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Romantic love is a common theme in literature, and the representations of it can differ widely from one work to another. In this article, I will contrast how Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" handle romantic love. Although both works are considered classics of literature and were produced in the 19th century, they take completely different approaches to the theme of passionate love. I would contend that whereas "Pride and Prejudice" portrays a more conventional vision of romantic love, "The Scarlet Letter" analyzes and subverts cultural expectations of love and relationships via careful examination of the characters and their interactions.
The character growth and interactions of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy serve as the vehicle through which the concept of romantic love is explored in the book "Pride and Prejudice." Due to their pride and prejudice, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are initially hostile to one another at the start of the book. Mr. Darcy's cold and pompous behavior first turns Elizabeth off, and he despises the Bennet family's lesser social standing. However, as the story goes on, their bond grows and they start to recognize and value one other's virtues. Witty conversation and misunderstandings define Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship. Sharp wit and sarcasm are frequently used in their chats, which gives their encounters a fun and enjoyable quality. These humorous dialogues also highlight the attraction and underlying tension between the two characters. Additionally, they frequently misunderstand one another, which aids in the growth of their connection. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are ultimately able to overcome their pride and prejudice and proclaim their love for one another, despite their initial resistance. After going through a number of difficulties, people are able to see past their initial views and the other person's actual traits. Their ability to evolve as characters and build a lasting relationship depends on their going through this process of letting go of their pride and prejudice. According to literary critic Jocelyn Harris, "Pride and Prejudice" is a novel that "celebrates the possibility of achieving personal happiness through the achievement of a good marriage." (Harris 1992) The text portrays romantic love as something that can be achieved through overcoming obstacles, and it ultimately results in a happy and fulfilling life. According to the book, finding real love is about finding someone who accepts you for who you are, flaws and all, rather than about finding someone who is perfect. The marriage of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, which marks the book's conclusion, stands as a symbol of genuine love's victory over pride and prejudice. It implies that love is something to struggle for and that it can make one happy and complete their life's purpose. From the Ebook it says "When she is secure of him, there will be more leisure
for falling in love as much as she chooses." (Austen 2008) Pride and Prejudice portrays a beautiful and upbeat picture of love through its depiction of the romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, which has made it a cherished and iconic book.
The romantic passion shown in "The Scarlet Letter" is more nuanced and critical than it is in "Pride and Prejudice," which is in stark contrast. Ernest Sandeen form the article "The Scarlet Letter as a Love Story" reminds us that "Hester reminds her husband that from the first she had "felt no love, nor feigned any."' Chillingworth, on his part, admits that he had married Hester simply because he had wished to kindle "a household fire" for his later years." This shows from the outside looking in that " The Scarlet Letter" is more nuanced and critical. The protagonist of the book is Hester Prynne, a woman who commits adultery and is publicly humiliated and shunned for it. She has a hidden, illicit connection with Reverend Dimmesdale, the father of her child, and their love is shown to be both a source of joy and suffering. David S. Reynolds, a critic of literature, claims. "The Scarlet Letter" is a novel that "uses Hester's story to critique the rigid moral code of the Puritan society in which it is set" (Reynolds, 1971). The text portrays romantic love as something that can be both beautiful and destructive, and it ultimately does not have a happy ending. The morally strict Puritan culture that the novel is set in is criticized using Hester's experience. Hester's adultery is viewed as a breach of the conventional moral values upheld by the Puritans, a religious sect that insisted on rigorous obedience to those principles. As a punishment for her wrongdoing, she is made to wear a scarlet "A" on her attire, and she is publicly humiliated and shunned. Said by the author Ronan McDonald "The scarlet letter A that Hester is forced to wear is finely embroidered with gold-coloured thread. As both a badge of shame and a beautifully wrought human artifact, it reflects the many oppositions in the novel, such as those between order and transgression, civilization and wilderness, and adulthood and childhood." Hester's love for Dimmesdale is portrayed as a source of both pleasure and anguish despite the severe treatment she endures. She enjoys it and feels fulfilled, but it also requires her to suffer greatly and make many sacrifices. Their relationship is illegal and cannot be acknowledged in public, which further adds to the complexity and pain of the situation.
Despite being written in the same century, "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Scarlet Letter" present very different viewpoints on romantic love. However, as the story goes on, they learn to respect and comprehend one another's qualities and eventually fall in love. Thoughtful banter and misunderstandings characterize their relationship, but eventually they are able to put their pride and prejudice aside and openly proclaim their love for one another. The book concludes with the pair being married, implying that real love is something to struggle for and may bring happiness and fulfillment to one's life. The traditional view of love in "Pride and Prejudice" is that it may be attained by conquering challenges, whereas the expectations of love and relationships in "The Scarlet Letter" are criticized. More nuanced and critical perspectives on romantic love are presented in "The Scarlet Letter." The protagonist of the book is Hester Prynne, a woman who commits adultery and is publicly humiliated and shunned for it. She has a hidden, illicit connection with Reverend Dimmesdale, the father of her child, and their love is shown to be both a source of joy and suffering. Additionally, "Pride and Prejudice" depicts a happy ending in which the couple lives happily ever after, whereas "The Scarlet Letter" depicts a terrible conclusion to the love tale. This stark contrast in the depictions of romantic love highlights how different the two works are from one another.
Finally, "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Scarlet Letter" present remarkably dissimilar viewpoints on romantic love. The traditional view of love in "Pride and Prejudice" is that it may be attained by conquering challenges, whereas "The Scarlet Letter" questions society norms regarding love and relationships. It is evident from a detailed examination of the characters and their interactions that these writings give many viewpoints on the subject of romantic love.
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