- Dec 2019
altered her since I last beheld her; it had endowed her with loveliness surpassing the beauty of her childish years. There was the same candour, the same vivacity, but it was allied to an expression more full of sensibility and intellect.
This revision to 1831 emphasizes Elizabeth's "sensibility" and "intellect" as a full grown woman and her "slight and graceful" figure.
It was from my own Elizabeth:— “My dearest Cousin, “You have been ill, very ill, and even the constant letters of dear kind Henry are not sufficient to reassure me on your account. You are forbidden to write—to hold a pen; yet one word from you, dear Victor, is necessary to calm our apprehensions. For a long time I have thought that each post would bring this line, and my persuasions have restrained my uncle from undertaking a journey to Ingolstadt. I have prevented his encountering the inconveniences and perhaps dangers of so long a journey; yet how often have I regretted not being able to perform it myself! I figure to myself that the task of attending on your sick bed has devolved on some mercenary old nurse, who could never guess your wishes, nor minister to them with the care and affection of your poor cousin. Yet that is over now: Clerval writes that indeed you are getting better. I eagerly hope that you will confirm this intelligence soon in your own handwriting. “Get well—and return to us. You will find a happy, cheerful home, and friends who love you dearly. Your father’s health is vigorous, and he asks but to see you,—but to be assured that you are well; and not a care will ever cloud his benevolent countenance. How pleased you would be to remark the improvement of our Ernest! He is now sixteen, and full of activity and spirit. He is desirous to be a true Swiss, and to enter into foreign service;50 but we cannot part with him, at least until his elder brother return to us. My uncle is not pleased with the idea of a military career in a distant country; but Ernest never had your powers of application. He looks upon study as an odious fetter;—his time is spent in the open air, climbing the hills or rowing on the lake. I fear that he will become an idler, unless we yield the point, and permit him to enter on the profession which he has selected. “Little alteration, except the growth of our dear children, has taken place since you left us. The blue lake, and snow-clad mountains, they never change;—and I think our placid home, and our contented hearts are regulated by the same immutable laws. My trifling occupations take up my time and amuse me, and I am rewarded for any exertions by seeing none but happy, kind faces around me. Since you left us, but one change has taken place in our little household. Do you remember on what occasion Justine Moritz entered our family?
In 1831, the opening to Elizabeth's letter is significantly re-written. Here she seems more desperate to see Victor and vouchsafe for his health. Her discussion of Ernest also changes: Shelley leaves out her lengthy excursus on the virtues of farming, as opposed to practicing law. Instead, Ernest is described as patriotic and considering a military career.
but my anxiety returns upon me as I conclude. Write, dearest Victor,—one line—one word will be a blessing to us. Ten thousand thanks to Henry for his kindness, his affection, and his many letters: we are sincerely grateful. Adieu! my cousin; take care of yourself; and, I entreat you, write!
In this 1831 revision, Elizabeth's letter is slightly more urgent for some communication from Victor.
Elizabeth was also the name of Percy Shelley's mother. Mary changed the character's name from Myrtella to Elizabeth in the manuscript, unless this change was one of Percy's suggested changes. In Greek and Roman mythology, the flower myrtle was sacred to the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) and symbolized love.
You come to us now to share a misery which nothing can alleviate; yet your presence will, I hope, revive our father, who seems sinking under his misfortune; and your persuasions will induce poor Elizabeth to cease her vain and tormenting self-accusations.—Poor William! he was our darling and our pride!” Tears, unrestrained, fell from my brother’s eyes; a sense of mortal agony crept over my frame. Before, I had only imagined the wretchedness of my desolated home; the reality came on me as a new, and a not less terrible, disaster. I tried to calm Ernest; I enquired more minutely concerning my father, and her I named my cousin. “She most of all,” said Ernest,
In 1818, Ernest refers specifically to their father's grief, but in 1831 this is replaced with a more general reference to the family and Elizabeth's self-recriminations color Victor and his brother Ernest's exchange.
