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

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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.
In particular the role of women then was quite different to the role
of women in the present day. Pride and Prejudice is mainly concerned
with women of a particular social class - the Bennett Family are not
poor, they are above the working class, but they are not extremely
rich either. Jane Austen explores the position of young women in this
situation by telling a story about what seams to be love, but is
actually a novel also about the role of women and how they used love
and marriage in life to gain what they wanted. She does this by
explaining to the reader about all of the necessities that a woman
should have, explaining about the different opinions of the different
characters in the novel, which are based on opinions of real people of
that time. This gives us, the twenty-first century reader, an insight
into the people, the lives and the attitudes of the time.

The financial status of women is perhaps the most significant aspect.
In ?Pride and Prejudice?, Jane Austen describes the exact financial
status of each of the characters. For example, when Mrs and Mr Bennet
are talking of Mr Bingley, ?A single man of large fortune, four or
five thousand a year. Wha...


... middle of paper ...


...ery differently for the sisters
especially as Elizabeth had turned down one proposal. If she had not
married Darcy it would be very unlikely that she would have time to
meet another man who would marry her as she would be considered to be
too old for marriage and therefore not a good match.

To me, this novel shows women living a live without fulfilment or
interest. Women were seen as objects that completed a household and
were looked upon the same as a beautiful statue or piece of art work.
This lifestyle seems quite stifling and the lack of rights that women
had at this time seems brutally unfair and backwards. The novel shows
a society that was extremely judgemental and unforgiving that was too
fixed on the theme of marriage where it is a truth universally
acknowledged that a single woman will be in want of a husband in
possession of a good fortune.

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