The Limited Social Status Of Women English Literature Essay


Pride and Prejudice is a fresh written by Jane Austen ( 1775 – 1817 ) in 1813. Jane Austen was an English novelist who wrote many of what are considered classics of English literature. Some of her most celebrated work includes Sense and Sensibility ( 1811 ) , Mansfield Park ( 1814 ) and Emma ( 1816 ) . In Pride and Prejudice she portions her positions on what a “ Perfect Lady ” should be, but besides on matrimony and the relationship between work forces and adult females.

We should maintain in head that in the English state life at the terminal of the eighteenth century adult females were taking at some basic “ achievements ” which were normally limited to geting accomplishments in drawing, vocalizing, playing music and talking a modern linguistic communication. Their chief nonsubjective being to pull a hubby with the immediate consequence to frequently neglect those accomplishments after matrimony.

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In this book which she ab initio wrote between 1796 and 1797 Jane Austen describes good some of the stereotypes and behaviours of adult females populating during the Victorian epoch, though she died before the Queen acceded to the throne and was even born.

When analysing Pride and Prejudice, it is of import to retrieve that most of Jane Austen ‘s romantic fiction novels had a common cardinal subject, depicting the dependence of adult females on matrimony with the intent of accomplishing economic and societal stableness.

In this context the narrative focuses on the Bennett household, including Mr and Mrs Bennett and their five girls whom they urgently want to see married. The chief character being Elizabeth Bennet who manages to accomplish that end.

This extended essay will be looking at how the writer of Pride and Prejudice portrays the limited position of adult females through three assorted angles: adult females in matrimony and their function in the household, their existent societal position and so how hard it was for adult females to entree cognition and instruction.

Marriage and household – vision of the writer ( 1202 )

In the 1800s in Great Britain, the life of adult females was that of duties towards society and few personal picks. The lives of adult females was wholly controlled by work forces ; get downing with their male parents who were giving the concluding word on who they were to get married, make up one’s minding how to pull off the estate and holding control over all determinations linked to the direction of household. Their brothers would so take over these determinations at the decease of the male parent. Husbands, would take control of these things in matrimony. Both work forces and adult females had the force per unit area of society on acquiring married every bit shortly as possible. Work force had to acquire married because in most instances their work required them to make so, in order to be seen as a good illustration. Having a household was portion of the normalcy that society was used to. In this context maternity was considered as a great part to the household and in a certain extent to the state.

A figure of books were written on this subject during that period or right after Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice. In his Manual of Social and Business Forms Thos. E. Hill wrote in 1888 we can read “ Whatever have been the attentions of the twenty-four hours, recognize your hubby with a smiling when he returns. Make your personal visual aspect merely every bit beautiful as possible. ”

In the popular American “ adult females ‘s magazine ” in 1867 we can even see adult females described as sufferer: “ About every true female parent there is a sancity of martyrdom- and when she is no more in the organic structure, her kids see her with the ring of visible radiation around her caput. ”

Having set the historical context the narrative of Pride and Prejudice features Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their five girls whom they decidedly want to see married. For them clearly adult females are judged on the sort of matrimony they make before and above the accomplishments they have.

Jane Austen describes a broad assortment of matrimonies, each of them being inspired and driven by all kinds of feelings: from passion with Mr. and Mrs to miss of sentiment with Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas or Mr. and Mrs. Hurst, from simple fondness with Bingley and Jane or Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. The ideal matrimony being the one between Darcy and Lizzy.

We are rapidly introduced to this thought that matrimony is an indispensable piece in life in the first lines of the book “ It is a truth universally acknowledged that a individual adult male in ownership of a good luck must be in privation of a married woman ” . In the really beginning of the novel we see that the Bennett sisters are eager to cognize if their male parent has managed to run into Mr. Bingley their new neighbour. Mrs. Bennett herself pushes her hubby to see him before any other female parents. She wants to get married her girls in the first topographic point. One of the dangers being that every bit shortly as Mr. Bennet dies, the girls would hold no 1 to take attention of them, since they do n’t hold a brother. This construct of work forces power in matrimony is called “ male primogeniture ” and Jane Austen tries to show it in a negative angle. Since the Bennet household does n’t hold a boy, their belongings is to be transmitted to the closest relation ( Mr. Collins ) , which is an extra ground why they are in a haste to acquire married.

On the other manus in the England of the late eighteenth century, get downing of nineteenth century Men are besides their ain positions of matrimony. They had to get married adult females of certain position, it was a shame to the household to get married a adult female of a really inferior rank than theirs, as mentioned in the novel: “ younger boies can non get married where they like ” ( Pride and Prejudice p.125 – chapter XXXIII ) . This is challenged by the fact that Mr. Darcy and Mr.Bingley end up get marrieding the Bennet sisters, which was unusual at the clip.