It appeared to me sacrilege so soon to leave the repose, akin to death, of the house of mourning, and to rush into the thick of life. I was new to sorrow, but it did not the less alarm me. I was unwilling to quit the sight of those that remained to me; and, above all, I desired to see my sweet Elizabeth in some degree consoled. She indeed veiled her grief, and strove to act the comforter to us all. She looked steadily on life, and assumed its duties with courage and zeal. She devoted herself to those whom she had been taught to call her uncle and 31cousins. Never was she so enchanting as at this time, when she recalled the sunshine of her smiles and spent them upon us. She forgot even her own regret in her endeavours to make us forget.
In this revision for 1831 Elizabeth's comportment following her mother's death is altered slightly from an "imperious duty" to give care to her family, to a willfully "veiled" grief in an effort to forget her sorrows.
And on the morrow Justine died. Elizabeth’s heart-rending eloquence failed to move the judges from their settled conviction in the criminality of the saintly sufferer. My passionate and indignant appeals were lost upon them. And when I received their cold answers, and heard the harsh unfeeling reasoning of these men, my purposed avowal died away on my lips. Thus I might proclaim myself a madman, but not revoke the sentence passed upon my wretched victim. She perished on the scaffold as a murderess! From the tortures of my own heart, I turned to contemplate the deep and voiceless grief of my Elizabeth. This also was my doing! And my father’s woe, and the desolation of that late so smiling home—all was the work of my thrice-accursed hands! Ye weep, unhappy ones; but these are not your last tears! Again shall you raise 74the funeral wail, and the sound of your lamentations shall again and again be heard! Frankenstein, your son, your kinsman, your early, much-loved friend; he who would spend each vital drop of blood for your sakes—who has no thought nor sense of joy, except as it is mirrored also in your dear countenances—who would fill the air with blessings, and spend his life in serving you—he bids you weep—to shed countless tears; happy beyond his hopes, if thus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments! Thus spoke my prophetic soul, as, torn by remorse, horror, and despair, I beheld those I loved spend vain sorrow upon the graves of William and Justine, the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts.
In this lengthy addition to the 1831 edition, Victor and Elizabeth attempt to save Justine from the scaffold by appealing to the judges but are unsuccessful in staying her execution.
This is followed by an extended description of the anguish and torment of Victor's "prophetic soul" that accentuates the extreme feelings of guilt and horror that he feels for the deaths of both William and Justine.
Justine shook her head mournfully. “I do not fear to die,” she said; “that pang is past. God raises my weakness, and gives me courage to endure the worst. I leave a sad and bitter world; and if you remember me, and think of me as of one unjustly condemned, I am resigned to the fate awaiting me. Learn from me, dear lady, to submit in patience to the will of Heaven!”
In 1831, this brief passage where Justine comforts Elizabeth's misery by stating that she accepts her doom replaces a lengthier exchange, in the 1818 edition, in which a distraught Elizabeth attempts to comfort Justine despite her imminent death.
Do not fear. I will proclaim, I will prove your innocence. I will melt the stony hearts of your enemies by my tears and prayers. You shall not die!—You, my play-fellow, my companion, my sister, perish on the scaffold! No! no! I never could
In 1818, Elizabeth vows to proclaim Justine's innocence but seems resigned to her death. This 1831 revision gives Elizabeth a more resolute will to "prove your innocence."
Elizabeth was also the name of Percy Shelley's mother.
my mother sickened
The death of Victor's mother, caused by her catching Elizabeth's scarlet fever, would lead in Victor's mind to a morbid association between the two women. It appears more vividly in Victor's nightmare in Volume 1, Chapter 4, associated there with his first horror at beholding his creature.
and this makes us all very wretched, as much so nearly as after the death of your dear mother.and this suspicion fills us with anguish. I perceive that your father conceals attempts to conceal his fears from me; but cheerfulness has flown from our little circle, only to be restored by a certain assuranance that there is no foundation for our anxiety. At one time
This revision in the Thomas Copy removes a reference in Elizabeth's letter to the father's anguish over his wife's death, and instead it elaborates on his worry for Victor's emotional health. In a more fully rewritten version in the 1831 edition, Elizabeth no longer refers to Victor's mother or father.
