The legacy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice lasts for two centuries, constantly capturing large audiences and pleasing them with a romantic story. Success of a book written in the 18th century for over two centuries is uncommon; however, one will understand the everlasting popularity and influence of Pride and Prejudice through an evaluation of the lifestyle in the 18th century, also known as the Regency Era. The reason why Pride and Prejudice remains prominent in our world today is embedded in the novel and concealed within the lifestyle.
Through the characters of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen provides readers information on the lifestyle in the 18th century. When Elizabeth visits Lady Catherine’s house with Charlotte, Lady Catherine requests for Elizabeth to play the pianoforte. Surprising to Lady Catherine, the Bennets did not emphasize in learning arts and music. Within this scene of the ...view middle of the document...
Women wore dresses that had simple colors, along with broad-brimmed hats with ribbon chin-straps. Men in the late 18th century wore much simpler clothing than those in the Georgian period. Dark coats replaced colorful, elegant suits. The knee breeches, stockings and buckled shoes that men wore in the Regency Era was tailored for horsemanship, allowing men to ride horses while dressed in their normal outfit. The changes in the Regency Era brought a new lifestyle; however, the 20th-21st century brought more changes once again. Women and men now wear t-shirts and shorts. Businessmen and businesswomen wear suits completely different than the fashion during the late 18th century.
Money played an influential role in marriage decisions during the Regency Era. Women married rich men to inherit their fortunes. Charlotte married Mr. Collins because she didn’t want to be a burden to her family. She needed financial support, and she found it in Mr. Collins. When Elizabeth rejected Mr. Collins’ proposal, Mrs. Bennett tried to force Elizabeth into marriage only because of his fortune. The chart beside shows the number of attempted marriages of different characters in the book.
The reason behind marriages in the 21st century did not change dramatically. Marriages based on wealth, looks, social class, and popularity still exists today; on the other hand, divorce rates has increased since the Regency Era.
Changes in education, fashion, and marriages have reshaped our lifestyles. In some ways, these changes positively and negatively impact our world. Importance of education applying to both genders benefits us because women have better skills for succeeding in our society. However, some cultures emphasize education too much. This results in over-stressed students. The modernization of fashion allows us to present ourselves differently than others, and make ourselves unique. Even so, the changes in fashion negatively affect us because people commonly misjudge others based on what they wear. Some not only judge others, but they also act prideful about their appearance.Overall, I believe that the changes in the 21st created more problems for everyone.