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Pride and Prejudice - review

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice In the eighteenth century genteel woman were based around he home life. In this era women were not independent and had no right over the property that the family may own. The times were very patriarchal, males were much more dominant and inherited the property from their families, thus giving them wealth. Women had to find wealth in an alternative way, this being marriage. Marriage was seen as the only way for women to move on from their families. If women were not married they would stay with their families until they got married or remain spinsters and perceived as burdens on their families. Many marriages at this time were arranged. An arranged marriage looked at the persons family and connections as well as status and the individuals personal attributes, such as looks, personality and interests. The status and hierarchy system was in use at this time, this means that women rarely able to marry higher than the social status they were born into; and so a genteel woman would resolve to marry a gentle man, if they were lucky. For in the Bennet's case, the daughters were not promised much at the event of their fathers death and so had little wealth of their own which could tempt a suitable gentleman, even if they are of the same social status as the man. Many people of this time did not believe that one must love to marry. In Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice', such characters are portrayed by Mrs Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. Women would want to marry for financial stability, Charlotte Lucas shows her point of view on page 101 where she says; 'I am not a romantic you know, I only ask a comfortable home...' pages 100-101 Mrs Bennet however is much more interested in the persons social Rohima Ali 11C02 status and wealth rather than anything else. ...read more.

Middle

Lydia, Elizabeth's youngest sister of 16 years, informs Charlotte who does not look shocked. However se soon sees this as a chance for herself. She volunteers to entertain Mr Collins during a dinner party at Lucas Lodge, this was seen as kind of her as no one knew of her plan Rohima Ali 11C02 'Charlotte's kindness extended farther than her Elizabeth had any conception of' page 97 Charlottes plan had worked as the very next morning she was called upon by Mr Collins, who had snuck out of Longbourne, without the knowledge of any of his cousins to 'throw himself at her feet' page 97. Charlotte had manipulated the situation as she had met him 'accidentally in the lane' page 98. This shows how desperate Charlotte was to marry. Mr Collins proposal to Charlotte was a quick one, he calmly stated to her on entering the house 'to name the day that was to make him the happiest of men' page 98 Charlotte was not really interested in how quickly the marriage took place; '(Charlotte) cared not how soon the establishment were gained' page 98 This further shows her desperation. Charlotte Lucas was desperate to get an amiable marriage opportunity as she was perceived as old to be 'out' and unmarried at that time as she was twenty-seven years old. After Charlottes parents gave their consent and it was soon known that the two were engaged. The third proposal made in the story was again to Elizabeth. This time by Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy was seen as a very disagreeable, proud and conceited character when first met at the ball. Elizabeth was full of hate for him as he had slighted her at the ball; 'she is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me' page 11 We later see Elizabeth do the same to him when they next meet Rohima Ali 11C02 where she denies to dance with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also because she is not promised much at her fathers death she may never receive such an advantageous proposal. Jane Austen's views on marriage contradicted that of many people in the eighteenth century. Though the typical view of woman was to be sensible and graceful, Jane Austen created a character through which she gave her opinions. This character was Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth would have been seen as a very rude character in those times as she was not afraid to speak her mind. A character who is a direct contrast to Elizabeth is Charlotte Lucas, who fits into the stereotypical role of a woman. Elizabeth does not allow people to put her down, she speaks out against Lady Catherine when she asks about the so called engagement between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth. Elizabeth replies; Rohima Ali 11C02 'You may ask questions, which I shall not chuse to answer' page 273 Jane Austen's started to pave the way for the society to be more matriarchal. She believes that love is an important aspect in marriage and in Elizabeth she shows that by being determined to get what you want you will succeed. Austen was a feminist and believed that men and women were equal and the hierarchy system should not get in the way of marriage if there is love. Jane Austen shows her views when she says in the very first sentence of the novel; 'It is universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' page 5 This makes the reader sense an air of sarcasm in the tone of the sentence, and so the reader can see that these are the views of the author. Jane Austen provided the people in those times with a book with a woman as the predominant character, who has her own views and opinions of the society and its expectations of women. Rohima Ali 11C02 ...read more.

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