Women's Role In Pride And Prejudice

2568 words - 10 pages

Throughout the early 1800s, British women most often were relegated to a subordinate role in society by their institutionalized obligations, laws, and the more powerfully entrenched males. In that time, a young woman’s role was close to a life of servitude and slavery. Women were often controlled by the men in their lives, whether it was a father, brother or the eventual husband. Marriage during this time was often a gamble; one could either be in it for the right reasons, such as love, or for the wrong reasons, such as advancing social status. In 19th century Britain, laws were enacted to further suppress women and reflected the societal belief that women were supposed to do two things: marry and have children. In Pride and Prejudice, Austen portrayed a women’s struggle within a society that stresses the importance of marriage and strict behavioral customs. As evidenced by the Bennett daughters: Elizabeth and Jane, as well as Charlotte Collins, marriage for young women was a pursuit that dominated their lives.
The much acclaimed novel, Pride and Prejudice was written during the Regency Period (1790-1820). The Regency period is often overlooked because it is caught in the middle of two prominent time periods: The Georgian/ Baroque period and the Romantic/ Victorian period. Although brief, the Regency period made a lasting impact, because the early nineteenth century produced some of the most significant art and literature pieces of all time. Some of the most iconic symbols of this period include: Jane Austen’s works, most notably Pride and Prejudice, the artwork of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and the scandals of Lord Byron. Other prominent writers Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters grew up during this period. Perhaps known most for its elegant styles, the Regency period embraced England’s esteemed social ladder and behavior laws; every social interaction had its own procedure, from the way a woman holds her cup of tea to the way a woman holds a man’s hand to indicate interest. As in previous periods, the importance of reinforcing the prevailing social hierarchy was always preeminent. In the regency period, women did not inherit wealth nor were they empowered by their societies rules to create it. Thus women were forced to look to marriage to secure a comfortable financial future. Also, many historic events such as the French Revolution and the War of 1812 happened during this time. The Regency period embodied many issues and ideals that are prevalent throughout Pride and Prejudice. In order to gain a clearer perspective of the novel, it is important to understand the societal norms and structure of the Regency period.
Beneath the glamour of the Regency period was a society that relied heavily on its restrictive social hierarchy and the status of money. A woman from the Regency period had no other option but to find a husband, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortunate must be in...

Find Another Essay On Women's Role in Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen and Women's Roles in 18th Century England: "Pride and Prejudice"

1180 words - 5 pages inherited by a distant male relative (Mr. Collins). Mrs. Bennet has very little money, leaving Elizabeth and her four sisters with small dowries, and little chance of making good marriages. A young woman of poor means had a chance to marry only if she was striking in appearance and wit, and if she was lucky enough to attract a wealthy man who did not need to marry for money. Elizabeth Bennet was just such a young woman."Pride and Prejudice

The Role of Women in the Society Depicted by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

2867 words - 11 pages The Role of Women in the Society Depicted by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice 'Pride and Prejudice' is a novel which based in truth, explores relationships between young men and women two hundred years ago. It is not difficult for the reader to comprehend Jane Austen?s point of view, but she presents her arguments in a subtle way. Not only is it an admirable story of love lost and found, with an eventual happy ending, it also tells

Flattery in Pride and Prejudice

2147 words - 9 pages Flattery in Pride and Prejudice Since its composition in 1797, Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice has enjoyed two centuries of literary esteem not because of its witty dialogue or its tantalizing plot, but because of its universal themes that allow modern readers to identify with early Victorian life. Although the novel focuses on the etiquette of courtship, related social rituals are also

Courtship in Pride and Prejudice

1906 words - 8 pages Through the use of literary devices, Pride and Prejudice reveals Jane Austen’s attitude towards the novel’s theme of true love through the actions of the suitors; the process of courtship in the 1800s articulates characterization, foreshadowing, and irony. The novel opens with the line, “it is a truth acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of wife,” (Austen 1) which foreshadows the conflict of finding

Essay on Prejudice and Pride in Pride and Prejudice

1569 words - 6 pages Prejudice and Pride in Pride and Prejudice          In any literary work the title and introduction make at least some allusion to the important events of the novel. With Pride and Prejudice, Austen takes this convention to the extreme, designing all of the first and some of the second half of the novel after the title and the first sentence. The concepts of pride, prejudice, and "universally acknowledged truth" (51), as well as the

