The subject of felicity is something that I would wish to compare and contrast between the two novels Pride and Prejudice and The Virgin Suicides. In this essay, I would wish to discourse the similar and different ways in which the different characters interact with the impression of felicity.
In Pride and Prejudice, felicity for a adult female is merely accomplishable through matrimony. As matrimony was seen as the individual greatest accomplishment that a adult female in the Pride and Prejudice society can obtain, felicity hence relates to whether a adult female is happy or unhappy with her matrimony. Throughout the novel, Austen describes the assorted signifiers and types of matrimonies every bit good as the logical thinking behind each of the different matrimonies. The matrimony between Jane and Charles Bingley, every bit good as between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy is seen to be a matrimony of true love. However, Lydia matrimony to Wickham can be reasoned as being for animal pleasance. Last, the ground for the matrimony between Collins and Charlotte Lucas turns out to be economical and fiscal.
As matrimony was seen to be the greatest accomplishment that adult females in society can accomplish, Pride and Prejudice showed the ultimate signifier of felicity through the matrimony of Elizabeth and Darcy. However merely by evading and get the better ofing legion obstructions, challenges, and contemplation were the two eventually able to happen felicity in their love. The beginning of their love started with Elizabeth ‘s pride doing her to misjudge Darcy ‘s character and personality, and Darcy ‘s bias to look down upon Elizabeth ‘s societal standing. In the terminal, felicity was achieved chiefly through a common acknowledgment of each other ‘s false belief. As Elizabeth declined Darcy ‘s first offer of matrimony, he finally realized that “ [ he ] have been a selfish being all [ his ] lifeaˆ¦ [ and ] how deficient were all [ his ] pretenses to delight a adult female worthy of being pleased ” ( Austen, p. 573 ) . As for Elizabeth, when she realized that she was incorrect in judging Darcy ‘s character and personality, she was mentally disturbed because she thought extremely of her ability to judge others ‘ characters. Once she was able to acquire past through her pride and accepted her misjudgement of Darcy ‘s character, she was so able to develop feelings towards him and finally towards a happy matrimony. In their eventual acknowledgment of their incorrect appraisal of character and personality, both Darcy and Elizabeth gained the opportunity for true felicity.
However, it might non be the instance that Elizabeth ‘s love for Darcy was strictly emotional. On her visit to Pemberley, Elizabeth was mesmerized by his beautiful estate at Pemberley, and she subsequently noted that was when her feelings bit by bit changed. “ It has been coming on so bit by bit that I barely know when it began. But I believe I must day of the month it from my first seeing his beautiful evidences at Pemberly ” ( Austen, pg. 580 ) . Therefore, the fond regard of fiscal chance might besides be of import in happening true felicity in matrimony.
On the other terminal of the happy-marriage spectrum, Lydia was one of the unhappy character in the novel. Her matrimony with Wickham turned out to be an unhappy and non-sensual matrimony, face-to-face to what Lydia had hoped for. However, even though her fallen matrimony brought shame to the Bennetts, she was unaware of her mistakes ; she saw no job with inquiring her relations for money. Her deficiency of self-awareness was the obstructions that prevented her from accomplishing felicity ; although she claimed to love Wickham, he unluckily did non experience the same manner. As Elizabeth noted, “ Wickham ‘s fondness for Lydia… non equal to Lydia ‘s for him ” ( Austen, p. 489 ) . Therefore, to accomplish enduring true felicity, characters in Pride and Prejudice needed to larn to attune their dispositions while exerting good opinion and common sense.
Charlotte Lucas stands in the center of the happy-marriage spectrum, neither being in love with Mr. Collins nor being vindictive of him. In the instance of the matrimony between Charlotte and Collins, Austen has shown that people can be happy excessively in a loveless matrimony. In the novel, Charlotte and Collins ne’er showed much fondness towards one another, nor were they intimate and conversive. At first, Mr. Collins wanted to get married Elizabeth, or merely any of the Bennett misss, for the chance of inheriting the Bennetts ‘ belongings. He had no sense of self-awareness and this was made clear when Elizabeth rejected his offer of matrimony. Being so confident on himself, he was so certain that Elizabeth would readily hold to his matrimony proposal that he was incapable of chew overing the ground that Elizabeth rejected him for. He even went so far as to claim that “ [ he ] know [ s ] it to be the constituted usage of your sex to reject a adult male on first application, and possibly you have even now said every bit much to promote my suit ” ( Austen, p. 171 ) . However, Charlotte merely chose to get married person to take attention of her and to supply her with the fiscal stableness. In the novel, she claimed that “ [ she ] ask merely a comfy place ; and sing Mr. Collins ‘ character, connexions, and state of affairs in life, [ she is ] convinced that [ her ] opportunity of felicity with him is every bit just as most people can tout on come ining the matrimony province ” ( Austen, pp.198-199 ) . By cognizing what she wanted in a matrimony and believing that “ felicity in matrimony is wholly a affair of opportunity ” ( Austen, p. 32 ) , Charlotte was therefore able to experience happy about her matrimony to Collins.
Throughout the novel, Austen message about true felicity is that it originates non entirely from fiscal security or passion and animal pleasance, but instead from an honorable realisation of each other ‘s errors, exemplified in Elizabeth and Darcy ‘s eventual acknowledgment and apprehension of each other ‘s strengths and failing.
