Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice Essay

1058 Words Apr 30th, 2015 5 Pages
In Regency England, women were reduced to the status of mere commodities in the marriage market. Women were in the very unfortunate position of being unable to earn income, so the only way they could ‘succeed’ in life was to marry well so they would no longer be a burden on their families. This system places women in an inherently disadvantaged position in life and this is the society that Jane Austen writes of in her books. She is quite critical in her discussions of marriage and social structure and she uses satire very effectively to point out problems with the institution of marriage. In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen thoroughly explores the particularly repressive nature of the highly stratified social structure in conjunction with the absolutely necessity of a good marriage. The interactions and relationships that develop between Mr. Collins, Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth Bennet, and Fitzwilliam Darcy are particularly illuminating in this regard. Through these characters, Jane Austen is able to explore and critique English society as it was in the Regency period. Elizabeth Bennet, our heroine, is not the typical 18th century woman. She has a keen intellect and a strong independent mind. One would think that despite her independence, she might still bow to social norms especially given the financial straights that await her and her sisters upon their father’s death. Elizabeth’s father’s fortune is entailed to their cousin, Mr. Collins, because he is the closest male…

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