Jane Austin: an Early Feminist Writer

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Jane Austen: An Early Feminist Writer
Jane Austen, the novelist from the early 19th century, clearly showed ongoing feminist themes in her novels, especially “Pride and Prejudice”. A woman who fights for the rights and equality of women though she had to live with inequality and injustice in her own life is a feminist. In this regard, Jane Austen proved herself to be a feminist and through her literary works, such as “Pride and Prejudice” she proves it again and again with certain themes. Marriage is one big theme in “Pride and Prejudice” and the protagonist in this novel is a young woman named Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth (also known as Lizzy) is a nonconformist who tends to do things that are not socially acceptable at the time, but allows us to see another side of women in these times of inequality. Although, Austen focuses on the usual themes of woman’s novels during the turn of the 19th century, Lizzy Bennet is the character through which we see Austen’s contempt for current society’s treatment of women.

Austen was born the seventh child of Rev. George Austen and Cassandra Leigh in 1775. She was lucky enough to be able to have somewhat of an education (for a woman) during those days and developed a love for writing at a very young age. It is important to note that at the time there were many books written for women by men that assumed that woman needed to be taught how to “behave”. The main themes in these books were that woman should be passive, ignorant, delicate, modest, meek and most of all, dependant on men. In the late 18th century and early 19th century, women were subjected to marriage with entailments. If a woman did not marry, she could literally end up in poverty on the street, owning no property, and worst of all, not able to take care of themselves or their families. So it definitely behooved women to marry during this time for obvious practical reasons. Jane Austen showed, through Elizabeth Bennet that she believed that women...
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