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From a reading of Jane Austen(TM)s short stories what do we learn about women(TM)s lives in the late eighteenth century?(TM)

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Introduction

'From a reading of Jane Austen's short stories what do we learn about women's lives in the late eighteenth century?' In Jane Austen's a collection of short stories "Love and Friendship", she shows us the lives of women in the late eighteenth century, and what they have to deal with. These short stories are written in epistolary (letter) form between women who were friends at the time, these letters show us what their lives were about and what was considered to be important to them. Jane Austen writes about marriage, status, personal views and the attitude to what she saw, she also uses humour in her letters showing us how shallow women were in that time. For young women in the late eighteenth century marriage was very important and a woman who did not get married was considered worthless, all women were expected to get married. There were many important reasons to get married for a woman living in this time, the most important reason being having money. If a woman had no money she would be considered as having a bad status, because women when they were with their parents had no possession of their own. In the three sisters Mary is not sure about marrying Mr Watts she does not like him but she still considers marring him because he has a lot of money. ...read more.

Middle

'Lesley Castle' demonstrates that it is important to have accomplishments in this time and it allowed them to get into a good marriage which was the most important thing in a young lady's' life in the late eighteenth century. Not many girls of the time attended school but the few that did attended boarding school, would not learn to be clever they would only learn things like sewing and singing. Margaret Lesley and Charlotte Lutterell both went to boarding school together, "it is four years since my removal from school." School was mostly for boys, some girls went to boarding school but the education was not very good because they did not need lessons and the teachers did not know what to teach them. Women in the late eighteenth century did not own anything or have any property for themselves. A woman's inheritance would be given to a distant male relative the woman would never be given the whole of the money. The only way women could get money was through marriage, Mary only wants to marry Mr Watts because "he has a large fortune and will make great settlements on me." She also expects the pinmoney; two hundred a year." Which Mr Watts only want to be "a hundred and seventy-five." When Mary agrees to marry Mr Watts she expects him to build her "an elegant greenhouse and stock it with plants... ...read more.

Conclusion

This show us that women in the late eighteenth century are very selfish, and their lives were very shallow. We have learnt from reading Jane Austen's short stories that women in the late eighteenth century had very little choice to what they could do because they had to marry to ensure that they would still have enough money to live. Life in the late eighteenth century for women was very much 'everyone out for themselves' and they all had to fight over having a rich man and material goods better than everyone else's. Jane Austen did not like living in this time we can tell this because of the humour she uses with the women to show how important money was to them in "The Three Sister" Mary is very indecisive whether she should marry Mr Watts or not. Today we find it hard to compare with how they lived in the late eighteenth century because it is so different to how we live now. I am glad that we live in a society today which is more accepting to women and how both male and female should be treated the same. I also believe that Jane Austen would prefer to live in the society that we live in today because Jane Austen always humours the women in her collection of short stories. ...read more.

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