From the start of the novel Elizabeth Bennet is presented as a young and passionate spirit who tends to see life in an idiosyncratic way compared to her acquaintances and family. She sees past the access grandeur of her surroundings and the stiff manners of her neighbors to the motivations underneath, and is viewed by her counterparts in a negative way because of this ability. This contrast between Elizabeth’s true nature and what is expected from her neighbors is due to the way that women were expected to act, think, and speak during this time period. In an essay discussing the contemporary readings in law and justice, author RAMONA MIHĂILĂ highlights the repressive demands of women in the 19th-Century:
The 19th century is marked by the fact that women are regarded as objects in all the social categories. They are condemned to resign themselves and to become what social institutions based on moral and religion expect them to be. The society not only represents the background for women bu...
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...e choices, Austen sheds light on the cost that such strict and emotionally suppressing beliefs had on both men and women in 19th-Century Victorian society. A society in which such necessary and valid human responses such as love, wit, and passion are frowned upon by the elite is surely one in which people are encouraged to become hollowed out, and simply conform to the demands of those above them for convenience and approval. By giving Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy characteristics that blur the lines between proper and shameful, and a curiosity and rebellious nature that questions wether such rules really help or hinder individuals in everyday life, Jane Austen questions the very foundation of Victorian manner itself, and that a society that has near complete control over a persons ability to choose their desired life is one in which true prosperity doesn 't exist.
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