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GCSE essay "Pride and Prejudce"

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Match making in "Pride and Prejudice" English novelist Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' was published in 1813, although it was initially called 'First Impressions.' Pride and Prejudice is a love story that is both humorous and deeply serious yet still remains an exciting and suspenseful story. The novel does not question or challenge the inferior position allotted to women in early nineteenth-century life. Upper class women could not work and thus are economically dependent upon men. For women, success is defined only in terms of marriage and domestic affairs. In this world marriage is a complex institution; young teenage women are considered 'out' in society (suitable for a husband) after they attend their first dance. For most women, the choice of a husband is the most significant decision they will make. Because few women hold jobs, those who do not marry may live lonely lives. For this reason, Mrs Bennet is keen to have her daughters to be married off as soon as possible. 'The business of her life was to get her daughters married.' Mrs Bennet is a 'women of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper.' Whereas in contrast, her husband, Mr Bennet was, 'so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve and caprice.' ...read more.


Lydia, is immature yet comes across as over confident but has a false unawareness. The sixteen-year-old speaks recklessly, acts offensively, and must gratify her impulses instantly. Her hunger for attention damages the family reputation at every public occasion. During every dance, in the novel, Lydia is loud and flirtatious and has an infatuation towards Militia men. Her behaviour would seem extremely unconventional to others, yet she disregards how she might be looked upon. She is also unaware of the repercussion of her unconventional actions that might lead to her and her sisters not getting married. Wickham, on the hand, is an officer who at first appears charming and trustworthy. He possesses "a fine countenance... and very pleasing address." He is also particularly handsome "his appearance was greatly in his favour." His good looks and charms can be deceitful, he has a two-sided personality, one of which he very cunningly puts on, in order to conceal the other. His charms don't just work on Lydia but also her older sibling, Elizabeth, who falls for him instantly and is very sympathetic when she is led to believe Darcy deceived him. Wickham recounts how Darcy unjustly kept him from receiving the large inheritance Darcy's father had left for him. ...read more.


Historically, the aristocracy and gentry mixed freely but tended not to cross lines for marriage and his arrogant Aunt Catherine expects him to keep with tradition and marry within the aristocracy. Elizabeth's visit to Darcy's home in Derbyshire, and the resolution is both plausible and satisfying. Darcy proposes again to Elizabeth with new humility. Shamed, Elizabeth recognizes many of her misjudgements and accepts Darcy's proposal. Elizabeth and Darcy, a union of the gentry and the aristocracy, show themselves to have become leaders in their society. Their personalities soften and blend beautifully. Their relationship, a combination of attraction and contempt, certainly one of the most exciting in all literature. Pride and Prejudice in general terms, is a literary work that uses irony and humour to expose human or social faults, existing not only during the period of the novel but also in society today. One such fault in society is marriage, Jane Austen explores the different types of marriages and causes of such marriages, be they based on finance, lust, love. Through its vivid characters, Pride and Prejudice contrasts many human qualities: depth and superficiality; honesty and dishonesty; pride and humility; independence, selfishness and generosity. The appeal of the novel is that it considers universally felt emotions, feelings and issues that will always be experienced. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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