Essay on Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen
English 11 British Literature – Pride and Prejudice, Austen
The educated single woman of the early 19th century had few professions open to her. One option was the stage – a risky and perhaps not very honorable profession. Another option was teaching – a poorly paid, low status position. The only other course open was marriage, and one generally tried to find the best “situation” one could. Note Charlotte’s speech about marriage as well as her later speeches and actions.
The focus of the novel is Elizabeth. Although not as pretty as Jane, she has an independent mind. On the other end of the spectrum lies Mrs. Bennet.
Directions: Working with a partner, find five examples of Elizabeth’s wit and poise. Paraphrase the scene and provide context and page numbers.
1. "Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person."
The example is from the scene when Jane and Elizabeth have a conversation about the ball and Charles Bignley. As we can see, Elizabeth states that she does have a better understand of situations and wit to predict some aspects of…