In fact in her fresh Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen addresses this issue of matrimony duties in a manner that was uncommon at the clip. She goes around that thought of adult females acquiring married merely in ordered matrimony conditions. She does this through different events of the book. One illustration of this is when the heroine of the novel, ( Elizabeth ) refuses the proposal of Mr. Collins, which is a necessary matrimony for her household, since Mr. Collins is to inherit their estate and there are five misss to get married. This matrimony was arranged by her female parent and Mr. Collins himself. When she refuses it, she non merely goes against the outlooks of society, but she besides goes against her female parent ‘s sentiment even though she tells her she wo n’t talk to her once more if she refuses the proposal. She so refuses another proposal from Mr. Darcy, who is a adult male of huge luck and rank.

Making this makes her personality seem even stronger, which is something that scares work forces off. Bing a adult female and holding a strong personality, showing her sentiment was controversial, since a adult female should cognize her topographic point was merely to back up her hubby. Mr. Collins supports that thought when he says “ Pardon for disrupting you, Madam, but if she is truly froward and foolish, I know non whether she would wholly be a really desirable married woman to a adult male in my state of affairs, who of course looks for felicity in the matrimony province. [ aˆ¦ ] because if apt to such defects of pique, she could non lend much to my felicitousness. ” ( p. 76 – chapter Twenty )

This is of import because by recognizing that she does n’t desire to get married Mr. Collins and is traveling against the better judgement of her household, she ends up doing her ain determinations about matrimony. The fact that Jane Austen gives that determination have a good stoping, of happy twosome is indispensable because it proves that the thought of adult females entry is matrimony is incorrect.

We see that Jane Austen portrays rather good the limited position of adult females I marriage but how she besides paves the manner for some of the modern and feminist positions on emancipation which easy started in Great Britain at the terminal of the eighteenth century. Such thoughts against usual conventions were questioned by other English writers like Mary Wollstonecraft in chap II of Vindication of the Rights of Women ( 1792 ) . “ Do inactive indolent adult females make the best married womans? aˆ¦ Do the adult females, who, by the attainment of a few superficial achievements, have strengthened the prevailing bias, simply contribute to the felicity of their hubbies? aˆ¦ So far from it, that, after appraising the history of adult female, I can non assist holding with the severest ironist, sing the sex as the weakest every bit good as the most laden half of the species. “ .

Pride and Prejudice is hence a complex mix of what the society in Great Briatin Washington: bit by bit traveling from Romantism to a more modern Victorian epoch.

Social position of adult females – vision of the writer ( 1025 )

As a background the general vision of adult females ‘s societal position in Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was that adult females were physically and intellectually weaker. They were considered as the ‘weaker ‘ sex and that the societal position of work forces was predominating. Work forces were so driving political and economic determinations. Womans did non hold the right to vote and could non have land and belongingss since the eldest boy was the 1 who inherited, Married adult females could non have any belongings boulder clay 1882 and the acceptance of the Married Women ‘s Property Act which gave equal legal rights to married adult females.

This state of affairs significantly limited adult females ‘s societal position and economic power. Work force could so maintain control over adult females as they normally were the lone 1s at work, conveying fiscal resources to the household.

The societal function of adult females was purely restrained to happening a hubby, holding kids, taking attention of the place in a wide sense.

The right of work forces on adult females did non halt at her properties, it besides included her organic structure ; a adult male had the right to make anything to his married woman. She was his “ belongings ” . This was supported by the matrimony act which mentioned that “ adult females must obey their hubbies ” . Till the twentieth century that promise was included in the nuptials ceremonial.

When they worked in mills adult females were besides considered as inferior by employers and given less honoring occupations. Such state of affairs began to alter merely in the late 1800s were adult females started contending for their rights. Harriet Taylor was so a strong advocator of adult females ‘s rights and wrote a batch on adult females ‘s rights which was act uponing the mentalities. Those new thoughts were fueled by the industrial revolution with alterations in the universe of production and immense effects on the societal environment and their airing was facilitated by the revolution in agencies of communicating in Great Britain. Those societal influences are really present in the novel.

With that in head Jane Austen is portraying a reasonably negative position of adult females in comparaison to work forces. She attempts to demo how adult females ‘s power is defined in relation to their position in society. Throughout the novel, she provides us with illustrations of how this is done, get downing with the fact that Mr.Darcy ‘s chesty personality is linked to his high position in society. When Elizabth meets Mr.Darcy, she non merely talks about his bad personality but besides mentions his wealth which influences his personality.

