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Unpleasant Situation Essay Contest

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Torina Ekaterina, Vaiserberg Irina

continued from No 17. 18 Teacher's Essay Contest

The title of the essay implies that there are many more roles of a teacher at school than common people can imagine. It is impossible to picture an actor without great experience in being or looking different; teachers, the same as actors, have to be different and whole at the same time. Furthermore, teachers may even change from one class to another. Teachers are variables that reflect the whole process of learning.
Learning is a complex process and there are many interacting variables that influence learning. The teacher, who is a variable in the classroom context, is charged with the function of acting as an intermediary between the variables outside the classroom and the students to assist them in their learning. The function of being an intermediary means that the teacher has the role of facilitating student learning, as well as being a part of the school and community. Fulfilling the functions of a teacher means that the teacher is also actively engaged in learning. Learning about themselves, the changes in their field, the expectations of the community and society and, most importantly, learning about their students and ways of enabling their students to grow and develop. The role of the teacher has many facets but that of facilitating student learning is really very important.
The role of the teacher is diverse and has several orientations. One important aspect is that of a facilitator of student learning. The facilitator attempts to provide circumstances that will enable students to engage with the learning opportunities and construct for themselves their understanding and develop their skills. This role will interact with those of teacher as learner, colleague and community partner.
While speaking about the other major roles of teachers, we should not forget that of an evaluator. Providing opportunity for self-discovery stimulates pupils’ activities, and gives them grounds for exploring the world. The method of projects, for instance, allows them to use their own imagination, thus they get used to self-education. In my opinion, acquiring such a habit will help them grow and develop even beyond school. Teachers really should let their pupils share discoveries and ideas that will give the appropriate personal touch to the English language lessons. Do not underestimate the role of performance, very often intonation, pictures, music, or something
of this kind, attracts children’s attention pretty successfully.
As a motivator, a teacher introduces the subject and provides the Big Picture for it, and enlarges pupils’ ideas on the topic discussed. From my personal experience I really see that generating enthusiasm is an indispensable aspect of teaching. Children are very grateful when they see your respect and interest in their opinion. It gives them a chance to show their worth. You will be surprised how much they can do in response.
One of the approaches to teaching and learning is to see the teacher as a co-learner where the activities are negotiated with the students and the community in general. Thus, children will trust you, and, as we all know, creating the atmosphere of trust and confidence contributes to the progress your students or pupils make. However, do not overdo it. Show them you are an expert by providing information to your pupils, and organizing and integrating new material.
So, we can clearly see that a teacher has a lot of roles to play. Moreover, to be good at playing them, a true teacher should also possess certain pedagogical skills. In other words, a teacher should possess such features of their character that show their gift for working with children. And not only that, a teacher should be a good organizer and control and do the planning of the process of learning. A teacher should also possess some qualities of a psychologist to feel, know and understand children’s unique world. Suggestibility is another important point for a teacher, so that a teacher should be able to exert a positive influence on children. Finally, no doubt a teacher should be a qualitative communicator to establish connections not only with children, but with their parents and other teaching staff.
So, what is a teacher? What does he or she do?
Teachers encourage clear, on-going communication between all participants. They offer a mentor’s expertise in adolescent development and in planning a quality learning experience. In addition, a teacher works closely with students encouraging them to develop as responsible individuals.

