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anyone able to mark this pride and prejudice ocr english literature 40 mark question?

hii!! I've been trying to improve my English grade and thought writing essays and getting feedback would be the best way!! if anyone knows about the ocr english literature mark scheme and could give a mark that would be great too! also it might be worth saying that I went over the time I'd have for this question in the exam by about 30 mins - I was just trying to write as good of an essay as I could regardless of the time limits in exams.

the question: Explore how Austen presents Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship, in this extract and elsewhere in the novel

In Pride and Prejudice, 1813, Austen presents the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy as fundamental to the plot of the novel, introducing their relationship through the declined proposal in Volume two, which is seen in the extract and is one of the first times we see the two have a full conversation. It is significant because it shows the lack of communication between Elizabeth and Darcy and it foregrounds Darcy’s letter, which allows Elizabeth to move forwards from her prejudices against him, which in turn helps them to communicate more clearly. In Volume 3 and Mr Darcy's renewed proposal, we see the effects of Elizabeth's open-mindedness, where she eventually accepts his proposal.
In the extract, Austen uses both Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s feelings to present the lack of communication in the relationship, and how prejudiced both sides are towards each other. Structurally, this is one of the first full conversations between the two characters in the book, which initialises that they have lacked communication leading up to this point, as most of what we have found out about their relationship is from their conversations with others, which leads to this unreciprocated proposal. When Darcy starts his proposal, Austen describes how Lizzy ‘stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent’, using a long list of verbs to show how rapidly changing Elizabeth’s response to this proposal is, which presents her shock, as she was not expecting it and does not know what to think. The description of her ‘colouring’ presents her embarrassment at having this unwanted attention on her, yet she stays ‘silent’, allowing Darcy to continue with his proposal rather than being honest about her feelings. Similarly, once Elizabeth has made clear her certainty against marrying him, Darcy’s ‘complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature’; here Austen creates a parallel structure with similar descriptions of their body language to show how they were each equally shocked due to the lack of communication meaning they could not have expected this to happen. The description of Darcy becoming ‘pale with anger’ creates a sense of a juxtaposition - where often anger would be associated with red, perhaps presenting how outwardly he is angry, yet his pale skin presents an emotion more like shock and disappointment, at Elizabeth not sharing his feelings. In addition, the description of his ‘disturbance’ being ‘visible on every feature’ creates a sense of the all-encompassing shock and disbelief he feels at being declined. Contextually, his expectation that she would accept him could have been backed up by his noticeably more wealthy background compared to Elizabeth and the Bennet family, so he could have reasonably assumed that Elizabeth would want to marry a man of higher class than her for the benefit of her and her family. Finally, Austen describes how ‘he spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security’, exploring the theme of appearances versus reality to further the idea of their unclear communication, as well as the fact that LIzzy values integrity and honesty, which Darcy is clearly not showing here. Through the assonance of ‘apprehension’ and ‘anxiety’ a regular rhythm is created, which could suggest that this is something he feels an expectation to speak about, due to the judgement and societal expectations surrounding events like proposals during the Regency era. A contrast is created between the ‘real security’ on his countenance here, compared to his ‘complexion becoming pale with anger’, making clear how unexpected Lizzy’s declination of his proposal was for him as a result of their poor communication.
Later in Volume 2, when Darcy gives LIzzy his letter to apologise and explain himself, we see much clearer and thoughtful communication, which in turn encourages Lizzy to change how she feels about him and makes their relationship less turbulent. Initially after reading the letter, Elizabeth describes how her ‘sense of shame was severe’ and ‘she grew absolutely ashamed in herself’, and through Austen’s choice to use the epistolary form here, we can see Elizabeth’s honest reaction to everything Darcy says. The sibilance in ‘sense’, ‘shame’ and ‘severe’ creates a quite chastising tone through the harsh and turbulent rhythm, which presents Elizabeth’s regret at how outwardly she hated Mr Darcy and presents this letter as a catalyst for Elizabeth’s character development and breakdown of her prejudices. Similarly, the description of how Elizabeth ‘grew absolutely ashamed’ uses an active verb to present her upcoming character development and her already changing emotions about the proposal. Later, when reflecting on Mr Darcy’s true personality, Elizabeth realises she has never seen ‘anything that betrayed him to be unprincipled or unjust - anything that spoke him of irreligious or immoral habits’, using repeated paralleled phrases to show how good and undeniably benevolent Mr Darcy is. With the repetition of ‘un’ and ‘in’ within these paralleled phrases, the idea that Mr Darcy has no specific faults is presented, though there is no pure goodness about him shown. However, through this small change in how Lizzy feels about Darcy, we see how the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy is changing solely as a result of improved efforts at communication and Elizabeth’s reflection on Darcy’s personality, which allows her to become less prejudiced against him.
Towards the end of the book and in the lead up to Darcy’s second proposal, we see a further growth in Elizabeth’s respect for Darcy and more open mindedness towards him as a result of her changing prejudices, especially as she finds out more about him, which leads to improved communication between the two. Early in Volume 3, Elizabeth meets the housekeeper of Darcy’s house, and following the housekeeper’s glowing description of Mr Darcy, Elizabeth ‘listened, wondered, doubted, and was impatient for more’, using a similar list of verbs to the proposal in volume two to show how much Elizabeth’s feelings have changed about Darcy since then, here she ‘listens’, ‘wonders’ and ‘doubts’, all of which imply open-mindedness and almost warmth towards the idea that Mr Darcy is not as bad as she thought, and perhaps that his pride could co-exist with generosity and kindness, with his pride being solely as a result of his high status and proud connections. Soon after this, she realises that ‘he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, most suit her’, the use of ‘exactly’ and ‘most’ creating an idea of perfection and compatibility between them, as well as showing Lizzy's focus of love in marriage and desire for a good husband. This moment presents a vital shift in their relationship, where Lizzy goes from having lots of prejudice against him to realising he would ‘suit her’, which contextually links to the Regency era ideas of compatibility and proprietary within a marriage. This growth to liking him is seen again after Lydia’s wedding, when Elizabeth finds out Darcy paid Wickham for the marriage and ‘her heart did whisper that he had done it for her’, the reference to her ‘heart’ instantly bringing forward the connotations of hearts with love, while the verb ‘whisper’ creates a sense of gentleness and secrecy, presenting the slow and gradual growth of her love for him. At this point in the novel, the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy is used to create suspense in the reader, as we near the end of the book and begin to wonder if they will end up getting married. Finally, when Elizabeth and Darcy become engaged at the end of the novel, Austen describes how ‘heartfelt delight, diffused over his face, became him’, with another reference to his ‘heart’, yet more intensely than the previous one, with ‘delight’ and ‘became’ implying a much more all-consuming love than the ‘whisper’, making clear what a long time it took for Elizabeth and Darcy to feel secure in their feelings for each other, to show how right this marriage is and have a feeling of longevity associated with them, which can lead us to believe that they will have a long lasting love. Through this, Jane Austen could be making a comment on the proposals that were commonly very early in relationships, saying a longer time getting to know each other results in better and happier marriages, and presenting the marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy as a contrast to other characters - like Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins.


THANK YOU!! I WILL APPRECIATE ANY FORM OF ADVICE, FEEDBACK, MARKS, ANYTHING :smile:)

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