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Life for the young ladies in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" was easier than life for young ladies in the 21st century - Discuss.

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Introduction

Life for the young ladies in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" was easier than life for young ladies in the 21st century - Discuss Word Count: 1185 words. This was submitted to us as a GCSE (Age 15-16) essay. Subject areas: English : Classic Lit, Womens Studies Life for the young ladies in "Pride and Prejudice" was very different to how life is today in the 21st century. I hope to compare the lives of women living in these times and find if life really was easier in the time of "Pride and Prejudice". To decide this I will discuss the aspects of class and the social system, education, entertainment and leisure, transport and marriage that affect these young ladies. In the book "Pride and Prejudice" there are very obvious class distinctions and strict separations between working classes and upper classes. The strictness of this class separation was such that Darcy felt he would be betraying his family to express his true feelings for Elizabeth Bennet, who he thought to be of a lower class than him. It was not acceptable in the upper classes and aristocracy for someone to have to work for their money. ...read more.

Middle

There are now many more career opportunities for educated women as they are seen equal to men and an educated woman is not thought unusual. Throughout the book the young ladies seem to have a limited amount of entertainment and leisure activities. The Bennet sisters had no entertainment out of the home unless there was a Ball happening in Meryton, and this would only happen when there were officers in the town. Young ladies were not meant to go anywhere public without a chaperone and so this also limited what they could do. The Bennet sisters amused themselves with reading, embroidery and music, having not much else to occupy their time. In the 21st century there are far more things available to entertain young ladies. Much of their time is taken up by education or paid work, neither of which were applied to the ladies in "Pride and Prejudice". The range of activities available to spend free time doing has greatly increased and with the amount of transport now available, getting from place to place is no problem. Transport appears to have been quite a problem to the sisters in "Pride and Prejudice". ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that one of the reasons views on marriage have changed so dramatically from the writing of "Pride and Prejudice" to 21st century is that women are now able to support themselves. There is no longer much need for a woman to marry a man only for financial reasons as women can now have a carreer and earn equal amounts as men. I do not think that life for the young ladies in "Pride and Prejudice" was easier than life is in the 21st century, but neither do I think that it is simpler for young ladies living today. I think that aspects of the lives of the Bennet sisters was simpler than that of the lives today, but I also think that in some areas of their lives things were more pressured and difficult. The young ladies in "Pride and Prejudice" were expected to have very simple aims in their lives, to find a good husband and have a family. Today young women are expected to attain a good education, maybe going onto higher education and start a carreer. They are expected to pursue this carreer and get married then start a family. However, transport and communications in the 21st century are far easier and simpler than those in "Pride and Prejudice". ...read more.

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