By Ekaterina Torina

If we try to find a teacher of English who is not dependent on Shakespeare’s works, we’ll fail, I believe. I am not an exception here – so, let me start this essay with a famous quote. I mean this one:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…”
The classroom where I work is a big part of my world, and it is absolutely true that I am a player there along with my students. And, naturally, we play many parts. But today I’m going to focus only on those which belong to me. They are usually quite varied – I can be an organizer, a consultant, an instructor, a facilitator, a monitor – what not. Of course, I have some favourites, and this is the thing I’ll say a couple of words about.
Quite often – if not always – everything depends on the class which is sitting in front of me. They can be very young and scared, they can be teenagers with no authorities to have, sometimes they are very advanced and interested in my subject, and quite frequently very lazy and unwilling to be involved in any activities I am going to offer. And the success of my first meeting with them is the pledge of either our further successful cooperation, or our common failure. And this very first moment is the time when I have to choose my – and their – future roles. The best role for this first meeting is the one of a motivator, I think. They may see no sense in my subject – or even feel hostile to it. In this case I strongly believe there is great use in a good warming-up activity. If it goes successfully, I can guarantee that the relationship with this group will be no problem in the future. It is a situation when I like many newcomers in the group. For this case I have a “Melting Pot activity” in store. It is a very easy thing to organize, and a great fun, too. The teacher has only to present it and to monitor how it goes after it has started. But then there is no more tension in class and the class motivation obviously rises.
But my best loved role is the one of a facilitator. It seems to me that the very essence of our subject is in it. For, if the language is not for facilitating communication, then what is it for? But it is more than that. One of my most frequent activities in the class is to settle conflicts which inevitably arise when communication is the thing in question. But I see my aim not just in settling the conflicts. My main goal is to teach my students how to settle these conflicts themselves and to do it using the language skills they have obtained at our lessons.
One of the most frequent and convenient ways to do this is to use some educational technologies. The one I have really been delighted with lately is the technique of Lincoln-Douglas debates. Let me tell you more about teacher’s roles in this process as I have dedicated a lot of my and my students’ time to this exciting and useful activity. I do think that it belongs to the future, as at the moment I know no better way of developing tolerance and mutual understanding by means of a foreign language.
First of all, you should be a very good organizer if you want to go into it as the process itself is a very time-consuming one. It is essential that students should understand quite clearly what they are supposed to do and how their speeches – or “cases’, in debate terminology – are to be written. I have needed to plan my lessons very carefully in order to provide every student with all the preparation stages for the event.
Secondly, it is important to focus on the contents of the subject debated. These types of debates is known as value debates, and it gave me a lot of opportunities to discuss most vital matters together with my students. I quite often had to act as a consultant while children were discussing burning questions connected with their life values, as well as to maintain their active part and to key in not only on the ideas themselves but also on developing speaking skills which were necessary for the discussion.
Then, there is one more advantage of this technique. Actually, it’s one of the main reasons why I liked it so much. Any teacher who undertakes it is bound to become an instructor concerning an absolutely new method of work which is unknown to students. And, if usually students consider an instructor as an unapproachable and distant person, this situation is completely different. The instructor and the student are members of one team, and they are colleagues, not enemies.
Naturally, there are no methods which are just flower baskets, and nothing else. I have come across an unpleasant side of this one, too. It’s assessment, as it is easy to guess. Being an assessor is the hardest thing for me in general. The only thing which helped me in it was the fact that all the students who were participating in the activity knew all the criteria of evaluation beforehand, and all of these criteria were very transparent and clear.
And, in my opinion, it’s a common principle. When I start grading, the first thing I start with is working out the grading criteria together with all the students, on the one hand, and plunging the children into the river of self-assessment, on the other hand.
So, these are the main teacher’s roles I can imagine. But, to my mind, there is one more role which hasn’t been mentioned yet. It’s listener. This one is crucial for many aims, but the main thing is that there is no real collaboration without it. Let’s take a lesson as it is – I’ve noticed many times that any routine work can be elaborated with my genuine attention to the students’ words. And, remembering that a teacher is to be a student’s model – there is no other way to raise a good listener than to be one.
Our modern life is changing very fast, in all respects. And I am glad that I live and work today when a teacher is not only someone who dispenses knowledge, but someone who is searching for new ways of development both for students and for himself. For a person whose aim is professional development and growth can take any role – but no matter what it will be, the one he has already achieved is as a winner. He is a winner, as well as his students and colleagues are.

By Irina Vaiserberg

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Europe and Euro

2nd Price:

Written by Gianluca Rezzano, La Sp�zia, Italy.

Today, just a few months away from the final exam for the admission to the Euro Club, talking about Europe and a single currency is not an easy task. However how hard one tries to follow the evolution of the situation, however one tries to stay informed, it is practically impossible to guess where the EMU which is being constituted will go.

