Jane Bennet most exemplifies the traits and fits the mould of an ideal eighteenth-century Englishwoman, by which she ultimately finds her happiness. Amiable women of this time possessed “improved understanding and gentle manners…[and a] good sense”. Vapidity and moroseness were “deadweights [of] every kind…” on the social scene, and should be replaced with joy and sprightly conversation as “female conversation in its best form” was charming and alluring (Fordyce 396-397). Other than being the “most beautiful creature [Mr. Bingley] ever beheld”, Jane is kind and good-natured (Austen 50). She desires to see the best in others, shown when she stays neutral about Wickham and Mr. Darcy’s feud and suggesting that it must have been a misunderstanding with neither one being at fault. Upon meeting Mr. Bingley, Jane holds his attention throu...
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...dern thinking, self-preservation, even feminism. The guides may have existed, but females should still take part in determining their own happiness rather, even if it meant new age thinking and breaking a rule or two.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Robert Irvine. Peterborough: Broadview Press Ltd, 2002.
Fordyce, James. "Sermons to Young Women." Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Robert Irvine. Peterborough: Broadview Press Ltd, 2002. 392-402.
Gregory, Dr. John. "A Father’s Legacy to his Daughters." Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Robert Irvine. Peterborough: Broadview Press Ltd, 2002. 402-412.
Kanner, Barbara, ed. The Women of England: From Anglo Saxon Times to the Present. Hamden: The Shoe String Press, 1979.
Tague, Ingrid H. Women of Quality: Accepting and Contesting Ideals of Femininity in England, 1690-1760. Rochester: Boydell Press, 2002.
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