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Explore in detail how Elizabeths views and actions are not of a Typical Regency Women.

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Introduction

Explore in detail how Elizabeth's views and actions are not of a 'Typical Regency Women.' It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife - Pride and Prejudice opens with one of the most famous sentences in English literature and has proved to be one of the most popular novels in the English language. This famous sentence also reflects on the novel as it already gives us the knowledge of what the novel is based on and it describes Ms Bennet's view on marriage and why she is so energized when a young bachelor moves into her area. Jane Austen was born in 1775 at a small town in Southwest England, She was taught at home in lessons of music, writing, drawing, painting and needlework. Jane loved reading and this led her to being a very successful writer so she published her books; some of which were Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice which was published in 1813. This book became a popular novel with its acts of pride, prejudice and modern views on marriage. In this essay, I am going to analyse the ways in which Elizabeth Bennet is shown not to be a 'typical regency woman'. The title 'Pride and Prejudice' refers to the way in which Elizabeth and Darcy first view each other. The term 'pride' means a form of stubbornness, honor, self-respect, self-satisfaction and a feeling of importance. Whereas 'prejudice' is the process of pre-judging, judging someone on first impressions. It is also a form of stereotype or coming to a judgment on something without learning about it. These two terms are reflected in the novel as a wealthy single man, Mr. Darcy, having too much pride and a young out-spoken lady, Elizabeth Bennet is prejudiced for the way she views Mr. ...read more.

Middle

In the beginning, Darcy's personality was described to us as proud, arrogant and conceited; we were told that he was the most disagreeable man ever, although this changed from Elizabeth's point of view further on in the novel. Nevertheless, Elizabeth's outlook on marriage is similar to Darcy's; they both believe in love and don't trail in their tradition for instance; marrying a man of fine wealth and a good status or marrying a woman with equal or a higher status than you. When Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, he is almost certain that there will be no rejection from her to his proposal. The quotation "His sense of her inferiority was dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit." proves my point perfectly because Jane Austen is stating that Mr Darcy is saying he sensed Elizabeth's weakness meaning that her weakness would make her accept the proposal. There is another quote from Elizabeth's point of view which is "...he had no doubt of a favourable answer." This quote suggests that Elizabeth could tell that Darcy thought she would say 'Yes' by his haughty and protesting manner. This was another reason why Elizabeth despises Darcy - because he thinks he's superior and doesn't consider being rejected from a lower status family. This action of Elizabeth's confirms that she is very different compared to typical regency women such as Miss Bingley who would not think twice about Darcy's proposal according to her admiration for Mr Darcy. But Elizabeth rejected a very wealthy proposal from an upper-class man that would have increased her family status in society. By accepting this proposal; Elizabeth would have been well-known by wealthy and high-class people, she would have had a very luxury lifestyle as well as a fine chance of pleasure; however Elizabeth believes in love and shows that she can't marry a man considering his wealth and status. ...read more.

Conclusion

Elizabeth is shown to be a woman full of pride and she is also prejudiced towards Darcy. During the first half of the novel, we acknowledge that Elizabeth is an independent woman that detests Darcy for being proud, arrogant and conceited but throughout the novel, Elizabeth realises that her judgment of Darcy was incorrect and she starts to fall in love with him. Whereas Darcy is filled with pride for being wealthy and having a high status in society for which he is prejudiced against Elizabeth by judging her family and thinking that they should behave accordingly. His manner changes as he falls in love with Elizabeth after acknowledging her personality and different ness compared to other regency women of his league. Although Elizabeth's character was created in 1813, my opinion is that Elizabeth Bennet is a modern day women. I believe this considering her actions in the novel such as making sure she doesn't give Darcy the satisfaction of her admiration and rejecting Darcy's wealthy proposal. Her manners in the novel show that she is an open-minded women who is out-spoken to make sure her opinions are heard and that is exactly what a modern day woman would have done, especially taking into account her response to Darcy's proposal. Elizabeth does not accept Darcy's proposal until she falls in love with him; this is precisely what a women from the 21st century do is she were in Lizzy's shoes. There is a lot to be learnt from Elizabeth Bennet in the novel of Pride and Prejudice some of which are: Making sure your opinions are heard, support what you believe in and have pride in what you believe in, marry a man when you love him not because of his wealth and position because you may have a luxury lifestyle but an unhappy marriage, and finally to make my own decisions and to take chances in life whether your right or wrong; making major decisions without the opinions of others. This novel is one that was created in 1813 but surprisingly included the opinions of women in the 21st century. ...read more.

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