One of the main problems that is faced while contrasting Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is that even when it is the same society that we are talking about, the time is not the same, is almost a hundred years apart from each other, with according to societies, could mean a huge difference.
While Jane Austin makes a clear portrait of women at her time, showing them almost as mere ornaments for men "But the wife of Mr. Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine." (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813) ; Stoker shows how important they have become, not only as the beauty that every man needs at his side, but also playing an important role in society, and also, capable of taking care of theirselves, most of the times and sometimes even capable of saving and rescue their men.
Maybe the most important difference between these two points is that in Austin’s book, women are not independent, they always need a man who could take care of them and, if they are eventually alone, society tends to undersee them and disqualify them. Women are always searching for a good man to marry, so they could maybe, have economic stability and a good reputation. Thus this only could happen if they have also money or any mean to sustain themselves, because if it’s not the case, they could only find a poor man, who will make them work very hard everyday, and fill their house with children who will always be hungry and have no right to go to school or learn any “important” things. Of curse, those “important” things tend to be frivolities such as playing an instrument, being able to sing, to dance gracefully, to prepare a nice tea, and things like that, which may not have a practical use.
Even when a refined woman is always desirable, as we tend to see also in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is always a plus if they are able to think by themselves...
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