— Jane Austen, Persuasion (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
“Pride and Prejudice” discredits one of our most deeply held beliefs: the idea that emotions have an absolute validity. Feelings are not right or wrong, we say; they just are. Or rather, feelings are always right, because they are—and we always have a right to them. It is a notion that was promulgated by the same feminism that helped to elevate Austen to her current eminence. So much of the feminist struggle involved asserting the legitimacy of women’s feelings. Emotions—the reality of female discontent within the patriarchal system—were the bedrock, in a sense, of the feminist argument.
But in the story of Elizabeth and how she learned to change her mind, Austen tells us something different."
— William Deresiewicz, “Happy Two-Hundredth Birthday, ‘Pride and Prejudice’” (via thelifeguardlibrarian)