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

Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...


Explore in detail how Austen creates an untypical regency woman through the views and actions of the character Elizabeth Bennett. Pride and Prejudice was first published on the 28th of January 1813, it is one of the most famous of Jane Austen's novels and is one of the first romantic comedies in the history of the history of the novel. The manuscript was first written between 1796 and 1797, it was initially called 'First Impressions' but it was never published under that title. The novel opens with the line, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife". In the late 18th century England, women were downgraded to the minor roles in society in relation to property and social responsibilities. For example, women were not allowed to visit new arrivals to the town (such as Mr. Bingley) until the male, head of their household, had done so first. Women were under enormous pressure to marry for the principle of securing their financial futures and making valuable connections between their families. Consequently, marriage, although it is romanticised, was in many ways a financial contract and social agreement, rather than a subject of love. Although Jane Austen did not condone loveless marriages, as she stayed single all her life, she did approve of matches having equal opportunity in a range of aspects such as wealth, social status, love and character. In Pride and Prejudice, wealth, social status, integrity and physical attractiveness are portrayed as factors that will affect a woman's likelihood for a good quality marriage. ...read more.


Mr Collins is a good example of a higher class man and in Chapter 19 he goes to visit Elizabeth and she doesn't want to stay in the same room as him on her own because she doesn't like him but Mr Collins thinks it is because she doesn't believe she has high enough status to be in a room on her own with him. Elizabeth says in the presence of Mr Collins that 'he can have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear', Mr Collins interprets this to mean that he is too higher status to be able to say anything to her in private, when really she just doesn't want to talk to him. Mr Collins likes to think of himself as a very important person in society and when he says 'your modesty' he is trying to make Elizabeth think that he is a great man, as he is about to propose. Elizabeth rejects this proposal immediately, although Mr Collins insists upon it. Mr Collins suspects that this is Elizabeth's way of saying that she does want to marry him but she is merely trying to make him more interested in marrying her by rejecting him. This rejection is very untypical of a woman of her time, any typical woman would have accepted straight away as Mr Collins is a high-class, respectable man. The main theme of Pride and Prejudice is marriage; lots of people get married within the duration of the book. Because of the Bennett's low status, they aren't as likely to get married to rich, successful men. ...read more.


Although her character was created in 1813, I think that Elizabeth Bennett is very much a modern woman, she is not a typical regency woman in any way, she has her own opinion and she has no fear to voice it. A typical regency woman would never say a thing if she disagreed with a man, it just wasn't acceptable. However, Elizabeth doesn't feel the same sense of where her place in society is as much as where the other women do. A perfect example of this would be in chapter 34 when Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, the typical thing to do would have been to accept the proposal or at least reject it politely but Elizabeth continues to argue her case against rejecting the proposal, she says, 'I have never desired your good opinion ad you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly.' She talks to him like no other woman would, she talks to him as if she is of the same or of higher status than he is which is of course not true in that day of age. This makes her character truly an untypical regency woman. I have learnt a lot from Elizabeth Bennett, she should have been the same as everyone else and followed the 'rules' of how she should have acted but she didn't, she spoke her mind and didn't care about how anyone else would react or what they would think of her. I like her character for this because I believe nobody should pretend to be someone they aren't just because it's the 'right thing to do' so I think she is a very good character to have been created for this point. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abi Bann. 10Johnson. 1 ...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)

    happening" and "what Emma thinks is happening" converge and Emma's progress from self-delusion to knowledge is complete. By analyzing the plots of 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Emma' and 'Pride and Prejudice', we observe that Austen's theme-her subject matter revolves round courtship and marriage in each of her novels.

  2. Importance of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

    by the actions of Lydia, Jane or Mrs Bennett however upon learning of Mr Collins' proposal states "Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins... And I will never see you again if you do."

  1. Pride and Prejudice chapter 19. In this chapter we see Elizabeths response towards ...

    Bennet's speech to emphasize her happiness and joy as she was pausing after each sentence. However when Elizabeth replies, Austen's shows the readers her rudeness when she refuses to stay alone in the room with Mr. Collins, she says "Dear madam, do not go. I beg you will not go.

  2. The Impact of First Impressions - Pride and Prejudice

    Following the pattern of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Wickham's opening character fooled Elizabeth. Unlike Darcy, however, Elizabeth's initial notion of his personality was much better, and morally sounder than that of the real Wickham. Upon meeting Wickham, Elizabeth thought him to be a gentleman.

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

    Austen shows us here that her heroine has such prejudice towards him, because he has so badly hurt her pride. Austen then contrasts Elizabeth, to her older sister Jane's. Her first impressions are in correct in the majority of cases.

  2. What Does the Concept of Dignity mean to Stevens?

    Despite his father always being detached, he ironically asks, "Have I been a good father?" However, Stevens coldly dismisses his gesture, and in doing this, he loses any chance of a positive relationship with his remaining family. Furthermore, it is his arrogant ignoring of Mr Cardinal who tells him of

  1. Irony in "Pride and Prejudice"

    that is revealed by passages such as these has an irony of its own: in the very first chapter of a novel based on marriage we see a dysfunctional marriage in which the "continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly reprehensible".

  2. The presentation of speech and thought in Pride and Prejudice

    Bennet replied that he had not. "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it." Mr. Bennet made no answer. "Do not you want to know who has taken it?"

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