• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Contextual Factors in Pride and Prejudice(TM) influence the characters. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


Contextual Factors in 'Pride and Prejudice' influence the characters. Do you agree? There are many contextual factors in Pride and Prejudice that certainly influence the characters, in the way the characters behave and also in the way that they are viewed. A few of the main factors are money, marriage and the role of women and these can be seen as a few of the novel's themes. However, these factors do not always influence all of the characters. I will explore the different contextual factors in the novel and come to the conclusion as to whether I agree with the statement. Money is a highly influential factor in Pride and Prejudice, so much so, that the narrator is very careful to give financial details of every character to ensure that the reader has an idea of the social standings of all the characters and their placement in society. As the Bennet family and the Lucas family have less money, this means they are of a lower class than most of the other families in the book, for example the Darcys and the Bingleys. This means that the daughters in these families are less likely to be offered a proposal of marriage, as the classes tend not to mix and the possible crossing of social boundaries seems insurmountable. ...read more.


Property can also be seen as a beneficial factor that influences the perception of characters because at this time the larger the estate then more money was earned. This can be seen in the description of Mr Darcy in chapter 3, where the people at the ball thought very highly of him when they heard about the size of his estate in Derbyshire, which directly relates to his earnings. A contextual factor that influences all the women characters in the novel is marriage. A perfect example of this is in Charlotte Lucas marrying Mr Collins, as she does not marry for love, she marries him to be financially secure and to have a place in society. This can be seen in the quote by the narrator describing Charlotte, "who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment". This shows that Charlotte married only for an estate and money, so that she could establish herself in society as women were looked down upon if they were not married. As the life expectancy for women in the early 1800's was around the mid to late 30s and Charlotte was 28, she saw that marriage was the only honourable provision for a woman in her position and wealth. ...read more.


mind" and the spirited freedom of her thinking about her world, even in spite of the pressures cause by its snobbery and narrowness of society. In conclusion, the contextual factors do influence many of the characters in the novel, but some of these characters are able to overcome the pressures of society and cross the social boundaries. By using Elizabeth as a main character, Austen is able to highlight these factors as she is not influenced by them and causes others around her to rebel against the norm. The main character highlights what is expected of women and the 'norms and values' in society during the nineteenth century by behaving in an unacceptable way. The fact that in chapter eight, when Elizabeth walks to Netherfield to visit her sister, and her appearance is deemed improper by the Bingley sisters, "her petticoat, six inches deep in mud", is one of the main reasons why Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth, shows that some men prefer women with an independence of mind and a free spirit. This is not in agreement with society, where it is believed women should depend on men and all act very similar with no specific purpose as they are just possessions of men. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Plot-Construction of Pride and Prejudice

    4 star(s)

    The sub-plots are also thematically unified. The theme of love and marriage is exemplified through the plot and the sub-plots. Jane Austen uses the dramatic narrative mode and irony so effectively to build her complex plot that it would not be amiss to say that she "is the most perfect dramatist who never wrote a play".

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Is it possible to see Elizabeth Bennet as a feminist heroine?

    3 star(s)

    that her and Wickham's marriage shall take pace 'some time or other ... it does not much signify when'. However it is clear Austen disapproves of her attitude, and means for the reader to disapprove of her, through the objective narrator; a voice condemning her as 'always unguarded and often uncivil'.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How far do you agree that Jane Austens novel Pride and Prejudice is no ...

    3 star(s)

    'novel's are usually described as social comedies, but the fact is that some come close to tragedy...', and in fact, though it did end with the best case scenario for Lydia, she was left to spend her life trapped in a loveless marriage, as 'his affection for her soon sunk into indifference'.

  2. Do you believe that Austen's final title; Pride and Prejudice is a more appropriate ...

    Many of her characters overlook this just as it is overlooked society today. She manipulates us with her use of language. The earliest example of this would be Mrs. Bennet. With Mrs. Bennet Austen uses the structure of her novel top show the woman's worse qualities to start off with,

  1. Discuss the Relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor and its Presentation. In What Ways ...

    They have not seen each other for a long time now, and no real emotion has been shown. I think the audience may be moved by the fact that their child is the first thing they mention however, showing that they care for it. John says, "You are a-marvel, Elizabeth".

  2. Importance of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

    Girls would worry about being considered an 'old maid' beyond the age of 20 which explains the desire that Austen presents Charlotte to have in 'catching' Mr Collins and the warning that Mr Collins gives Elizabeth, who upon rejection of Mr Collins' proposal is already 21.

  1. How does Jane Austen present the themes of love and marriage in the novel ...

    She believes that she has yet again misled Harriet Smith into thinking of the wrong partner. Emma did not damage Harriet Smith by setting her up for another heartbreak. Rather, Emma's great fault is that she made Harriet believe that she could desire an unreasonable social status.

  2. Timeless Love in 'Pride and Prejudice'.

    pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon that establishment were gained.? (Chapter 22, Paragraph 2) Charlotte is not concerned for his happiness; she was only interested in what Mr. Collins could do for her. As it went during this time a marriage like Charlotte and Mr.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work