Pride and Prejudice Literary Criticism

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Justin Johnson
Hr 3
Literary Criticism Essay
Pride and Prejudice
The late 1700’s weren’t exactly a friendly time period for women and Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice affirms this. You were born into the life you live, so there wasn’t much independence for women who weren’t brought into wealth. The way to gain wealth or social status was through marriage if not already had. Wealth was key in many relationships between men and women and created a bond in which they thought was true happiness or love. That is not correct according to today’s society in which love details affection and attraction in which being blind to social status. No one during Austen’s time period would want to be seen with the poverty stricken. Therefore ideas, such as class, will never vanish from society. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen uses characterization to show that women could not fulfill their happiness because of the standards society has set for them.  

Historically women were just seen as objects in a world of men. In Pride and Prejudice the Bennet girls faced the unthinkable, not finding a man to marry. Marriage was an important life event for it gave a woman her identity in the world. Diana Francis says “The portrayal of women in the book is seen as too passive. None of the women ever take active control of their lives.” The girls don’t take control is because of the simple reason they can’t. They’re put in a world where independence is nonexistent for women. Relying on the men meant that Jane, Lydia and Elizabeth had to wait on their proposals in eager fashion. Jane Austen also did this to highlight how helpless and incapable women were thought to be during this time. That a man was the only way a woman could ever be seen in society as accepted. “Imprudent as a marriage between Mr. Wickham and our poor Lydia” (pg 161). Marriage wasn’t always looked at appropriately. When Lydia eloped with Mr. Wickham it had everyone’s heads turning wondering what Lydia...
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