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Code & Conduct: A Study of Moral Values and Scoundrels in Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Heder & Hållning : En analys av moral och skurkar i Jane Austens Pride & Prejudice och Sense & Sensibility (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Jane Austen provides moral guidance in her nocels, showing her readers what is wrong with her society. Novels such as Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility contain studies of human character and lack of morals. She guides her readers towards a clearer moral vision by including characters such as George Wickham and John Willoughby, and warns her readers about trusting first impressions.

The essay focuses on the moral aspects of these scoundrels. It analyses and compares the characters based on the first impressions from others, the events in the novels where their true colors emerge and how they are judged by the characters and the author in the novel. The essay argues that Austen's way of developing the scoundrels enables her to prove a point of morality to her readers, showing us the danger of trusting first impressions and appearances, warning us against the deceptive evil which presents itself disguised in charm and respectability. Thus she guides her readers towards a clearer vision of true worth and good morals - such as honesty and consideration for others - in a way that may be discussed and appreciated by young people of today.

In addition, a didactic approach is included, showing how the findings in the esay can be used and interpreted in an English class in Swedish upper-secondary school. It provides a lesson plan based on the findings, and are justified by answering the question "why should we study literature" and "why should we study Jane Austen?". The goal is to form activities that students find both entertaining and motivating.

It will show that both scoundrels are well-behaved, handsome and are well-liked by the majority of the characters in the beginning. However, they are also dishonest, selfish and driven by economival and sexual motives. This shows the danger of trusting fist impressions and justifies the reason why they are scoundrels. However, there are differences that differentiate them: Wickham is not able to love or feel remorse, while Willoughby is. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
morals, scoundrels, Jane Austen, Wickham, Willoughby, didactics
National Category
Specific Literatures General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76296ISRN: LIU-IKK/EN-A--12/006--SEOAI: diva2:513808
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher Education
2012-01-20, 10:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-04-10 Created: 2012-04-02 Last updated: 2012-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Eneroth, Henrik
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