- Apr 2019
A home provides stability and financial predictability
Financial crisis? Only 10 years ago?
one way that localities could qualify for grants under the Warren bill is by implementing rent stabilization or rent control.
By making sure renters stay where they are and that landlords cannot get market rent for their properties, it will discourage the building of rental units and encourage the selling of existing rental units.
Why only first time buyers? Why not renters? If they have been actively disadvantaged by predatory policies in the past, aren't they likely to need more assistance? Also, is this what she means by 'reparations'?
this policy would stand in the way of homes being adapted to meet new needs
In circumstances where it makes more sense to rent, and there is a potential renter, why prevent that transaction from taking place?
sold to new owner-occupants, rather than to landlords who would rent them out
Isn't it the owner's property? Why shouldn't they get to decide the highest value use of the property? The bank would sell or rent the foreclosed precisely TO profit from it, especially if the previous owner is no longer able to make payments on the bank; they are losing money on the property if nobody is paying...?
- Sep 2017
The keen feeling of hazard and loss that attends Elizabeth’s point of view—the caution Jane gives her that Elizabeth’s habit of interpretation will “ruin [her] happiness”—is lost in a critical interpretation that celebrates her character as a representative of either social progress, cultural conservation or aesthetic consolidation.
Moe excellently addresses how narrative and Elizabeth's ideas interferes (and mislabels) the possibilities of progressive and modern actions. Elizabeth ends her friendship with Charlotte (essentially) because of their difference of interpretation (of the "modern" action)
This “Jane Austen,” the author of a body of texts that circulated across four continents within decades of their publication in England, has a less obvious relationship to the western ideal of the liberal autonomous individual
A weak aspect to this article is that Moe often makes unclear transitions in her argumentation. This is one of these cases.
Further, does this then mean that Austen has her own individual understanding of "modernity"? Then, perhaps, both Elizabeth and Charlotte are modern in their own respective ways.
subjective orientation toward freedom, progress, and self-growth that is so clearly formative for Elizabeth Bennet is not taken for granted by Austen as normative for all women. Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins and expects to live a fulfilling life with him. Conscious of Elizabeth’s differing views, Charlotte anticipates being hurt by her friend’s disapprobation, but makes no excuses for her marriage as an act martyrdom or of submis-sion to crushing necessity
Moe argues here that Elizabeth is the progressive one, yet it seemed to me earlier in the article that Charlotte's actions would be expressed as modern in their own way (at least that is what I gained from reading aspects of this article). Is Moe trying to prove both?
Elizabeth empties the ritualistic forms of her friendship with Charlotte of real feeling
I appreciate that Moe points this out. I remember first disliking Charlotte and blaming her for the dissolution of her friendship with Elizabeth. But as Moe notes, it is Elizabeth that severs their emotional connection.
Charlotte’s marginalization highlights the limitations that Elizabeth’s views about intimacy place on her emotional and intel-lectual curiosity.43 Austen reminds us of the lack of communication between the two former friends by having Elizabeth hypothesize at the end of her visit that she knows Charlotte’s real feelings, though they go unvoiced: “Poor Charlotte!—it was melancholy to leave her to such society!—But she had chosen it with her eyes open; and though evidently regretting that her visitors were to go, she did not seem to ask for compassion” (P, 233). Though Woloch argues that Elizabeth, by this point in the novel (after visiting Rosings and having read Darcy’s revealing letter) “has become the consciousness around which the novel—as a totality—is oriented,” Elizabeth’s parting interpretation of Charlotte’s inner life offers another example of Elizabeth reading social situations aslant: she is confident Charlotte is “evidently regret-ting” her departure, but perplexed that not only does Charlotte not ask for compassion, but she does not even seem to.
