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With particular reference to the novel opening, how does Jane Austen present the role of women in pride and prejudice?

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Introduction

With particular reference to the novel opening, how does Jane Austen present the role of women in pride and prejudice? Pride and prejudice was first published in 1893, this was a time when it just became acceptable for women to write and publish books. Pride and prejudice was set in the early 19th century in rural England. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet, their five daughters, and the various romantic adventures at their Hertfordshire residence of Longbourn. I feel that Jane Austen successfully portrays the Age of Reason through her characters in Pride and Prejudice. I think this was the main purpose Jane Austen wrote this novel was to criticise society and the role of women in the 19th century. Jane Austen's novel surrounds the lives of middle class woman at the time; the female characters are often associated with marriage and money. Firstly the views of marriage and social class in the society of 19th century England were very different from views in modern society of today. In 19th century England there were two main concerns about marriage, to marry for wealth and stability. ...read more.

Middle

Also Mrs Bennet is a character who lacks Common sense and basically represents women at the time. Mrs Bennet is always looking to judge other people ''did you ever meet such a proud, disagreeable man? ''Mrs Bennet's main ambition in life is to marry all her daughters off to wealthy men. Right through the novel Jane Austen emphasises on how women were desperate to get married. Jane Austen is the opposite of stereotype she proves this by writing a novel which challenges the thoughts of the shallow and superficial public. Women at the time of Jane Austen had little to do; there wasn't much a woman could do but gossip. Gossip plays a big role in pride and prejudice, because through gossip people could identify with social rankings. Mrs Bennet is a good example of a typical woman who gossips. Mrs Bennet's superficial personality Mothers had to give away their child to the wealthiest man known, Jane Austen makes it clear that she disagrees with this and thinks it's pathetic by creating characters like Lady Catherine and Charlotte and Mrs Bennet. Because of the law of entailment created marriage became a mockery of love rather than a declaration of commitment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Elizabeth's character represents values and attitudes of the 19th century. Throughout the novel her character develops, as she changes from disliking Mr Darcy to falling in love with him. '' It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife''. This quote sums up Jane Austen's thoughts towards marriage. Through the words of her novel Austen evidently criticises women in the 19th century I feel Jane Austen is a very brave novelist who confronted very controversial issues. Jane Austen presents woman as they are, she wrote the truth about how women were seen as weak and how the male population dominated everything. At the time image and social class was everything, and Jane Austen emphasises on this the whole time. Austen indicates through characters and literary devices how she disagrees with society. Austen mocks aristocracy through the presentation of Lady Catherine de burgh; she exaggerates her character to the full extent. Her arrogance is highlighted by the way she addresses other people. Jane Austen created effective characters like Elizabeth and Lady Catherine, they are crucial to the play as they both symbolize different types of woman. By Hannah Ali ...read more.

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