2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Why Happily Ever Does Not Mean What It Used To: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice As a Challenge To Traditional Cinderella Stories
Shaunna K. Wilkinson
Dr. Royce Kallerud, Faculty Mentor

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice concludes with the happy marriage of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. While critics see the story in varying degrees, many label Pride and Prejudice as a Cinderella story. Yet in numerous ways, while the ending of the story is a happily ever after, Elizabeth and Darcy’s story is not a Cinderella tale. Shaunna K.Wilkinson, under the mentorship of Dr. M. Royce Kallerud, explores the deviating factors from the archetypical Cinderella story present in Pride and Prejudice in order to illuminate Austen’s social critique of marriage. By labeling Austen’s marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy a Cinderella story, Wilkinson argues, it simplifies the new and complex ideal of marriage inherent in the conclusion of the novel.

Keywords: Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy, Cinderella Story


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 43-2
Location: OP 2117
Time: 1:30 pm

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