associated with
property ownership, and whispers about the people in higher positions. As a wealthy and
titled landowner, Darcy represents the aristocratic class while Elizabeth represents the lower
gentry. In the novel, the idea of her being beneath him is implied or mentioned on more
than one occasion.
When comparing the late eighteenth-century world with ours, it is interesting to
analyze whether that emphasis on social class still exists. Yes we have wealthy people like
Gates and Dell but are the lines separating people in our society as solid as they were in Pride
4. Is it wrong to marry for money?
In our society, there is a general belief that marriage should be based on love.
However, love in Pride and Prejudice is a reward or gift for the lucky, but not a necessity in
marriage. With women being unable to work and support themselves, their only hope was to
marry well. Although writing in a light and comical way, Austen hints at the threatening
shadow of poverty and despair the Bennet girls might face. That is precisely what Charlotte
Lucas escapes when she chooses to marry the ridiculous Mr. Collins.
Yet, again and again, there are criticisms of this kind of behavior and decisionmaking. Many people think that a character like Charlotte is cowardly and weak for marrying
a person for money. However, it is interesting to analyze whether this is true or whether there
are certain exceptions. Is there any excuse for using somebody for money?
5. Does the ideal gentleman still exist in our society?
In Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy snubs Elizabeth by claiming that
she is simply tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt [him] (9), and by refusing to
dance with her at the ball; furthermore, when Elizabeth rejects Mr. Darcys blunt and
offensive marriage proposal, she claims that she would have had a more difficult time
rejecting him had [he] behaved in a more gentleman-like manner (127). Mr. Darcy clearly
fails to meet the standards of the ideal gentleman before his miraculous reform in the second
half of the novel. Mr. Wickham, however, perfectly meets the expectations of a gentleman
with his amiable and well-mannered approach in the beginning of the novel, which later
prove to be in genuine, making him the complete opposite of the ideal gentleman.
While some may argue that Mr. Darcy was simply behaving like a normal guy who
just was not in the mood to engage in a ball intended for matchmaking, Austens society
would deem Mr. Darcy as ungentlemanly because he failed to meet societys expectations of
fulfilling his duties for his community. Therefore, it is apparent that certain expectations for
the ideal gentleman change with each society; nonetheless, are there set guidelines that
men must consistently fulfill to be deserving of the gentlemanly title, or is the definition of
the ideal man different with each society?
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