Changes In Time
Throughout Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice”, she uses time in many different ways. Though it is evident that the novel is set in the nineteenth century, it is obvious how it has retained it’s charm and appeal to readers through time. While retaining it’s value through it, time is used in a very different way in the novel. As one reads, characters are seen using their time wisely, wasting time, and killing time. Among all else, characters are exposed to long periods of waiting that people in modern times would not settle for, which clearly shows how times have changed.
While reading Pride and Prejudice, most readers experience a nostalgic feeling throughout the novel. Yet, somehow, reader’s today still enjoy it just as much as the readers did back during it’s actual publication date in 1813 (Pride and Prejudice, By Jane Austen). The main reason it has retained it’s value through time is that it has so many similarities to times today. Take Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, for example. Although Mr. Darcy is the obvious victor of Elizabeth, there is a love triangle. Love triangles are one of the more conflict-causing aspects in the novel that are similar to today. Marriage is one thing that is, in a way, the same as it was back then. Conceptually, marriage has not changed since the 1800s. Somewhere deep down, regardless of how much it may be denied, every person longs to be able to find the love of their life--that person they wind up marrying and living happily ever after with. It is easy to see how important marriage was in Austen’s time. In fact, the first line of “Pride and Prejudice” states that “It is a universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife (Austen).” Unfortunately, even though the fact that everyone wants to be married is the same, it can not truly be said that people married for similar reasons. Marrying for love is nowadays the only known reason to marry, whereas in the 19th century people often married for money or power. Another reason it has retained its value through time is because, even though it is the 19th century, the characters act a lot like the modern day reader would. Lydia, for example, though a bit young in modern times to get married, throws fits and temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, just as any fifteen year old teenage girl would. Kitty is not much older than Lydia, and is very similar to her in these aspects. They also both enjoy spending time together, chatting, and going around and out. Mrs. Bennett is a concerned mother who only wants the best for her daughter, which is exactly as most modern day mothers are. Mr. Bennett is very protective of his daughters and likes to hear their side of every situation and how they feel about it, which is exactly how every child today hopes their father will always be. The value of this precious novel is kept through time by similarities such as these.
As the novel progresses, the reader starts to notice how many of the characters are not using their time wisely, but wasting or even killing it. For instance, the eldest Bennett daughter, Jane, sits and waits for her true love, Mr. Bingley, to come to her. This is not wasting time because she does not actually know if he is coming to her. This is killing time, because she is so upset about him that she doesn’t care about the good use of her time. Referring back to Lydia, though, who seems to use her time the most wisely of all by going out and getting exactly what she wants. Lydia knows she wants a husband, she knows where she will find one, so she gets her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, to allow her to go and live where the military officers live. She then comes back with Mr. Wickham (truly solving Elizabeth’s love triangle dilemma) with rather unsettling news to all that she is married to him. Lydia uses her time wisely and gets exactly what she most desired, a...
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