In fact, if one listens to everybody else, one runs the risk of ending up being completely confused: first there are the so-called Euro-skeptics according to whom we are establishing a very weak currency, sooner based on emotional motives rather than a solid politico-institutional, economical or fiscal basis. Secondly, we have the Euro-optimists, however, who, instead of offering exhaustive answers to the objections expressed by others, limit themselves to considering the whole matter as a cloud of dust lifted by Cassandras in search of cheap fame.

In any case, the birth of the Euro is no doubt a very special event, and when we think about it, the use of more than one currency in Europe (or at least in part of it) goes back to the times of the Roman Empire. In order to try to understand the measure in which the Euro will affect the lives of people in the European Union, we can create a kind of historical journey where the moment the Euro begins to take effect represents the dividing line, in other words, we can examine how the European Union looks like on the day it is introduced to its single currency and then try to imagine what will happen from then on.

European Union B.E. (before Euro): here, to be sincere, the situation is not too promising: on the verge of the final sprint, the Union finds itself grappling with worrisome internal divisions. One example of this, among others, is the dispute between the French and the Dutch/Germans for the Presidency of the future ECB (European Central Bank) (will it be just tter of Euro-nervousness? Will it be a collision between two different ways of looking at the manner in which to conduct monetary policies? Will it be a the same squalid race for a seat on the Board of Directors? Who knows!)

Naturally, the causes for these conflicts are various but they can be easily analyzed through several viewpoints:

  1. politico-institutional: setting aside the jealousies and the small rivalries between the member countries, and the worst part being that community institutions are distant (in every sense of the word) from the people. At least this is how they are perceived by the average citizen. In fact, the European Parliament, to give an example, is a cuckoo's nest capable only of producing guidelines that are as absurd as they are useless (such as the one, however necessary, regarding the size of cucumbers or the other incredibly stupid regulation which states that taxis must be white).
  • economical: here, unfortunately, the deep controversy inside the Union has a great influence and one does not need to look very far, just think of Italy: its southern part in a crisis (relying greatly on social welfare in addition to having to do with the lack of infrastructures of all kinds, but also with a high rate of organized crime) while in the northern parts, although unemployment is almost nonexistent, it is hindered by thousands of legal provisions making the creation of new productive activities very annoying.

  • fiscal: if we multiply these differences on the level of Europe, we can easily see that the situation needs a common fiscal policy capable of achieving truly effective balancing out interventions, but things are not doing so well in this case either: today, the fact that 11 regions of the European Union (among which, Sardinia and Puglia in Italy) will be deprived of community financing, as these will be used instead to support the efforts of former-communist countries which are getting ready to join the Union also, is making the news today. But how do we explain to a peasant from Puglia that it is fair to take money from him and to give it to a Polish or a Hungarian person?

    European Union A.E. (After Euro): what will the future scenario in which we will be living look like? I don't think anyone can tell or even imagine it. The fact is, there are not many elements on which to base our assumptions, more or less well-founded. but what could be worse perhaps, is that the few elements at our disposal lead us to foresee a not very attractive situation.

    In fact, the introduction of a single currency carries important consequences. For example, the impossibility to institute exchange policies, the need to maintain book-keeping in order (and how many sacrifices we must do to achieve this) in addition to a series of aspects which cannot be studied in depth here. If we add to all of this the fact that in Europe, labor force mobility is very low and that the rigorous tendency for pecuniary salaries to drop is very strong, we have put the finishing touch to the matter.

    As if this was not enough, we must also take into account the fact that incredibly misinformed European citizens are taking the risk of jumping into empty space by walking blindly towards the Euro. And this situation, I'm afraid to say, is only due to the absurd behavior of community, as well as national, institutions of the various member countries. In fact, instead of preparing a series of information campaigns presenting the population with the all of advantages and, most importantly, all of the risks involved in adopting a single currency, all they do is swamp the Union with brochures whose intellectual level is an insult to whoever reads them but which do however contain exhaustive explanation on the price of a newspaper in Euro as compared to the present currency.

    The unpleasant impression we get from all of this is that the motivation behind the Euro is often more for considerations of nationalistic prestige than for other reasons, which because of this, leads governments (or other community institutions) to play the same little game where the less people know, the better. I hope it will not go unnoticed that such behavior would be stupid as well as dangerous. The European Union may be built in many ways but only if the population is firmly convinced that they want to adhere to this ideal will its construction stand firm. But can this convinced adherence exist in those who feel confused or worse, feel that they are being for a ride?

