Within her article, Mary Jane Curry explains that “Pride and Prejudice” uses a pastoral novel to convey a feminist message. Jane Austen portrays this feminist message through the antagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy is the heroine within Jane Austen’s story that quite literally crosses boundaries. As Mary Jane Curry has pointed out on the second page, “Pride and Prejudice” falls under the context of being serious pastoral instead of decorative pastoral that doesn’t possess any deeper meaning beyond “beach romance.
” It is the heroine’s ideology of serious pastoral that causes her to establish her own identity within “Pride and Prejudice,” which adds to the feminist message the novel portrays.
More often than not, Elizabeth Bennet is spotted taking leisurely walks amongst the grounds. From these walks, it is recognized that Elizabeth gains: self-understanding, comfort and freedom. Mary Jane Curry notes, “Like his poetry and Wordsworth’s, Austen’s novels attribute the protagonist’s self-understanding to a calming freedom produced by viewing the non-human physical world” (49).
Mary Jane Curry recognizes that Elizabeth gains a greater understanding of herself when she is surrounded by a nature. Therefore, when escaping to the outdoors, Elizabeth is presented with the solitude she needs to get her through the day.
The reasoning behind most of these walks has been linked to Mr. Darcy. In one of the passages, “Austen’s narrator tells us that Elizabeth’s walks at Rosings and at Longbourn provide her the solitude to reflect on her own conflicts– encounters with Mr.
Darcy” (49). The previous passage explains that Elizabeth escaped to the outdoors to clear her mind the morning after Darcy proposed to her. The natural beauty of the grounds along with Mr. Darcy’s beauty has also been associated with fertility. These ideas have been employed due to Elizabeth’s urge to experience natural beauty while also forming a relationship with Mr. Darcy.
As it has been identified in Mary Jane Curry’s article, Jane Austen’s way of writing is transformative. Her transformative way of writing has been adopted from William Wordsworth, a man who has been transforming serious pastoral since Jane Austen was just a young adult. Through her writing, Jane Austen has been able to transform the conventions of serious pastoral through her usage of figurative language. When transforming the conventional ways of writing, Jane Austen has specifically implied that, “such a country life is better for young women than city life” (48). By transforming these ways of writing, it is obvious that Elizabeth Bennet was not the only one crossing boundaries.