Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

861 Words4 Pages
During the time period of Regency England, the advancement in social hierarchy was dependent largely upon an ideal marriage, dictating the rest of a women’s life. Each character has different goals they strive for within marriage. The contrasting moralities of Elizabeth Bennet as opposed to Mrs. Bennet, Ms. Charlotte Lucus, and Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice can aid a reader in understanding the limited the roles of women as they strive for a worthy place in society. Elizabeth proves the social ability of women during this strictly male dominated time period. Austen is able to comment on the injustices within society through Elizabeth’s stance on the issue of her gender role in marriage, the indifference between herself and her male counterparts, and the juxtaposition between herself and Charlotte Lucus

During the novel Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet pressures her daughters to follow the societal normality by finding a husband that would secure a future. Her whole pursuit in the novel is to see her daughters married in return for a higher social positioning. Marriage and the Social Class are all important values that are deeply rooted in Elizabeth’s mother. She takes on the role of a matchmaker figure, attempting to pair up her daughters. Unlike Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet serves as a constant reminder of the importance of wealth and prosperity during this time. It is ironic, however, that during this pursuance Mrs. Bennet pushes away potential suitors. "Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes” (Austen 19) In contrast, Charlotte Lucus personifies a very opposing view of marriage than...

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...ates how she is equal with Darcy "In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal."(Austen, 208). This shows how she sees past Darcy’s social rank and truly loves him for his quality of character

It appears in the characters of Mrs. Bennet, Charlotte Lucus, and Mr. Collins that marriage is one based upon financial prosperity and social advancement. However, it is Elizabeth Bennet who portrays an opposing view to the societal norm during 19th century England. She lays the foundations of what a modern feminist may fight for today. For her time period, she reflects feminist attributes through to her choices of Elizabeth and how she finds happiness in her lifetime.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Scholastic Inc, 2007. Print.
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