Social Norms In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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By developing unconventional female characters that defied social customs, Jane Austen sought to transform misogynist beliefs formed by society. Living in a patriarchal society dominated by men and harsh gender roles in England, Jane Austen utilized her literary pieces as a framework to critique cultural values. She used the ideology of marriage and her heroines’ refusal of courtship to effectively and strategically chastised sexist views on gender and marriage. Her development of defiant characters showcases her strong opposition towards the restricting beliefs of women. Although the majority of her female characters challenged social norms, they still chose their happiness and wellbeing above all — even if it conformed to society’s demanding…show more content…
In Pride and Prejudice, a rumor that a wealthy and single Mr. Bingley might move to the Netherfield estate spreads across the small village of Longbourn. Mrs. Bennet, mother of five daughters, becomes ecstatic with this news because she cannot wait to marry off her daughters to prosperous men. When the members of the village and community met him at the local Meryton ball, Mr. Bingley displayed his courteous and charismatic personality. He impressed everyone with his disposition, but they felt indifferent towards his haughty friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Both of the men are affluent and exceedingly rich, which makes them prime future husbands. Mr. Darcy acted too arrogant and above all the common folk and would not dance with Elizabeth because of this. Mr. Bingley becomes fond of Jane, the eldest Bennet daughter, and asks her to dance with him at the ball. Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy becomes more attracted by Elizabeth’s wit and charm despite his refusal to dance with her at the Meryton ball. However, ever since his rejection to dance with her Elizabeth, she displayed a strong disliking towards him. Elizabeth develops an attraction towards George Wickham, a militia officer stationed near…show more content…
Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is fixated on arranging her daughters with rich men. Elizabeth, the main character in the novel, refuses the marriage proposals from several men. She denies the proposition for courtships from a ridiculous Mr. Collins and arguably one of the most marriageable men in town, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Collins, cousin of the Bennet girls, is to inherit Mr. Bennet’s estate since a male heir can only acquire it. He “is in love with the idea of marriage rather than with Elizabeth herself” (Eberle 11). So he quickly moves on and proposes to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend, when Elizabeth turns down his offer. To Elizabeth’s dismay Charlotte only married Mr. Collins for financial insurance, like many other women during her

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