?Sample Essay – The Role of Women Essay Essay

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The passage from early nineteenth century England to late twentieth century Australia reveals an overpowering displacement in the dominant discourses and political orientations environing the function of adult females. While Jane Austen composed her seminal 1813 love affair Pride and Prejudice against the societal and historical background of Regency England, a clip when patriarchal ideals governed impressions of muliebrity, Fay Weldon’s 1984 epistolary novel Letters to Alice bears the trademarks of post-feminist women’s release and bureau.

However, through close scrutiny of the intertextual connexions woven between this brace of texts, it emerges that non merely does Weldon’s text take signifier as a didactic treatise to her immature nice that reflects her ain modern-day positions on adult females and adult females authors, her letters prompt an unquestioningly feminist re-reading of Austen’s representation of adult females in her ain literary plants. As a consequence, it is these connexions that yield the acknowledgment that despite the contextual divide dividing this brace of texts, both writers are irrevocably bound in their intent to pedagogically dispute the politically charged representation and function of adult females in their several cultural domains.

Composed in the late twentieth century – an epoch where women’s rightist discourses of equality were profoundly entrenched in political and academic domains – Weldon’s text is narratively shaped as a didactic novel addressed to her fictionalised ‘green haired punk’ niece, utilizing the epistolatory signifier to both instruct and show the power of literature “with its capital L” to work as a vehicle for adult females to both alteration and challenge dominant societal conventions and values. To accomplish these agencies, it is no happenstance that Weldon is seen to allow the epistolatory signifier – “a popular signifier of fiction at the time” used by female authors such as Austen herself- to make a intertextual connexion that transcends the contextual spread dividing each text to advance a specifically feminist position of authors and the map of “Literature” . Here, Weldon is herself the incarnation of her self-described strain of “strong adult females, adult females who work, think, earn, have independent habits” .

Her important didacticisms to the burgeoning author Alice -“simply speak…and you will be listened to. And finally, even bask your confined audience” – symbolically demonstrate the bequest of feminist ideals that were ab initio catalysed through early Regency female writers such as Austen whose patriarchal context kept their radical plants “shelter [ erectile dysfunction ] behind the cloak of anonymity” . Given the modern context of Letterss to Alice, it is undeniable that Weldon writes from a discourse of female bureau when she informs Alice that to come in the “immortal” “City of Invention” , she must metaphorically “swim against the watercourse of communal ideas” and “demonstrate to the reader the restrictions of convention” that societies inscribe upon its public as “unquestioned beliefs” .

The strong tone employed in such directives highlight that from Weldon’s feminist position, the value of female writing and literature is derived from the capacity of one’s ain personal value system to morally steer or catalyze a transmutation in its readership: “Readers need and seek moral guidance…They need an illustration, in the visible radiation of which they can analyze themselves, [ and ] understand themselves.” Simply put, Weldon’s Letters to Alice is a text that is extremely political in intent ; it prompts a strong consideration of the map of literature to catalyze impressions of female authorization through both altering and disputing dominant societal conventions and values.

Taking into history Weldon’s didacticisms sing female writing and societal alteration, it becomes evident that the intertextual connexions to Jane Austen weaved within Letters to Alice motivate an undeniably feminist re-evaluation of her representation of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. While separated by the historical divide of about two centuries, Weldon’s direction for her niece to “swim against the watercourse of communal ideas” can be seen to vibrate in Austen’s idealistic supporter Elizabeth Bennet, a character who transgresses against the dominant values that governed Regency England ; and whose personal virtuousnesss triumphed over the limitations of her epoch. Weldon’s didactic averment that female author’s must work to “demonstrate to the reader the restrictions of convention” undeniably connect with and transform perceptual experiences of Austen’s Elizabeth, bordering and augmenting her personal values of reason and humor as they shine through the text.

This is peculiarly apparent through her strong important tone in declaratory statements: “I shall be really fit to see Jane – which is all I want” , which work aboard uncharacteristic images of female activity: “springing over puddles to with impatient activity [ gave her ] a face glowing with the heat of exercise” to sabotage a societal value system that links feminine properness with expressed passiveness. Such facets of her character are farther augmented through Austen scratching Elizabeth’s duologue with a strongly comedic tone of sarcasm and sarcasm.

She delectations in intellectually disputing the purportedly superior mind of Mr Darcy in a series of playful exchanges: “I am convinced that one good sonnet will stave [ love ] wholly away” ; “your defect is to detest everybody” . In sing these connexions, Weldon’s text can be seen to raise a renewed reading of Elizabeth, positioning her as a didactic figure that planted the early seeds of feminist discourse from which Letters to Alice was composed: “ [ She ] wage [ ed ] paying attending to the elusive demands of human self-respect instead than the cruder 1s of established convention…prodding [ civilization ] quicker and faster along the slow hard route that has led us out of atrocity into civilisation”

Ultimately, scrutiny of the intertextual connexions between Letterss to Alice and Pride and Prejudice yield a acknowledgment that while Weldon’s text instructs immature Alice on modern-day positions on adult females and adult females authors from a late nineteenth century context, it besides catalyses a re-evaluation of Austen’s representation of Elizabeth Bennet, reframing readings of her character as one who challenges the dominant value systems of gender. As a consequence, it is these connexions that incite the realization that despite the contextual divide dividing this brace of texts, both writers are irrevocably bound in their intent to pedagogically dispute the politically charged representation and function of adult females in their several cultural domains.

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