Wow! This is a great excerpt. Here, Moe not only identifies Elizabeth's misjudging of what a "modern" woman chooses, but she again also points out Elizabeth's flaw in putting words/thoughts in other peoples' mouths/minds. Charlotte is (assumedly) content in her role, but it is Elizabeth projecting her own fears onto Charlotte's decision that makes her, in the end, a poor friend to Charlotte. This, again, further the nearly impossible question: who is the more modern woman?
By portraying Charlotte as a superior helpmeet who is more than Mr. Collins deserves, Austen hints that the distinction Elizabeth makes between full, scripted banality and empty, untrammelled elegance is a false one
Something a reader should question, however, is the context of Darcy's comment. Does he say this because it's truly how he feels, or because he wants a wife in Elizabeth, as well? Also interesting how because Darcy makes opinion of Charlotte as a wife, it becomes assumed as "correct"
a happy married future can hold more of the same, not the wholesale change Elizabeth anticipates
By comparing Pride and Prejudice's concerns of marriage to Emma and Mansfield Park, Moe improves her argument about Austen's comprehension of marriage by using relevant texts to apply to Charlotte and Elizabeth's respective situations.
Time was full for Charlotte, though “not yet” weighing on her, while Elizabeth imagines her own as promisingly empty
One of Elizabeth's flaws, I believe, is that she often feels that everyone should think and react like her. She does not understand why Charlotte would marry Collins, but is not truly willing to try and empathize with her decisions.
But, Charlotte’s cathexis of marriage as an institution stands in striking comparison to Elizabeth’s acute surprise at her own hidden internal depths and her sudden discovery of a change of heart about the object of her affection. Charlotte does not experience a sudden change of heart, nor does she acknowledge that fear of approaching middle age prompted her sudden engagement, since I think we are supposed to believe her (Elizabeth certainly does), when she reveals “marriage has always been [her] object.”
Moe's comparison of Elizabeth and Charlotte strengthens her arguments about the institution of marriage within this time frame. Though both women have different expectations of what mate they will end up with, they are both inherently and consciously seeking marriage. But how does this play into the concept of modernity? Does that make them both un-modern? Or does the method of how they both were marriage make their distinct in their different levels of modernity?
Defending her future against the claims of the present (her embarrassing family, her disappointing friend), means that the future expands, freed of its current burdens, to accommodate a future self who will have grown with “greater importance” and a future couple whose mutual progress demands a marital space purified of all intrusions.
It's interesting that so many contemporary readers see Elizabeth's marriage as very conventional, when she is striving to fulfill this "future self." I would be interested in seeing Moe identifying the many critiques of Elizabeth's marriage as non-modern, and working through them to defend her argument.
The recognition of mediocrity exchanged by two characters, whom nineteenth-century readers recognized as “of superior order” to common novel characters, transfigures their self-consciously lacking public performances—his bad manners, her mediocre piano playing—into performances of intimacy, rather than class allegiance or simple dilettantism
Great point. Moe's description of Elizabeth and Darcy's connection through their "modern" misbehavior, as presented through narrative, addresses the points of her argument. However, this is quoted/paraphrased from a text (The Critical Review/Annals of Literature) from 1813, which I do not think is necessarily appropriate or relevant for such a modern (pardon the pun) article.
By doing just what she ought, Charlotte falls short of what Elizabeth would have a self-respecting woman do: surpass expectations by getting the more pedestrian ones wrong. She later gets Darcy to admit that his attraction flourished under her practice of not trying to please. Much of the flirtation between Darcy and Elizabeth draws on a mutual desire not to meet expectations
Moe defines what Elizabeth considers a "self-respecting," modern woman to be. By clearly stating this, Moe clearly accentuates the points and support to her argument.
Elizabeth’s process of self-realization through discovering how wrong she was is consistent with her more general practice of negatively inhabiting social expectations. Her course of self-affirmation through negation is opposite to that of Charlotte Lucas, who, despite her age and appearance, surprises and overjoys her family by doing just what young ladies are supposed to do and what everyone supposed she would fail to do: marry.
Moe purposely poses the two characters against each other to express their severe difference in behaving "modernly." Yet, this succinct sentence is a disservice to the full reasoning for Charlotte's choices. It is easy to judge Charlotte as a contemporary reader, but her decision--though not remarkable--it still not something we should completely bash.