  • JASNA Essay Contest

    2009 JASNA Essay Contest First Place Winner High School Division
    Connie Chen
    Davis Senior High School
    Davis, CA

    The Four Other Misses Bennet: Reflections of Elizabeth’s Developing Empathy

    A positive development in character temperament is at the heart of every novel written by Jane Austen. Austen is distinguished for detailing the personal journeys of dynamic characters, all of whom are able to find happiness and satisfaction after developing their perspectives and temperaments constructively. This generalization is especially true in Pride and Prejudice. a novel that details the differences in nature between two obstinate young people, both of whom must learn to consider perspectives different from their own before being able to understand one another. Austen uses sibling relationships in the Bennet family to draw attention to such dynamic shifts in the ideals of her protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth’s shortcomings in empathy and understanding are routinely reflected, accounted for, or emphasized by Austen’s depiction of the Bennet sisters. Throughout Pride and Prejudice. events concerning Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia reflect a changing Elizabeth, who gradually develops a more compassionate and comprehensive point of view. The fluctuating interactions and relationships among the five Bennet sisters serve to underscore Elizabeth Bennet’s positive character development, reaffirming the optimistic viewpoint that pervades each of Austen’s six novels—that a person has the capacity to change his or her natural inclinations for the better.

    Austen’s initial portrayal of the Bennet sisters is lighthearted and humorous, suggesting the immaturity of their temperaments. She promptly introduces five very different sisters, all rather close in age, and each possessing her own characteristic personal qualities. Austen takes measures to single out the sparkling Elizabeth Bennet as the protagonist: Elizabeth immediately commands our attention with her “lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous” (Austen 12). Though Elizabeth is the heroine, her youngest sister Lydia provides comedy to the narrative through her absurd obsession with officers and balls; her fancies become the target of many hilariously wry remarks from Mr. Bennet, who deems all his daughters except Elizabeth “silly and ignorant” (6). Though Lydia’s comical outbursts do add liveliness to early dialogue, Austen also intends for readers to feel wary of what will come of the “always unguarded and often uncivil” (110) escapades of Lydia and her accomplice Kitty, the second youngest Bennet sister. Compounding this air of foreboding is Elizabeth’s seemingly indifferent stance towards her sisters’ alarming behavior, a lack of concern that reveals her greatest fault: although clever and observant, she tends to form biased judgments. Because Lydia and Kitty are her sisters, she never censures the impropriety of their manners, and is similarly unresponsive towards the “pedantic air and conceited manner” (23) of Mary, the middle Bennet sister. While Elizabeth is quite aware of Mary’s faults, even reduced to “agonies” by one of Mary’s particularly “affected” attempts at providing musical entertainment (88), she makes no attempt to even gently chide Mary’s clearly contrived countenance and her hypocritical “reflections” on topics such as “vanity and pride” (19).

    Yet, though she is overly tolerant of Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, Elizabeth regards Mr. Darcy with a different kind of bias. Apart from their first encounter, when Mr. Darcy deems her “tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me ” (12), Elizabeth’s growing disdain for the man is completely the result of town gossip and Mr. Wickham’s slander: “I think him very disagreeable […] He is not at all liked in Hertfordshire. Everybody is disgusted with his pride” (68). Elizabeth considers herself a “studier of […] intricate characters” (38), but her constantly prejudiced viewpoints and her lack of empathy, especially for the taciturn Mr. Darcy, are analogous to the insensitivity and passivity she initially shows towards her three younger sisters’ lack of decorum. Austen implies that Elizabeth must develop a more insightful, sensitive perspective in regard to her sisters’ behavior in order to better recognize the true character of her acquaintances.

