People, Places, and Social Things

Mansfield Park is ripe with instances in which place names and physical locations are referenced and hold significant weight. One instance near the beginning places the two young Miss Bertrams in front of their aunt, Mrs. Norris, claiming, “She [Fanny] thinks nothing but the Isle of Wight, and she calls it the Island, as if… Continue reading People, Places, and Social Things

Information in Conversation

One of the most notable instances in Pride in Prejudice, for devoted fans and first-time readers alike, is that of Mr. Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth Bennet and her subsequent reaction. Through their reaction, the audience is finally able to garner information regarding Mr. Darcy’s feelings for Elizabeth, whereas, previously, it had been gossip from… Continue reading Information in Conversation

Separate but Bundled

  Initially my search for items/practices present during the time in which Austen wrote was situated around marriage. Soon, I discovered a practice that made me laugh out loud: the bundling board. Essentially, when the parents of a courting couple during the eighteenth century wanted to test the compatibility of their children’s relationship, the couple… Continue reading Separate but Bundled

Entailing inner intentions

Entail (as sourced from the Merriam Webster Dictionary): to restrict (property) by limiting the inheritance to the owner's lineal descendants or to a particular class thereof to confer, assign, or transmit (something) for an indefinitely long time: to confer, assign, or transmit as if by entail to fix (a person) permanently in some condition or… Continue reading Entailing inner intentions

Sensibility is falsity

In Love and Freindship, Austen presents her audience- originally her family members- with seemingly conflicted definitions of sensibility. To be sensible, one must be intelligent, without flaunting their brilliance, aware of social cues, have manners, be composed, without being notably emotionally compromised in response to any given event, and demonstrate sympathy towards others despite justification… Continue reading Sensibility is falsity

On “The Way of the World”

At the end of the first act in Congreve’s The Way of the World, Petulant declares, “Then let ‘em show their innocence by not understanding what they hear, or else show discretion by not hearing what they would not be thought to understood.” Here he is responding to Mirabell’s challenge, aimed to satiate his desire… Continue reading On “The Way of the World”