The intensity and dogmatism with which Elizabeth discovers—and relishes—how wrong she was, how mistaken she is capable of being, shines with a characteristically Austenian comic effect. The mirror of self-scrutiny reveals to her not only that she misjudged Wickham and shortchanged Darcy, but, more pleasurably, a portrait of a woman who makes and moves past mistakes
Probably why Elizabeth Bennet is one of Austen's most beloved characters! She is incredibly human and relatable.
Understanding social forms as the moral fabric created by so many individual participants helps explain how Elizabeth can imagine herself personally affected by actions not directed at her.29 Actions must be sincerely felt so that social norms, like marriage, can be naturalized as self-expression. She would like Charlotte to feel secretly repulsed by her marriage or to discover that her friend’s equanimity disguised feeling oppressed by the circumstances that cornered her into marrying without love. It is Charlotte’s equanimity in the face of marrying Mr. Collins that most disturbs Elizabeth and helps her clarify her own expectation that a woman’s internal well-being should be either jeop-ardized or affirmed by marriage
At first, this concept seems a bit unrelated to the article, as Moe begins to discuss Elizabeth Bennet's sensitivity and the impact of other characters' choices on her. However, this is Moe's method of bringing up narrative, again, as she describes Austen's methods of using narrative to expose this emotional, affected side to Elizabeth. She also bridges this back to the discussion of marriage and why Charlotte's marriage feels so personally offensive to Elizabeth.
her policing throughout the novel of a “proper way of thinking” with regard to actions in general and marriage in particular
So true! But that spirit is what makes Elizabeth Bennet the extraordinary Austen heroine she is!
Elizabeth’s discontent stems from the way that she grafts individual choice onto social forms. Marriage, for Elizabeth, should not be defined by its being an omnipresent social form; it should be made meaningful by the intentions behind it.
Moe aptly presents her argument again, as she argues that Elizabeth's frustration with Charlotte, for example, has to do with her own issues managing her frustration with "social forms." Moe allows the reader to "fill in the blank" here, as the reader can use this piece of information to better understand Elizabeth's reaction to Charlotte--her frustration is in Charlotte's refusal to resist the social forms that inherently oppress women and impact the emotional aspect of marriage. By giving her reader room to make this judgement herself, Moe's argument consequently becomes more concrete.
Identifying her own suffering with Jane’s, she tells Mrs. Gardiner, “We do not suffer by accident,” by which she expresses how Bingley’s abandon-ment and Charlotte’s betrayal painfully revealed to her that persons whom she had thought were “independent” were in fact “slave[s]” to material comfort, the opinions of friends, or the easiest social path.
Moe here argues that Austen manipulates Elizabeth's narrative to compare her own pain/conflict with Charlotte to that of Jane's with Bingley. Her analysis of Elizabeth's character strengthens her argument's credibility.
interpreting action as intention involves quite a bit of circumstantial squinting, but that making claims about injury also involves taking responsibility for one’s own interpretive position—a mandate, as we shall see, it is not clear Elizabeth fulfills when she judges Charlotte (P, 167). (That Elizabeth’s intentionalist thinking has irreparable consequences for her regard for Charlotte is anomalous in a narrative about misjudgment and repentance.
"Narrative about misjudgment and repentance" is essentially caused, in the case of Elizabeth and Charlotte, by conflicting modernities
The different theses Moe presents to her reader are all an original take on reading Charlotte and Elizabeth's argument, and Charlotte's individual views, especially considering the extensive description of the typical reading of these characters which Moe provides us with.