    Austen further highlights Elizabeth’s prejudiced opinions by juxtaposing her impetuous temperament with Jane’s steadfast character. For example, Jane and Elizabeth often debate the validity of the latter’s pointed character appraisals during their many sisterly tête-à-têtes. During one such discussion, they dispute the credibility of Wickham’s allegations towards Mr. Darcy. Jane characteristically hesitates to condemn Darcy: “It is difficult indeed—it is distressing. One does not know what to think,” while Elizabeth staunchly sympathizes with Wickham: “I beg your pardon; one knows exactly what to think” (75). Austen especially indicates Elizabeth’s feeling of strong disdain towards Jane’s trustful temperament: “With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others!” (15). Just as Elizabeth’s rashly formed opinions prevent her from discerning the true characters of Darcy and Wickham, she is also unwilling to recognize the value in Jane’s inclination to gradually ascertain the character of an acquaintance. Jane and Elizabeth are presented as foils to one another in order to illustrate Elizabeth’s shortcomings in insight and understanding of others; Austen suggests that Elizabeth must become more Jane-like and less hastily judgmental before achieving her own personal happiness.

    Yet, regardless of the virtues of Jane Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet’s witty criticisms and hasty judgments certainly do establish a more engaging character than Jane’s “pliancy of temper” does, as discussed by Austen scholar Emily Auerbach: “We may have encountered sweet, angelic, beautiful, modest Jane Bennets before in literature, but no one like Elizabeth” (Auerbach 146). Elizabeth is more exciting than Jane partly due to her charmingly temperamental antagonism towards certain characters, but such inclinations also contribute to the formation of her prejudiced perspectives. For this reason, Austen depicts Jane as providing a constant voice of reason to Elizabeth’s cursory condemnations. For instance, when Elizabeth exclaims petulantly of Charlotte Lucas that “the woman who marries [Mr. Collins] cannot have a proper way of thinking,” Jane tries to temper Elizabeth’s abrupt criticism, declaring her “language too strong in speaking of both” (Austen 117). These exchanges between the two eldest Bennet sisters testify to the vast lopsidedness of Elizabeth’s opinions, a disposition also evident in her blind tolerance of the youngest three Bennets’ ill breeding.

    In a similar fashion, Austen juxtaposes Elizabeth’s negative first impression of Mr. Darcy with Jane’s more neutral impression of him to emphasize Elizabeth’s lack of empathy and the consequences that will result from this shortcoming. For instance, Elizabeth’s perception of Mr. Darcy is immediately prejudiced after their initial awkward acquaintance. However, Darcy’s supposed hubris and Elizabeth’s belief in his having an overbearing personality are almost completely imagined on her part; no further occurrences between them support her suppositions. Unlike Elizabeth, who is self-righteously swept up in her idea of Mr. Darcy’s unpleasant character, Jane is willing to give both Darcy and Wickham the benefit of the doubt, citing lack of evidence: “It is, in short, impossible for us to conjecture the causes or circumstances which may have alienated them, without actual blame on either side” (74). How right her neutrality will eventually seem! Elizabeth later regrets deeply “that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd” towards Mr. Darcy: “I, who have prided myself on my discernment! […] who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameless distrust!” (176). This sentiment, admitted shortly after the reception of Mr. Darcy’s letter from Rosings, demonstrates Elizabeth suddenly perceiving the value of what she once considered her sister’s contemptible quality of “generous candour.” Through the influence of Jane, her best friend and complete antithesis, Elizabeth begins to realize that she can correct her prejudicial tendencies by contemplating their disparity from Jane’s “generous” tendencies.

    Thus, Elizabeth first realizes and reflects upon the prejudice of her earlier judgments after discovering her vast misconceptions of Mr. Darcy’s character while staying in Kent; as a result she becomes increasingly engaged in attempting to improve the unbecoming behavior of her sisters, a development that points to major growth in her personal perspectives and empathetic abilities. In fact, Mr. Darcy’s confessional letter from Rosings can be pinpointed as the stimulus for Elizabeth’s changed attitude. In the fateful letter, one might imagine Mr. Darcy addressing Elizabeth somberly, but truthfully thus: “The situation of your mother’s family […] was nothing in comparison to the total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly betrayed […] by your three younger sisters” (168). With blunt language, Darcy not only relates a factually supported and startlingly unpleasant history of Wickham, but also points out the often uncivil and ill-bred manners of Elizabeth’s sisters. The truth of Wickham’s background humbles Elizabeth and causes her to acknowledge her hastily formed and biased opinions, but Mr. Darcy’s negative comments on the Bennet family cause Elizabeth to feel “depressed beyond anything she had ever known before” (177). Furthermore, “the justice of the charge struck her too forcibly for denial, and the circumstances to which he particularly alluded […] could not have made a more strong impression on his mind than on hers” (177). Mr. Darcy’s appraisals of Elizabeth’s sisters have the greatest impact in bringing about her change in attitude, both in her judgment of acceptable manners and her lack of concern with the impropriety of her sisters. Austen’s assertion of this cause-and-effect relationship shows the deficiencies of the Bennet family unit, especially in Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet’s discipline of their three daughters, and in Elizabeth’s negligence in guiding the behavior of her sisters.

