Society's Constraints in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Length: 431 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Society's Constraints in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Jane Austen has much to say about the society in which she lives, and
where her characters live. Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins are two
characters who demonstrate, through their actions and outlook on life,
the social and educational constraints of their society that prevent
them from making their way in the world.

Social constraints play an important role in the life of women in this
society. Not only do women have to marry, but also marry someone who
is of their social class. A "poor" marriage, that is one to a
different class, can ruin the reputation of the whole family. In
analyzing Charlotte's "strategic" and almost desperate marriage to Mr.
Collins, one can see how little freedom women in this society have.
Marriage is not an option; it is a necessity. Women are expected to
marry while still in their late teens or early twenties to a man,
preferably wealthy, and of good standing in society. If that type of
marriage is not attainable, then the girl is doomed to a life of
poverty and despair. Reputation and wealth are two forces that drive
the Bennett family. Without a suitable marriage, the Bennett girls
will not be able to count reputation or wealth as their blessings.

Charlotte's choice to marry Mr. Collins also reveals how little
education young women of this time receive; girls are educated in
proper, "cultured" behavior, and perhaps some literature…nothing more.
This lack of a real education leaves women few options as far as a
profession, other than a governess. If a woman cannot earn a living,
the only other option is marriage. Lack of education also leads to
another problem: without knowledge, a woman cannot forge her own path,
and make her own way in the world. In this time period, men are
expected to be educated, charming, and handsome; however, women are
only there to look pretty and please their husbands. This warped
"purpose" of women leads to a great lack of opportunity for women,

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Society's Constraints in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=117047>.
Title Length Color Rating  
The Role of Women in the Society Depicted by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice - 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 us a vast amount about society at the time. This, however, contrasts heavily with today's values and behaviours....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Women Essays] 3123 words
(8.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
How Society Viewed Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - How Society Viewed Love and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Jane Austen was born in 1775 and spent most of her life in the countryside in a village called Steventon, Hampshire. She was the daughter of a clergyman, Reverend George Austen and her mother was called Cassandra Austen. She had a brief education starting at the age of seven and ending at eleven, when she settled at home. Like women in Austen’s society, she had little education due to the beliefs at the time; the only education she would have received would likely have been to up her social status, through marriage....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Marriage Essays] 1893 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Society's Constraints in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay - Society's Constraints in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Jane Austen has much to say about the society in which she lives, and where her characters live. Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins are two characters who demonstrate, through their actions and outlook on life, the social and educational constraints of their society that prevent them from making their way in the world. Social constraints play an important role in the life of women in this society. Not only do women have to marry, but also marry someone who is of their social class....   [tags: Papers] 431 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay - To Be or Not to Be People are often seen basing their lives off of society’s standards. Many writers criticizes the influence that society has over its members. The romantic novelist Jane Austen satirizes her society and those who follow it. One of her most famous works, Pride and Prejudice, is a great example of this satire. Throughout the novel she explores the effects of society through her characters. In Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, she divulges the central theme of society and social class through the characters Elizabeth Bennet, Mr....   [tags: society standards analysis]
:: 5 Works Cited
1050 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay - Pride and Prejudice Essay: Own Prompt #8-The Obscurities of the Victorian Society In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen satirizes the superficially built society in Victorian Era by pointing out the flaws with the recurring themes of marriage versus love and gender roles through dramatic irony and character relations. All relationships and the idea of true love tend to be obscured by this materialistic society that is based on wealth, power, title, and connections. Jane Austen constantly paints the Victorian scene of the socialite women gathering to discuss about the idea of marriage as Charlotte Lucas points out that “there is much gratitude or vanity in every form of attachment that it is...   [tags: obscurities of Victorian society] 1268 words
(3.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - ... Gardiner. Mrs. Bennet never changes her motive to marry off her daughters. She is foolish, nosy, and simple minded. Mrs. Bennet cares mostly about societal rank and superficial concerns from the beginning of the novel. Mr. Collins, like Mrs. Bennet, is also very shallow and self centered as he is considered to be a “self-important, clergyman”(Wright 17), throughout the novel, as well. (Mr. Wickham, the enemy of Mr. Darcy, runs away with Lydia; little does Lydia know Wickham only cares about money.) Mr....   [tags: society rules for marriage, story analysis] 1318 words
(3.8 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay about Love in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - ... It is this first encounter with Mr. Darcy that makes Elizabeth create a negative impression of him. Elizabeth even sarcastically announces that she is “perfectly convinced … that Mr. Darcy has no defect” (Austen 50). Mr. Darcy on the other hand, refers to Elizabeth as “tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me” (Austen 12). Mr. Darcy informs Mr. Bingley, within the hearing range of Elizabeth that she is not worthy enough to warrant his attention. This remark wounded Elizabeth’s vanity and led to her prejudice against Darcy for the remainder of the novel....   [tags: the idiom, society, true love] 1019 words
(2.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice In pride and prejudice there are three main marriages that are focused on. The marriage of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Lydia and Mr. Whickam, and Jane and Mr. Bingley. The marriage of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is very different from the marriage of Jane and Mr. Bingley. The reason that the marriages are so different is because they both married for different reasons. Elizabeth is The second daughter in the Bennet family, she very intelligent and witty. Elizabeth has very good qualities she is lovely, clever, and can hold conversations....   [tags: Jane Austen Pride Prejudice] 925 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay - Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice “A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” write an essay on the role played by money and social rank in chapters 1-20of pride and prejudice....   [tags: Austen Pride Prejudice] 1444 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Class Consciousness in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice - Class Consciousness in Pride and Prejudice Originally written in the late 1700s, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice satirically depicts the universal ideals in Regency England, primarily regarding social class. Austen follows the development of an outspoken, middle-class British woman, Elizabeth Bennet, as she encounters and overcomes the many social barriers that separate her from her aristocratic neighbors. Throughout the novel, Lizzie must confront society’s class-consciousness, particularly with her family’s growing relationship with the wellborn Bingleys and their friend, Mr....   [tags: English Literature Pride and Prejudice] 1163 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]



both educationally and marriage-wise.

Mr. Collins's great need to marry any woman shows society's
expectations and constraints. Mr. Collins is a pious man, of little
social standing. To be more socially acceptable, he needs to marry
someone who was of a higher social standing than he is. After
Elizabeth rejects him, Mr. Collins comes upon someone who is just as
desperate to be socially acceptable as he is: Charlotte. Charlotte,
though quite poor, is of a higher social standing: her father is a
knight. Mr. Collins's marriage also shows how it is virtually
impossible, even more an educated man like Mr. Collins, to make his
own way in the world outside of marriage. In this society, marriage is
the only way to become greater. Mr. Collins may have been educated,
but in choosing to become a member of the clergy, he still needs to
find someone to marry. His landlady, Lady Catherine, is of good social
standing and pressures him to find a wife. This proves that for men,
even education cannot totally make them respectable in society; a
respectable marriage is the ideal.

As one can see, the lives of characters in Pride and Prejudice are
dominated by social constraints, which inhibit their ability to forge
their own path in the world.


Return to 123HelpMe.com