The roles of pride and prejudice in Pride and Prejudice

1413 words - 6 pages Becoming an immediate success in the contemporary novel public in early nineteenth century, Pride and Prejudice has proved to be the most popular of Jane Austen's novels and remains a classic masterpiece two centuries later. The title itself describes the underlying theme of the book. Pride and prejudice, intimately related in the novel, serve as challenges to the cherished love story of Darcy and Elizabeth. It is interesting to see how these

Characterization and Irony in Pride and Prejudice

3056 words - 12 pages Characterization and Irony in Pride and Prejudice       "Like all true literary classics, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is still capable of engaging us, both emotionally and intellectually" (Twayne back flap) through its characters and themes. This essay illustrates how Jane Austen uses the characterization of the major characters and irony to portray the theme of societal frailties and vices because of a flawed humanity. Austen

Compromise and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

1972 words - 8 pages Compromise and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice        It is not unusual for an individual to disagree with social customs or expectations. Some people are only happy when they can rebel against society. Most mature adults eventually realize that compromise is necessary to achieve happiness. This is the case in the early nineteenth century England setting of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. In the novel, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is a

Wealth and money in Pride and Prejudice

919 words - 4 pages Money makes the world go ‘round, so the common dictum says. At the start of the nineteenth century, when the novel pride and prejudice is set, this certainly seems to be the case. It is evident throughout the story that the theme of wealth and money is important in every tier of society and affects everything. From marriage, to social status, and from the differing sexes to the ways of life of different families. The novel begins with the well

Pride and Prejudice and Falling in Love

1997 words - 8 pages themes are prevalent throughout the novel, but they are not always as obvious nor are they as clear cut as they appear. Formerly in the extract Austen makes the distinction between vanity and `good' pride and we know that Elizabeth's prejudice against Darcy is based on his comments regarding her and the hurt that this caused her pride. No doubt, the mention that his `good opinion once lost is lost for ever' (line 14) reminds Elizabeth of his

Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

3131 words - 13 pages Explore the variety of attitudes towards love and marriage in regards to chapters one, nineteen, thirty-four and fifty-eight in Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice Introduction Jane Austen was born in 1755. She was the seventh of eight children. The family was well educated and affectionate. Her father was a clergyman and they lived at the rectory in the parish of Steventon in Hampshire. She wrote several novels one of which

Similar Essays

Women's Role In Society In Pride And Prejudice, By Jane Austen

3243 words - 13 pages to respect their elder, teachers, and parents but there not equal. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen teaches the reader the importance of reputation over the years by showing how women were expected to act with regards to their role in society in which we live. Women were never allowed to be dirty, as when Elizabeth shows up in a muddy dress, never should decline a gracious offer like playing some cards or a marriage proposal. And Jane

Women's Rights In Pride And Prejudice & Persuasion By Jane Austen

5497 words - 22 pages “Are women allowed to say No”, in Pride and Prejudice / Persuasion by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (whose original title was First Impressions) was written in 1796-1797 when Jane Austen was 21 years old and first published in 1813. It tells us the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, who will overcome the pride and prejudice they feel towards each other to find mutual happiness. Persuasion was written between 1815 and 1816. The main

The Role Of First Impressions In Pride And Prejudice

746 words - 3 pages The Role of First Impressions in Pride and Prejudice First impressions play a very important role in Pride and Prejudice. The narrative describes how the prejudices and first impressions (especially those dealing with pride) of the main characters change throughout the novel. From the beginning of the book in chapter 1, we see that Mrs. Bennet lives in a mercenary society where her whole life revolves around money. This

Role Of Minor Characters In Pride And Prejudice

658 words - 3 pages The Role of Minor Characters in Austen's Pride and Prejudice Perhaps the most striking part of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is her mastery of characters and the effects that each has on the plot, themes, and the other characters' actions. Though her minor characters are much less visible than the major ones, she still uses them as an integral part of the novel by weaving them into situations to enhance the plot and themes.Caroline