The Role Of Feminism In Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

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Feminism is a powerful word and a movement that has inspired and empowered many with the simple meaning and goal for there to be equality between genders in all areas of life. There have been dozens of artistic and literary pieces which have contributed in some way to the spread of feminism. Feminist literature is considered to be a work which supports the goal of feminism, equality, and typically draws attention to the inequality problems between men and women in different areas of life, such as economically and socially. Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, is a novel which is easily placed as a feminist novel as the novel does draw forth several areas of inequality between men and women, as well as certain expectations of each …show more content…
Elizabeth Bennet, the main character in the novel, is a headstrong, young woman who refuses to marry for anything but love and whose actions typically support a yearning for some sort of equality, whether it be financially or socially. Elizabeth’s refusal of Mr. Collins as she states, “You could not make ME happy… My feelings in every respect forbid it,” is challenging and exhibits her refusal to partake in a social construct which not only limits the options of women in terms of advancements and opportunities, but also minimizes the want of love in a marriage (Austen 135-137). Elizabeth continuously challenges the roles placed on her by her family and society, which is most obvious when she speaks with Lady Catherine about a possible engagement with Mr. Darcy. Lady Catherine repeatedly tells Elizabeth that she is not good enough for her nephew, due to her poor upbringing and her family, and when she inquires once again whether or not Elizabeth plans to marry Darcy, Elizabeth states, “... He is a gentlemen; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal. (Austen 439).” When Elizabeth says the aforementioned quote, she wholeheartedly believes in this concept of equality with regards to a relationship with Darcy, even if she is simply voicing it to disturb Lady Catherine the inclusion of this sentence within a novel about women falling into their …show more content…
The time period in which Jane Austen lived, was close to coinciding with the feminist movement, which would suggest that the growing want for equality would be present in her novels, as well as her life. Pride and Prejudice presents many issues of the time concerning the role of women and the limitations they faced, along with the establishment of a flawed but headstrong woman character who steps outside the conformational standards of

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