    After she reflects upon her poor judgments and blind prejudices, Elizabeth assumes an almost guardian-like role in the interest of her younger sisters’ well-being, truly demonstrating her maturation into a more concerned, empathetic character. For instance, upon returning home, Elizabeth is keenly receptive to every ill-bred aspect of her younger sisters’ countenance. Whereas the “vain, ignorant, idle, and absolutely uncontrolled” conduct of Lydia and Kitty had before received concern only from Mr. Bennet, primarily in the form of sarcastic, somewhat insulting comments, Elizabeth begins to take it upon herself to urge Mr. Bennet to restrain the wild behavior of Lydia, who is soon to visit Brighton:

    If you […] will not take the trouble of checking her exuberant spirits, and of teaching her that her present pursuits are not to be the business of her life […] her character will be fixed […] and from the ignorance and emptiness of her mind, [she will] wholly be unable to ward off any portion of that contempt which her rage for admiration will excite. (195)

    Although Lydia still leaves for Brighton, Elizabeth continues to fix her attentions on reforming Kitty, hoping that she “might in time regain her natural degree of sense, since the disturbers of her brain were removed” (200). This changed Elizabeth, who feels genuine concern for Lydia and the Bennet family reputation, is a vast departure from the earlier Elizabeth, who showed an indifferent tolerance towards her youngest sisters’ improper behavior.

    Therefore, when Lydia elopes with Wickham, disgracing her family, the new Elizabeth is devastated; her reaction to Lydia’s folly further points to the evolution of her ideas and inclinations. The most prominent aspect of Elizabeth’s response is her utter wretchedness; for the first time, readers observe a discomposed Elizabeth deeply affected by grief and humiliation: “she burst into tears as she alluded to it, and for a few minutes could not speak another word” (231). Her profound chagrin demonstrates a truly fervent consideration for her sister, a sentiment that had never surfaced prior to the incident of the elopement. Additionally, she expresses true indignation towards Wickham - “My eyes were opened to his real character” (232) - and rejects her former inclination to judge character based on first impressions:

    The regard springing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural, in comparison to what is so often described as arising on a first interview with its object, and even before two words have been exchanged […] she had given somewhat of a trial to the latter method, in her partiality for Wickham, and […] its ill-success might authorize her to seek [another] less interesting mode of attachment (233)

    As Elizabeth ponders the ineffectiveness of her premature judgments, readers discern that Lydia’s indiscretions are instrumental in prompting Elizabeth’s subsequent realization of her affection for Mr. Darcy, especially after she assumes that he has lost regard for her because of Lydia’s elopement: “Elizabeth, who was by this time tolerably well acquainted with her own feelings, was perfectly aware that, had she known nothing of Darcy, she could have borne the dread of Lydia’s infamy somewhat better. It would have spared her, she thought, one sleepless night out of two” (250). Thus, “Lydia’s infamy” causes Elizabeth to again reflect upon the imprudence of her early assumptions of Darcy’s character, the character of Wickham, and possibly even other unsuspecting acquaintances who unknowingly gave her a poor first impression. The event of Lydia’s elopement certainly demonstrates, with emphasis, Elizabeth’s completed development of a more empathetic perspective.

