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Pride and Prejudice - review

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice- Stephanie Batt In Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' the main character is Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth receives two proposals, one from Mr Collins and the other from Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy is a wealthy man who is a friend of Mr Bingley. At the beginning of the novel Elizabeth is prejudice against Mr Darcy because he is proud, also because she believes he's reduced her sisters chances of marriage to Mr Bingley. Mr Collins is a cousin of the Bennet family; he is also the next male heir to the Bennet's house, Longbourn. Mrs Bennet's primary aim in life is to marry off all of her daughters to wealthy men. She believes in marrying for status and money and not just for love; this is the reason that Elizabeth does not respect her mother. Elizabeth finds her mother highly embarrassing at social events because Mrs Bennet has little discretion. She needs to marry her daughters off because their house is entailed to Mr Collins and when Mr Bennet passes away they will not own Longbourn, also because the Bennet sisters have little financial independence. It was important to marry in Austen's society because women had little financial independence; the only respectable job for a middle class woman was a governess. Women also had to marry because of their respectability. ...read more.

Middle

ladies who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time" Elizabeth tries to convince Mr Collins but she fails. Elizabeth begins to be rude towards Mr Collins, "you could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman who would make you so". Elizabeth emphasises how Mr Collins insulted her by emphasising he would not be happy with her or she with him. Austen tries to make Mr Collins seem comical, she makes him verbose. Also he is pompous and arrogant. When Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth she is very prejudiced against him, even before he enters the room, "intending to exasperate herself against Mr Darcy" shows how desperate she is to be prejudice against him. Elizabeth also tries to find faults from Jane's letters, "They contained no actual complaint...but in almost every line there was a want of cheerfulness" Elizabeth find no complaints about Mr Darcy in the letters but she can tell that her sister is not happy. Elizabeth is prejudiced against Mr Darcy because she believes he convinced Mr Bingley not to marry Jane, she can feel her sisters pain. Mr Darcy's actions tell us about his state of mind before he proposes to Elizabeth: "Hurried manner... he sat down for a few moments and then getting up, walked about the room." ...read more.

Conclusion

A woman who had little or no dowry to give a man was lucky to even receive a proposal, that's why many women ended up marrying a man they did not love. This in is contrast with today's woman: in this generation we tend to marry for love, this is because women today are more financially secure because they can work. Women had little power and were lower in status than most men; this is because men had most power. Men had more power because they could propose to a woman when a woman could not, also a man could vote and had the right to a divorce, unlike the woman and also men where more financially and economically independent than woman. Women were expected to marry younger in Jane Austen's society also, this because when a woman is younger they're generally more attractive and more likely to receive a proposal, also because they are more fertile when they are younger. Women also married younger to reduce the financial burden on the father and because there were little jobs available they had no real income. The morality of Jane Austen's society was a harsh and cruel one; you could not have sex with a man before marriage. This is like Lydia and Wickham, they eloped together and lived together without being married, this brought disgrace to the Bennet family. They eventually had to be married to reduce the shame on the Bennet family. Jane Austen's society in direct contrast to ours. By Stephanie Batt ...read more.

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