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How does Jane Austen present the role of Women in Pride and Prejudice?

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Introduction

How does Jane Austen Present the Role of Women in Pride and Prejudice? Pride and Prejudice is an incredibly famous novel written by Jane Austen. The book was first published in 1813, this was a when it had only just become acceptable for women to write and publish books. The major theme in 'Pride and Prejudice' is making a good marriage. In the period when Jane Austen lived society was structured, society was ruled by class and wealth, marriages were based on reasons other then love. Many married to gain status or financial security. Marriage almost became an economical transaction suiting the parents of those involved. As times have changed societies structures have lessened and class is no longer perceived in as much importance. As the roles of women have changed so have the roles of marriage, financial independence and rather than marrying early people take time and consider love as the most important factor in marriage. Jane Austen uses many characters all related in some way to show that marriages should not be for love and sometimes should be for love. Jane Austen believed there to be three different social classes at her time. What class you were put in depended on a couple of things, for example, how much money you get every year, where your money comes from and also where you live. ...read more.

Middle

They used people to gain social status in society, and for example, Mr. Collin's used to name drop to gain respect from others, when frequently it would backfire on him, and the people would either end up laughing at him or disliking him entirely. Jane Austen gives Mrs Bennet a comical representation. There are several characters that are continually made fun of satirically. The novel starts with a good statement, "It is truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." This is as if it is set in stone, and believed by a lot of the characters, such as Mrs. Bennet, Lydia and Charlotte Lucas. By saying this, it is showing the woman to be shallow, and only really caring about the material things in life, such as how much money a man has. The more money he has, the more appealing he is to marry and not caring about love. In 'Pride and Prejudice' the author, Jane Austen is critical of conventional women like Mrs Bennet, who lack intelligence and are narrow minded. From the very beginning of the novel, Mrs Bennet comes across as a woman obsessed about marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

After a refused proposal from Elizabeth, Mr. Collins hastily moves on to her best friend, Charlotte Lucas who accepts. Mr Collins haste to pursue marriage in the misguided belief that it would enhance his reputation as a clergyman and "add greatly to my happiness". This shows that he is a very selfish man, as he is not marrying for love. Jane Austen presents the role of women in 'Pride and Prejudice' through her characters and by using literary devices. This is a very effective method because she has many different characters in different levels of society who have different views towards each other. The main women in the novel are Elizabeth, Lady Catherine and Lydia. I have chosen these as the main women as they sum up the role of women. Jane Austen presents each one well and how she wants them to be. Elizabeth is the heroine and goes against the whole stereotypical views of women in that period of time. I believe that Elizabeth was a brilliant character and she has helped women to think about whether they will marry for love or money. Sometimes women can be forced into marriage that I believe was the situation with Charlotte because if she didn't accept Collins she may never be asked again. Elizabeth took a risk and ended up in complete happiness marrying Darcy. Arjun Chandel Pride and Prejudice Coursework ...read more.

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