Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Essay

1111 Words Aug 14th, 2015 null Page
Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a 19th century social satire, written and set in 1813 England during the height of the regency period. Austen explores the plight of single women as well as the class structure and social snobbery of her historical context. Being a successful female writer herself and giving voice to the struggles of women in her novels, she undermined many of the societal boundaries of the 19th century and in this sense, was very much a subversive element in society. Fay Weldon’s 1984 novel ‘Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen’ explores similar issues and serves to illuminate the reader’s understanding of the values and issues of Austen’s cultural context. By doing this Weldon encourages the modern reader to appreciate both texts from a more holistic perspective, This emphasises the links between the challenges faced by women in both periods and their evolution from Austen’s era to the present day.

To the modern reader, the potency of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as an incendiary piece of writing for its time may appear subtle without proper insight into its historical context. During the regency period, social interaction and etiquette were very much governed by a strict social hierarchy with explicit expectations of women dictating their behaviour and accomplishments, “A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word”. Austen challenged this ideology particularly through…

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