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With Particular Reference To The Novel Opening, How Does Jane Austen

1131 words - 5 pages

With particular reference to the novel opening, how does Jane Austen
present the role of women in pride and prejudice?

Pride and Predujice

With particular reference to the novel opening, how does Jane Austen
present the role of women in pride and prejudice?

Pride and prejudice was first published in 1893, this was a time when
it just became acceptable for women to write and publish books.

Pride and prejudice was set in the early 19th century in rural
England. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet, their
five daughters, and the various romantic adventures at their
Hertfordshire residence of Longbourn.

I feel that Jane Austen successfully portrays the Age of Reason
through her characters in Pride and Prejudice. I think this was the
main purpose Jane Austen wrote this novel was to criticise society and
the role of women in the 19th century.

Jane Austen's novel surrounds the lives of middle class woman at the
time; the female characters are often associated with marriage and
money.

Firstly the views of marriage and social class in the society of 19th
century England were very different from views in modern society of
today. In 19th century England there were two main concerns about
marriage, to marry for wealth and stability.

In the novel, Jane Austin stressed that marriage was not an act of
love for most people in that age but and merely an act of survival,
high ranking, and a place in society. Strong evidence which very well
exemplify the general feelings against marriage for the period is the
marriage of Charlotte Lucas to Mr. Collins. As she quoted:" I am not
romantic you know. I never was'' yet she still agrees to marry Mr
Collins. Charlotte is the main representative of a typical predictable
woman who seeks fortune over love. Jane Austen uses Charlotte's
character to pass judgment on women.

Such concern with marriage also represented the social inferiority of
women and the clear distinction between male and female roles in the
society. No professions were open for women of the genteel classes, so
independence on the woman's hand almost never occurred. The only
profession available was that of being a housewife, Therefore women
had to marry their life into money, happiness and a secured future.

Jane Austen also personifies this trait of pride in several minor
characters. Lady Catherine is one of the main offenders, her airs;
arrogance and pride are fuelled by other characters like Mr. Collins
who is there to satire proud people and their followers. Lady
Catherine's bullies Elizabeth in an effort to dissuade her from
marrying Darcy as she argues "are the shades of Pemberley to be thus
polluted?" This is an act of extreme arrogance as a result believing
that she is more important and should be respect and honour her.

Jane Austen throughout the novel is very critical of conventional
women; she created characters that lack intelligence and are narrow
minded like...

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