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context-Pride and Prejudice

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Context-Pride and prejudice Discuss what comment Jane Austen is making about her society's attitudes towards women and marriage through a variety of characters. Jane Austen Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 in Stevenson, Hampshire. The daughter of a clergyman, she was the seventh of eight children. Her formal education ended when she was just 11 years old, but her father, rather like Mr Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, had a good library and Jane used it well. Even as a teenager, her writing was lively and humorous. Although Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, she'd written an earlier version many years before - it was refused by a London publisher in 1797.While Austen wrote a great deal about marriage, she never married or had children herself, although she used to love spending time with her many nieces and nephews. ...read more.


'Lord, how I should like to be married before any of you; and then I would chaperone you about to all the balls' (In this time, an unmarried woman needed a married woman, known as a chaperon, to escort her to a ball). Marriage was the only way... Marriage in the time of Austen The wedding of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth The opening line of Pride and Prejudice is one of the most famous in English literature: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." This is typical Austen, who makes thought-provoking statements tinged with humour. In the story, Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off. The more 'respectable' the match, the better. ...read more.


that Darcy will marry her. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is horrible to Elizabeth for the same reason. Miss Bingley even lies to Jane about her brother being engaged to someone else, as she feels the marriage would reflect badly on her family. Mr Bennet realised many years before that his wife was completely unsuited to him, but the question of divorce would never have been raised. It was almost unheard of and would have brought shame on the family. At the time, marriage was seen as a social contract, often without the need for love. Lady Catherine had planned for her daughter to marry Darcy for many years, despite their indifference. And Charlotte Lucas marries Mr Collins simply because he can provide her with financial security. She doesn't love him, or even respect him. By contrast, the couplings of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy are sincere and heart-warming. ...read more.

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