    Of the final chapters in Pride and Prejudice. detractors often grieve that Jane Austen concludes her novels too joyously, frequently with blissful reunions and happy engagements. However, upon closer inspection, Elizabeth’s happy engagement to Darcy seems natural in the context of Austen’s deft correlation of the Bennet sisters’ characters with Elizabeth’s growing sense of empathy, insight, and understanding, as well as her diminishing tendency to hold prejudices. Yet, unlike Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia are portrayed as generally static characters at the end of the novel; Austen does not describe in detail any remarkable changes the sisters undergo from their original dispositions. Jane retains her “affectionate heart” (324), “Lydia was Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless” (264), Mary “could still moralize over every morning visit” (324), and so forth. Austen’s one-dimensional presentation of Elizabeth’s sisters serves two purposes. Primarily, it focuses the reader’s attention on the personal journey of one of Austen’s most vivacious, memorable protagonists. Secondly, it allows Austen to suggest the possibility that Elizabeth’s sisters also have the capacity to change their negative inclinations. Kitty is briefly heralded as “less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid” after being looked after by her eldest sisters, and Mary “was obliged to mix more with the world”, offering hope that she might yet learn to reform her pretentious airs (324).

    Overall, Austen’s short expressions of optimism for Elizabeth’s sisters only serve to augment the underlying theme that is related primarily by Elizabeth’s own personal changes. In Pride and Prejudice. the heroine’s ultimate realization of her prejudiced opinions and biased perspectives is largely brought about by her intimacy with Jane, the audacity of Lydia, and other interactions with her four sisters. Indeed, Elizabeth’s acquisition of greater empathy and understanding of others underlines Austen’s prevailing philosophy that, with the proper stimulus, a person’s countenance and perspective can evolve, often allowing him or her to achieve personal happiness on a very joyous, triumphant level.

    Auerbach, Emily. Searching for Jane Austen. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.

    Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: The New American Library, Inc. 1961.

    Unpleasant - definition of unpleasant by The Free Dictionary

    unpleasant

    unpleasant - disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings ; "an unpleasant personality"; "unpleasant repercussions"; "unpleasant odors"

    ill-natured - having an irritable and unpleasant disposition

    nasty. awful - offensive or even (of persons) malicious; "in a nasty mood"; "a nasty accident"; "a nasty shock"; "a nasty smell"; "a nasty trick to pull"; "Will he say nasty things at my funeral?"- Ezra Pound

    offensive - unpleasant or disgusting especially to the senses; "offensive odors"

    unpalatable - not pleasant or acceptable to the taste or mind; "an unpalatable meal"; "unpalatable truths"; "unpalatable behavior"

    displeasing - causing displeasure or lacking pleasing qualities

    pleasant - affording pleasure; being in harmony with your taste or likings; "we had a pleasant evening together"; "a pleasant scene"; "pleasant sensations"

    unpleasant

    References in classic literature ?

    Had you come into the room you might have supposed the old man had unpleasant dreams or perhaps indigestion.

    The truth was,--and it is Phoebe's only excuse,--that, although Judge Pyncheon's glowing benignity might not be absolutely unpleasant to the feminine beholder, with the width of a street, or even an ordinary-sized room, interposed between, yet it became quite too intense, when this dark, full-fed physiognomy (so roughly bearded, too, that no razor could ever make it smooth) sought to bring itself into actual contact with the object of its regards.

    In short, unpleasant as was my predicament, at best, I saw much reason to congratulate myself that I was on the losing side rather than the triumphant one.

    He was broad-shouldered and double-jointed, with short curly black hair, and a bluff but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air of fun and arrogance From his Herculean frame and great powers of limb he had received the nickname of BROM BONES, by which he was universally known.

    I could only get on at all by taking "nature" into my confidence and my account, by treating my monstrous ordeal as a push in a direction unusual, of course, and unpleasant. but demanding, after all, for a fair front, only another turn of the screw of ordinary human virtue.

    And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough.

    You meet them on the Line in time for the full flower of the Equatorial feeding season, having just returned, perhaps, from spending the summer in the Northern seas, and so cheating summer of all unpleasant weariness and warmth.

    The next unpleasant business was putting on the iron shoes; that too was very hard at first.

    They were not sure that it was unpleasant. this odor; some might have called it sickening, but their taste in odors was not developed, and they were only sure that it was curious.

