Pride and Prejudice.

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Pride and Prejudice

        Pride and Prejudice, this novel was written by Jane Austin between 1796 and 1797. The book captured the situations at the time; with this she really captured the troubles and the family values in the late 17th century.

        The main issue highlighted in the story were the responsibilities of women at this time, women were expected to marry and have children with men they may not have been happy with, (this is shown later in the book). Unfortunately for the women, the men at this time were in a short supply, this was due to the extreme large amount of men in the armed forces, fighting abroad. At home the story wasn’t any easier, the mortality rate for girls was much higher than it was for boys, meaning in later life there were to be more females than census men.

         The expectations at this time viewed that women were to marry respected men and have children; they were not to divorce or elope.

Due to the lack or height of status the importance of marriage to pair rich family’s together, was incredibly high. For example if a daughter marries a less than standard man the whole family would be disgraced, and if the pair were to elope the family would be crushed with embarrassment.

        Among the well – to – do at least, marriage was much like a business transaction. The great families saw marriage as a mean of forming alliances and power. Even amongst lesser families, marriage contracts could include complex financial conditions. However, by the end of the eighteenth century, young people exercised more freedom of choice. For women, marriage was often the only means of social improvement, bar romance. But the involvement of romance would include the mention money and status.

         The women would not have much trouble finding suitable men due to the regular desirable balls held at rich house holds and

Town halls.

        However, there was a draw back, the only way that a woman would get an invitation to the said balls, was that the male parent or guardian would have to introduce his daughters to the male host of the ball. This way they are polite, meaning that further invitations were given.        

These balls were the centres of all main social events, these were the places where the women could socialise and congregate with men. The women took a serious eye on the importance of attending these said events.

        The most encouraged role was to be the mother, this figure was to be respected and admired.

The mother also takes an important role in the ‘dating’ process. She mostly feels that she has one main sole purpose in life; this is to marry her daughter/s to men, and very respectable men at that. The mothering figure in Pride and Prejudice was Mrs. Bennet, married to Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bennet like many fathers of that era found it quite important (financially) to encourage the young women to marry the most respected and rich men. If their financial situation was doing well, it may be the family’s estate at risk, as shown in Pride and Prejudice. The Bennet’s estate Longbourn, was not to be habited by the Bennet’s when Mr Bennet dies, because Mr and Mrs Bennet did not have a son, they have no male relative to inherit the estate. This caused a large problem to the Bennets because the nearest relative was the incredibly sleezy cousin Mr Collins, who is disliked by all of the daughters in Longbourn.

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        In this essay I am planning to research and investigate the proposals, the wanted and the actual marriages of characters in the book Pride and Prejudice.

        I will start by introducing you to the characters in the book.

There are about nine main (important) characters I will have to enlighten you about.


Elizabeth Bennet

        Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of the novel, is twenty years old and is the second oldest of the Bennet sisters. She is her father’s favourite and has inherited his wit, independence and intelligence. It is the liveliness of her mind and sense of humour ...

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