This introduction, though at times distracted from the main point through inclusion of so many outside theories and readings of Elizabeth/Charlotte/Austen, definitely engages the reader, provides grounding for Moe's argument, and makes this subject appear significant in understanding the conflict of modern viewpoints in Pride and Prejudice, as well as to better understand Charlotte as a character and her decisions.
development of modern subjectivity, where the modern subject is assumed to be oriented toward freedom and inner-directed action, overlooks some of the most intriguing aspects of disagreements among women in Austen’s novels and foregoes an opportunity, which becomes more pertinent to feminists every day, to make the novel relevant to subjects and especially to female subjectivities whose self-cultivation takes the form of perseverance, self-discipline, and the daily prac-tice of living in accordance with social practices that do not appear germane to liberation. Charlotte Lucas presents conceptual challenges to feminist theorists and gender analysts because her expectations do not fit those of a romantic plot.
THESIS part 2: the development of "modern subjectivity." This can sometimes draw attention from disagreements between women in Austen novels. Charlotte challenges the "social practices that do not appear germane to liberation." She does not follow a romantic plot.
Moe questions the problem with viewing Elizabeth as the sole modern, feminist character.
Austen develops heroines like Elizabeth Bennet to be ambassadors for novelistic generic acceptance at the same time that they are agents of social reform. The marriage plot is the exemplary union of both, carried forward by Elizabeth Bennet as the upwardly mobile bourgeois female subject who becomes responsible for the modernization of aristocratic culture into which she is accepted.
Moe acknowledges Elizabeth as the "modern" character, though her modernity is still restrained by the necessity of her getting married.
Narratives have limited resources—formal development, narrative attention, and thematic social goods—that are unequally distributed between protagonists and minor characters. In the process of being “minored,” the many clarify the one; in Pride and Prejudice, minor characters “contribut[e] to the development of Elizabeth’s consciousness.”5 As Elizabeth’s close friend and, in many ways, catalyst for her development, Charlotte is both a minor character par excel-lence and a register of the costs of such a system of individuation
It is important to relate the concept of cultural modernity and Charlotte's choices to narrative, as that is the main point of the argument (though Moe's thesis is not clearly stated just yet). Also fascinating to label all the minor characters are developmental aspects to Elizabeth; this is quite dehumanizing, but is quite arguable. Austen, therefore, purposefully has Charlotte marry Collins as part of further promoting Elizabeth's vehement feelings about marriage.
Charlotte’s views seem “not sound” to Elizabeth because they are anachronistic to developing standards of mutual regard that govern modern hetero-sexuality
Moe is methodically challenging Austen readers who nearly worship Elizabeth Bennet and believe she can do no wrong by using quotations here, implying the idea that although Charlotte does not abide by the same ideology of marriage that Elizabeth does not mean that she is "wrong" for making these choices. This is a purposeful, and clever, way for Moe to extend Charlotte's likability.
narrative of cultural modernizatio
"Cultural modernization" is terminology to consider throughout this entire piece. What does it mean to be "culturally modern"? Do the characters of this text (Charlotte, specifically) perform actions that are "culturally modern"? Moe states that Austen critics have labeled Charlotte/Elizabeth's conflicting ideas on marriage a result of "cultural modernization," but what does this really mean? Who is defining this? This concept, however, is part of the core of this article's purpose.
- secondary source
- elizabeth bennet
- Austen texts
- modern subjectivity
- pride and prejudice
- cultural modernization
- Elizabeth Bennet
- Charlotte Lucas
- outdated source?
- social forms
- cultural modernity
This is the story of 16th century Europe, and the political earthquake that was protestantism. The overarching historical narrative unfolds around the lives of fictional characters who might have lived in this historic period.
Follett's literary reenactment explores the intricacies of the Protestant Reformation through a cast of strategically diverse characters, whose stories span across multiple continents, nations, and cities. Each character is an important harbinger of larger historical trends. Within the masterfully established geo-political reality, each of their decisions serve to gradually reveal their distinct personalities and temperaments, belief systems and ideologies, and cultural identities.
Elizabeth clings precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.
Think: Daenerys Targaryen
- Queen Elizabeth I
- England in the 1500s
- Historic Retelling
- Daenerys Targaryen
- Virgin Queen
- British History
- Historic Fiction
- Mary Tudor
- Religious reformation
- British Monarchy
- Game of Thrones
- Ken Follett
- Tudor England
- Religious tolerance
- Mary Queen of Scots