failing like never before

28May/075

Pride and Prejudice Essay

My teacher in AP Lit. gave me a 9 on this in-class, 40 minute timed, essay on Pride and Prejudice (graded on the AP rubric). Personally, I thought it was complete and total crap not deserving of a six, but whatever. Here is the prompt and essay, unchanged from how I first wrote it, including spelling errors and all that nice stuff.

Prompt
: Many novels and plays that focus upon the marriage of a couple included a second couple that helps to define the central characters. Write a well-centered essay in which you discuss how the secondary couple illuminates the central characters of the work.

Throughout the course of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, numerous couples are formed and presented to the readers. Lydia and Mr. Wickham, in particular act as foils to the main characters, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and help to emphasize their positive qualities throughout the novel. /* teacher/grader underlined the previous sentance and wrote 'good' */

Elizabeth's maturity and quickness of thought is perhaps best seen when compared to Lydia's brashness and lack of foresight. When comparing the events leading up to Lydia's marriage, to those of Elizabeth, we find that Lydia's is rift with problems and causes a great stresson other people. Althought Elizabeth may have caused some stress on Lady Catherine, she acted maturely and upon her marriage, never flaunted it in front of her sissters. While Lydia may be lively, here manners of cnduct are horrendous when compared to Elizabeth, making Elizabeth look more vivacious, and making Lyida look merely annoying.

The love that Darcy and Elizabeth share is also emphasized through the apparent emotionless marriage of Ludia and Wickham. From Wickham's massive number of debts and his previous attempts to marry Miss King and Miss Darcy for their large dowries, it is clear that Wickham's main goal in marrying Lydia is hopes of money. Lydia in her childish manner, confuses momentary infatuation with love. Comparitevly, Elizabeth and Darcy share a much better relationship. It seems that at only one point in the novel does Elizabeth remark on her marriage to Darcy could be good for financial reasons. While touring Pemberely with her aunt and uncle, she thinks about how all the elegently funished rooms could have been hers. Darcy, it appears, is so smitten with Elizabeth that the concept of marrying to a person of such low social and monetary stature, hardly seems to give him pause. /* here, the grader wrote ''yes'" */

Darcy's thoughtfulness and responsibility is also emphasized through the juxtaposition of Wickham's gambling habbits and debt history. Throughout the novel, Darcy settles Wickham's financial debts twice, once before the novel beings after Wickham had squandered the money left to him by the former Mr. Darcy and again when Wickham married Lydia. Essentially, Mr. Wickham made the the mistakes and created a mess of his affairs, and Mr. Darcy followed behind with cash in hand, fixing and mending debts. It is partly through Wickham's atrocious behaviour that the reader finds Mr. Darcy's manners so agreeable. Indeed, without a Wickham-type figure, it is doubtfull that Elizabeth could have found Darcy to be so appealing. /* here, the teacher/grader wrote "YES!" */

Although thir are other secondary characters throughtout the novel, whom, through their marriages and relationships help to define Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, none contribute as much as the juxtapositioning of Lydia and Wickham.

/* "Great Job" */

Comments (5) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Darcy, it appears, is so smitten with Elizabeth that the concept of marrying to a person of such low social and monetary stature, hardly seems to give him pause. /* here, the grader wrote ''yes'" */

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that there was a point in the novel where Darcy explains to Elizabeth the many reasons why she is a poor match for him. Which would not have bugged me if the teacher had not written "yes" under that statement.

  2. pretty darn good essay

  3. Thanks! Although I still think I should have been able to do better.

  4. A 9? Really? You have no theme! According to the AP grading chart, you should not have gotten above a four!

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