In The Virgin Suicides, the community ‘s compulsion with felicity was foremost highlighted by Mrs. Karafilis, saying her confusion that she “ could ne’er understand… why everyone pretended to be happy all the clip ” ( Eugenides, p. 169 ) . Mrs. Karafilis saw the community as being under the frontage of of felicity, qualifying the community ‘s compulsion as being happy regardless of the societal state of affairs that the character finds himself surroundeded in. The apogee of her confusion was when Mr. Lisbon was seen by her to be threading Christmas visible radiations shortly after Cecilia ‘s self-destruction, farther noticing that “ we Greeks are dark people… seting up Christmas visible radiations after your ain girl does it – that makes no sense ” ( Eugenides, p. 169 ) . In visible radiations to the impression of felicity in The Virgin Suicides, Mr. Lisbon ‘s action of threading up Christmas visible radiations was non a affair of self-deceit, of seeking to reassure himself that everything was alright ; but instead Mr. Lisbon saw it as his sensed responsibility to the vicinity to make so. Therefore, instead than threading up the Christmas visible radiations to buoy up up the temper of his household ‘s wretchedness, Mr. Lisbon alternatively did so merely because societal convention dictates that he should make so for the benefit of the whole vicinity, and to its communal felicity.
Rather than happiness being an indicant of a personal feeling, the felicity exemplified in the Virgin Suicicdes seems to be a affair of communal felicity, or a type of societal status that everybody in the community have to continuously reaffirms to for the benefit of others instead than as an indicant of personal feeling. Moreoever, several other incidents throughout the novel supported Mrs. Karafilis theory of felicity. First, the school held a Day of Grieving to mark Cecilia ‘s decease, which they regarded as a success even though the Lisbon sisters chose to wait out the ceremoney by concealing in the bathroom. Second, shortly after Cecilia ‘s decease, the neighbours gathered together to take the fencings around the Lisbons ‘ house, without giving a 2nd idea to taking any of the other fencings around the vicinity. The above illustrations described a communial accent of felicity that relies on ritual and conventially recognized criterions of behaviour over content and significance. In threading up the Christmas visible radiations, did Mr. Lisbon hoped to raise up the cheerless temper or did he merely do so because society conveyed that it was the standard behaviour to make during Christmas? What would be the intent of the Day of Grieving, and how successful can it turned out to be, if those who were most involved with it did non even care to go to it in the first topographic point? And in conclusion, did the neighbours truly cared for the wellbeing of the Lisbons and the community as a whole by taking the Lisbon ‘s fencings? If so, they should hold besides removed all the fencings around the community. Through the above illustrations, it is apparent to state that the neighbours and the school were non in any manner concern for the overall wellbeing of the Lisbons, but instead they did what they did ( Day of Grieving / taking fencing ) as a manner to reenforce the community ‘s felicity. Therefore, the Lisbons ‘ vicinity community existed entirely for the intent of being there to continuously and communally affirmed each other ‘s felicity, as evidenced by the above illustrations. Ultimately, the actions that society conveyed as standardized in response to certain events takes over what is morally appropriate. In this implicit in model of pretence, the innovation of implemented felicity is merely another necessary jeer in covering with life ‘s calamity.
The vicinity community ‘s silence following Cecilia ‘s decease inexplicably mirrored the community ‘s refusal to admit the fact that Mary lived through her first suicide effort. After her return from the infirmary, Mary brought away into the community a eerie aura of certain decease, and hence the community ‘s refusal to admit and assist Mary in her last month can be seen as the manifestation of the community ‘s beliefs that felicity can merely return to the community following her decease. After Mary ‘s return from the infirmary, the vicinity community ‘s “ veiled wish [ was ] that she would travel rapidly up and acquire it over with ” ( Austen, p. 214 ) . Once once more, the impression of felicity in The Virgin Suicides is the counterfeit of communal felicity, something that the community continuously confirm their beliefs on. Therefore, as the neighbours were cognizant of Mary ‘s eventual 2nd self-destruction effort, and that they did non make anything in seeking to forestall it because they believed that the calamity must be allowed to run its entireness before the suicide expletive can be lifted off. In this case, the community ‘s beliefs and outlooks of Mary ‘s eventual decease suggested that Mary ‘s destiny of decease was merely a physical manifestation of the community ‘s fright of the suicide virus every bit good as their beliefs on how the expletive can be lifted off.
In a farther effort to reaffirm the communal felicity, Dr. Hornicker and Ms Perl tried to apologize the logical thinking behind the misss ‘ self-destructions. Dr. Hornicker believed that their self-destructive inclination was brought away by a chemical instability in the organic structure, therefore doing the diagnosing something treatable, curable, and an individuated event. Ms. Perl, on the other manus, wrote in her study that the misss ‘ self-destructions coincides with an astrological event, therefore promoting the suicide events to the boundary line of insanity and absurdness. By making so, both Dr. Hornicker and Ms. Perl have reaffirm to the community that there is nil to worry approximately, that it is a individual individuated event that will non foreground any societal job within the community. By doing the self-destructions as treatable or as a statistical outlier, the menace of the self-destruction virus is finally lifted off and the community ‘s guilt in their weakness towards the self-destruction instances more endurable. Ultimately, by restricting the incident wholly to the Lisbons ‘ family, both Dr. Hornicker and Ms. Perl studies reassured the community ‘s position quo and felicity.
Throughout the novel, Eugenides has shown that the impression of felicity in The Virgin Suicides lies more towards communal happines, one that emphasize more towards the counterfeit of felicity through visual aspects and behaviours instead than single personal felicity.
The subject of felicity can be seen from a different position from both novels. In Pride and Prejudice, felicity is seen as the ultimate end in a adult female ‘s social life. Achieving a happy matrimony is the prototype of a adult female ‘s life achievement, and served as the drive force behind the different character ‘s actions and behaviours. In The Virgin Suicides, nevertheless, felicity is non defined as a personal feeling or achievement, but instead as a community ‘s frontage of plasticized felicity. Through ritual that is ordained through societal standardisation, the vicinity community achieved its felicity by following standardised convention in their mundane life. In this instance, to be happy is to look normal.