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 …show more content…
Bennet and Elizabeth are contrasting in many ways. The most significant way is their intelligence levels. Elizabeth has a deep understanding of humans’ behavior and different situations. She tries to rationalize all aspects and make correct decisions about anything. Most of the times she succeeds. Mrs. Bennet, on the other hand, is a very vulgar, narrow-minded, and foolish woman. She thinks only about one specific goal, which is to marry all her daughters. She doesn’t think so deep as Elizabeth does. Mrs. Bennet doesn’t consider anything else as happiness except having a wealthy husband. Elizabeth doesn’t fit well in the norms of the 19th century society. It was unknown for a girl to be so smart, poise, and independent. She doesn’t want to marry to anyone just for the wealth and authority. In contrast, Mrs. Bennet is a stereotypical woman of 19th century society. She cares only about one thing, marriage. She thinks that getting marriage decides if you will be happy or not your entire life. She doesn’t want to educate herself and daughters because she considers it as a not female