Pride And The Prejudice Essay

1537 words - 6 pages

“The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.” (1) Said Mr Darcy. This is one of the world's most popular novels, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has charmed readers since its publication of the story of the amusing Elizabeth Bennet and her relationship with the aristocrat Fitzwilliam Darcy. During this essay it will explore the construction of characters, in particular it will be Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy also exploring the social situation in which the characters operate and exploring the cultural context (Victorian England).

The position of the writer Jane Austen, I find she is trying to say that power is an effect of social structure and not an absolute force imposed on it, nobody is completely powerful or powerless also that power is an effect of unequal relations between people that society recognises as people belonging to certain groups e.g. gender, sexuality, age or profession. Power is related to class and class is related to reputation. The lines of class are strictly drawn. While the Bennett’s, who are upper middle class, they may socialize with the upper-class people like Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. The main discourse of power represented in this book is Wealth, Class, Family, Marriage and Gender. These are all significant in this book because Pride and the prejudice was written in the 18 - 19th century, (the classic English society), “where in the rural England it was dominated economically and socially by the landowners whose vast estates were the core of rural life”(2), other being men. When females where only meant to maintain there own social and finical reputation by getting married to someone in there class or above. Men in particular in in Victorian England, there men usually kept up appearance, chew with mouth closed, did not interrupt other while talking, truthful, self-expecting, mindful of others, never exaggerated his wealth nor speak carelessly of it and pleasant. (3)

During this time period there was no equality like between the people you see these days, back then it was all about wealth, class, and power. It was men who often had more power over women in the society for example Mr Bingley, who was processed with good fortune in the book. In some rare cases there may be women who have done well with their fortune to provide a secure life for themselves for example Lady Catherine de Bourgh who is Mr Darcy’s aunt and is the owner of Rosing’s. People who were often disempowered are basically all women. Women could not get money except by marrying for it or inheriting it. Therefore, “a woman who did not marry could generally only look forward to living with her relatives as a `dependant'”(4), so that marriage is pretty much the only way of ever getting out from under the parental roof. A good example for this is the marriage between Mr. Collins and Charlotte is based on economics rather...

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