Ms. Lucas besides goes over that thought of linkage between the two. But to her, it seems like an acceptable and justified thing to be proud of ( p. 12 chapter V ) . This is how Elizabeth ‘s head is different than the other character ‘s in the book. Her sentiment about societal position. All that goes with it is closed up on the fact that it is unjust to be treated a certain manner depending on what your rank is.

One of the ways she expresses it is that to her, love should number more than what society has planned for you. She is a romantic and her sister is excessively. As her sister falls in love with Mr.Bingley, with no involvement for his wealth, they are both happy to see that his feelings are reflected back.

Mr. Darcys sentiment about the affair is similar to the two eldest Bennet sisters. He realises that societal position and power is non every bit strong as love. He goes against the better judgement of his cortege in order to accomplish what he truly wants ; acquiring married to Elizabeth. Caroline Bingley, on the other manus has a divergent position about the issue of societal position. It appears to her that her brothers ‘ wealth is non deserving him get marrieding Jane, due to her lower position and wealth.

The fact that Jane Austen shows that two work forces ( Mr, Darcy and Mr. Bingley ) , of high power and position can alter their head about the issue proves that the regulations of societal castes can be sidetracked. Mentalities are evidently ready to alter in the English society.

Jane Austen presents the construct of societal dramatis personaes in a manner that ridiculies it. When looking at the state of affairs between Ms. De Bourgh and Elizabeth, we can see the lip service that it leads to. When the adult female meets Elizabeth Bennet, their relation is good and Ms.De Bourgh is interested in Elizabeth despite the lower status of her societal rank, which is unusual. But Ms.De Bourghs comportement radically alterations, every bit shortly as she learns that her nephew has decided to get married person else than her daughter.The ground why she is so disquieted is because the ordered matrimony between the two of the same societal category was a manner of increasing the wealth of both parties. By making this alteration of personality in the character of Ms.De Bourgh, Jane Austen tries to convey the thought that the societal dramatis personae system can do the loss of a possible nice friendly relationship.

The writer besides ridiculies the thought of societal dramatis personaes through the female parent of the Bennet household, who despises Mr.Darcys personality. But every bit shortly as it gets to her ear that her girl will be united to him, more exactly to his wealth, she begins to idolate the adult male. The lip service of Ms.Bennet and her drastic sentiment alteration makes the state of affairs comedian, which is through what Jane Ausen makes the reader undertand the ridicule of the construct of societal position differences. This kind of actions would be really frequent at the clip, but Jane Austen was able to speak about it in a amusing manner, in order to demo the defaults of it ; which helped the reader, being adult female or adult male, to recognize the different impacts it can hold.

A As I said antecedently in Jane Austen English Society feminism started turning and she uses her novel and her characters to show her feminist positions that adult females position is ready to alter and is really altering. While a adult female was expected to be a certain type of individual to be respected Jane Austen uses this battle for flawlessness to portray a society that really oppressed adult females. It pushes us to hold a penchant for Elizabeth who is contending against such societal conformity.

Education & A ; acces to knowledge – vision of the writer ( 1069 )

At the clip the novel was written, it was a common premise that because work forces and adult females were physically different, they both had to accept the fact that they had different tracts for life. It seemed normal that adult females would non hold the right to entree instruction, since they would be incapable of working in comparing to the abilities of work forces. It was besides clear that there was no demand for formal instruction of adult females as they would non hold any professional calling. Such chances were frequently limited to going Governess or Lady ‘s comrade such as Mrs Kenkinson, who is Miss de Bourgh ‘s comrade in Pride and Prejudice. Interesting to observe so that holding no governess seemed unusual to people in the high society. In chapter 29 of Pride and Prejudice Catherine de Bourgh is profoundly surprised to cognize that the Bennet sisters have governess.

“ Why did non you all larn? You ought all to hold learned. The Miss Webbs all drama, and their male parent has non so good an income as yours. Do you pull? ” “ No, non at all. ” … “ That is really unusual. But I suppose you had no chance. Your female parent should hold taken you to town every spring for the benefit of Masterss. ” aˆ¦ ” Has your governess left you? ” “ We ne’er had any governess. ” “ No governess! How was that possible? Five girls brought up at place without a governess! I ne’er heard of such a thing. Your female parent must hold been rather a slave to your instruction. ”

In the English society of that clip instruction was considered to determine adult females ‘ knoweledge and basically taking at geting some “ accomplishements ” . Besides that adult females were seen as pure, quiet, domesticated animals, who would follow the expression of work forces. No demand so to hold farther formal academic instruction.

