Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jone's Diary

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Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sharon Maguire's Bridget Jone's Diary both portray a microcosm of the beliefs and values of a particular class of British society. Some beliefs and values are shared between both societies, however as times change, differences are bound to arise.

In Pride and Prejudice, Austen mainly deals with middle and higher-class society. The Bennets being of a middle class socialize time and again with their own class and higher, particularly Elizabeth. Middle and higher class culture of Austen's time concentrated on the importance of having wealth and social status. The novel revolves around the lives of affluent families - their appearance, their actions, their homes, their relationships and their social events. Every person had a price tag affixed upon them and a person was not only judged by the quantity of their wealth but also on their connections with the people of high culture. Not unlike Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jone's Diary also only concentrates on a fragment of its society. As Austen focuses on the higher classes of nineteenth century, Bridget Jone's Diary centers around the life of a 30-something single British woman as she struggles with her career, relationships, friends and family in modern day twenty-first century. Although in Bridget Jone's Diary, money is not such a significant factor, it is like Austen's society steeped in materialism but it furthermore illustrates the importance of body image. As Bridget states, reluctantly, I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devices…completely exhausted by entire day of date-preparation. Being a woman is worse than being a farmer - there is so much harvest and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed.

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