    It was in vain that he said to himself that he had a right to do it,--that everybody did it,--and that some did it without even the excuse of necessity;--he could not satisfy his own feelings; and that he might not witness the unpleasant scenes of the consummation, he had gone on a short business tour up the country, hoping that all would be over before he returned.

    There was an unpleasant little episode that day, which for reasons of state I struck out of my priest's report.

    The plug hats were battered, the swallow-tails were fluttering rags, mud added no grace, the general effect was unpleasant and even disreputable.

    TOEFL Forum - Free Essay Evaluation - Please evaluate my essay

    Please evaluate my essay

    Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:40 pm

    Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People sometimes should do things, they do not enjoy doing. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

    Everybody understands life not going on base their plans and their desirable. I believe people should do things that they don't enjoy. I feel this way for two reasons. First, these help them to ready for obligated unpleasant and difficult situations. Second, increase their awareness. For these reasons, I think doing unfavorable stuffs are useful for everybody.

    To begin with, doing things that people don’t enjoy make people ready for difficult situations that happened in life. With these experiences they learn how handle them. They learn ability to solve problem. Everybody knows there aren't better ways to learn problem solution than practice them. On the other hand, they learn how to endure unfavorable situation and how to entertain themselves to pass problem easier. I believe that nothings more than real situation can help us to learn about life difficulty. I think we can't find better teacher than our real life and our experiences.

    Secondly, other benefits of doing things without enjoy are awareness. In these situations people aware about their ability. These are good test for them to be familiar with their power and weaknesses points. These awareness help them to work on their weaknesses and be better. Then next time in these situation they can do better job. I used to read papers and articles about ability to problem solution but I observed, I realize how much of these tips are proper for me and my power and I able to use them when I want to use them. I used those to increase my ability to have better life.

    In conclusion, I think having experiences in undesirable things are necessary. This is because these create readiness and awareness for people. Then people with do unfavorable thing can get useful experiences that help them to have better life. We can't omit undesirable and difficult situation but we can learn how to pass them with less harms and damages.

    Re: Please evaluate my essay

    Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:12 am

    Here's some comments:

    1. Your opening sentence is way off. I think you mean "Everyone understands that sometimes life does not go according to their plans and desires."

    2. You should probably put a "sometimes" in your second sentence.

    3. Try "First, doing these things helps. " in your third sentence. And "prepare" instead of "ready."

    4. And "unpleasant obligations" is what you mean to say.

    5. You need a subject in the sentence: "Second, it increases their awareness."

    6. "Stuffs" is not a word. Use "things" or some other word.

    7. ". helps people get ready for. "

    8. ". that happen in life."

    9. "how to handle them"

    10. replace "ability" with "how"

    11. Pluralize "problem." THINK: are you referring to one thing, or to more than one thing. I see this mistake over and over again in the essays posted here!

    12. And pluralize "situation" for the same reason.

    13. We don't "pass" problems. We "solve" problems. Or even "endure" problems. But never "pass."

    14. I don't understand the sentence "'I believe that nothings more than real situation can help us to learn about life difficulty." Try rewriting that.

    15. Try "Another benefit of doing things that we don't enjoy is increased awareness." You can omit "Secondly" if you use "another."

    16. ". people gain awareness of their abilities."

    17. Pluralize "test" for the same reason as listed above. Obviously you are talking about more than one test. More than one unpleasant situation.

    18. We don't use "power" in the way you did. Just try "abilities" instead.

    19. We say "weak points." Omit the "ness."

    20. "This awareness helps. "

    21. "problem solving" is better than "ability to problem solution."

    22. I can't follow this: "but I observed, I realize how much of these tips are proper for me and my power and I able to use them when I want to use them." Rewrite and perhaps break that into two sentences.

    23. ". I think that experiencing unpleasant things is necessary" sounds a bit better.

    24. Don't start sentences with "then." Use "As a result. " instead. It sounds much better.

    25. We don't use "omit" in the context you did. Just try "avoid"

    26. Again, we don't use "pass them." Check your dictionary for a more appropriate word. I don't know if you mean "endure" or "solve" or what.

    And I shall close for now. This list doesn't include every error, but it should get you started!