Such achievements formed the footing of a non-domestic instruction which adult females were expected to get. A womans accomplishement degree was determined by her natural endowments and what she would make to better them and other activites ; this included picture, playing music instruments, reading, dance, and the manner she acted around people.

In Jane Austen English society it was clear that work forces were anticipating to happen such basic instruction in adult females when discoursing matrimony. In this context it ‘s funny to see in Pride and Prejudice that Elizabeth has a slightly degage and unconventional attitude towards her “ accomplishment ” .

Indeed the fresh negotiations about this impression of achievements from Jane Austen ‘s point of position. Elizabeth thinks that a womans accomplishements does non necessitate to be successful in all these activities, whearas Mr.Darcy and Caroline Bingley believe really extremely of the word.

In page 26 ( chapter VIII ) Bingley says “ It ‘s astonishing to me how immature ladies can hold forbearance to be so really complete. ”

Another facet of instruction in Pride and Prejudice is the pure rational pleasance of reading though it is non shared every bit by all characters in Jane Austen ‘s book. In chapter 15 we see how Mr Bennett likes it and is “ ever certain of repose ” in his library. Miss Bingley besides portions her love for books and her want to hold her ain library in chapter 11 of the novel: “ I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tyres of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my ain, I shall be suffering if I have non an first-class library. “ .

Even on books Elizabeth has no conventional positions and expresses that clearly in chapter 18 while dancing with Mr Darcy: “ What think you of books? ” said he, smiling. “ Books-oh! no. I am certain we ne’er read the same, or non with the same feelings. ” “ I am sorry you think so ; but if that be the instance, there can at least be no privation of capable. We may compare our different sentiments. ” “ No-I can non speak of books in a ball-room ; my caput is ever full of something else. ” . She really reads a batch but does non look keen to see it as a subject for treatment in all fortunes.

By ever giving her different perceptual experience on instruction and rational pleasances, Jane Austen plays around with the significance of it. As the book goes on, we can see that Elizabeth is a lively character, full of wonder. She enjoys nature, dancing and all kinds of activities.Through these things, the reader starts to oppugn if the usual thought of accomplishements truly shows if a adult female is accomplished or non. Elizabeth Bennet is non ashamed of non playing instuments good, of non painting etcaˆ¦ this construct does non look of import to her, as the personality is what truly affairs.

This behaviour seems a deficiency of instruction for people populating with her as we can see in chapter XVIII page 67 when Mr Collins says to Elizabeth: “ My beloved Miss Elizabeth, I have the highest sentiment in the universe of your excellence opinion in all affairs within the range of your undersandingaˆ¦I see myself more fitted by instruction and accustomed survey to make up one’s mind on what is right than a immature lady like yourself. ”

A figure of writers questioned this attack, like Mary Wollstonecraft ( 1759-1797 ) who strongly advocated for rational adult females ‘ equality through equal entree to education.A She wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792 which was influential in altering the mentalities on the equality of the sexes.A At that clip thoughts spread in Great Britain that the civilization and societal environment had so created this thought of inequality while work forces and adult females were all born equal. Giving instruction to immature misss and farther preparation when they grow up would be so a manner of contending against this inequality and giving them the same chances.

Such feminist thoughts were easy turning in the rational domains in the late eighteenth century. They were fueled by the important alterations in the economic and societal sectors in Europe and more so in North America.A Socially, the enlargement of instruction raised outlooks for entree to further knowledge across the society.A Those alterations frequently challenged the authorization of faith while formal female instruction at Jane Austen ‘s clip was done by church tally schools. A

All in all Jane Austen portrays an English Society that has limited outlooks for adult females when in comes to instruction. She good describes how it keeps adult females in a really limited societal function while Jane has higher hopes which she portions throughout Pride and Prejudice.


Conclusion ( 500 )

Elizabeth goes straight in contradiction with the construct of ordered matrimony, since she married Mr.Darcy, who is to be married with the girl of Ms.Catherine De Bourgh, an event planned since their babyhood. This is a manner for Jane Austen to acquire closing on the narrative, by turn outing to us that I

Jane Austen is one of the really few othors who started to uncover this truth to the universe in order for adult females to truly take a measure back and gain what was traveling on around them. It is sometimes necessary for people to be told something, in order for them to recognize the cituation they are in, even if they are surrounded by it all the clip. The outside position of Jane Austen on the cituation was the trigger of a wake-up call for adult females. Reading Pride and Prejudice, adult females were able to recognize the manner they were seen by society, in footings of the function they held in the matrimony, the impacts of societal rank differences on their societal environment and on their instruction.

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