"Pride And Prejudice" Essay

2285 words - 9 pages

Pride and Prejudice: The Effects of ContextPride and Prejudice: The Effects of ContextTime is an unchangeable force, which alters every aspect of human life. All spheres of life are affected by time and are changed forever. In the case of Literature and Art, it is expected that a contemporary audience will tire of the older texts. This is the result of changing contexts. With these changed contexts comes changed values, changed knowledge, changed attitudes, and subsequently, changed interest in texts. Over time technology develops new ways of presenting and viewing a text; new mediums. These new mediums are often adopted to represent an older text in an attempt to appeal afresh to the changed audience. These new mediums will obviously affect the subject matter, construction and message of the text, because medium change is alteration to the original text. The novel Pride and Prejudice has endured the last two centuries with an ever-increasing popularity. Originally composed by eighteenth century classic author Jane Austen, the novel was more recently represented in a new medium, the film medium. Simon Langton an acclaimed director was employed by the BBC to appropriate the novel into a television series.The original medium and the changed medium are significantly impacted by the composer's context. Composer's and their texts are a reflection of the society they are created in, even if they are critical of that society. Jane Austen was certainly critical of her provincial upper/middle class society and this is evident from the subtle mocking of characters such as Catherine De Bough, a snobbish lady without morals. It is important to recognise that every single word that Jane Austen wrote was marked with her personal experiences and knowledge (just as every single frame in the television series is marked by Simon Langton's direction). Everything that she wrote down is solely Jane Austen's. The contemporary audience gets an insight into the author's mind, just as much as the author's main characters. Elizabeth Bennet, the main character, is given an omniscient wholesomeness which appeals to the audience, and reveals faults in the subordinate characters. Elizabeth is essentially Austen and they share the same position in life, the same contexts. Therefore, it can be understood that her context is embedded in the text. The similarities between Austen's novel and her own life provide an in-depth insight into her world; socially, culturally, economically, and geographically. In her novel, Jane Austen observes the social habits, customs, beliefs, attitudes and practices of eighteenth century upper class society in England. Her novel is predominantly concerned with courtship and marriage and the importance of marrying for love. She writes of families in various circumstances struggling to maintain or enhance their social position through marriage. Her characters, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, reflect Austen's personal belief that marriage should only proceed...

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