Social Norms In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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In the intricate masterpiece Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen revealed the sexist social norms of the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century, in which a hierarchy that immensely favours men prevailed. The novel is recognized for the author’s passive perspective on women’s rights in her era. Austen incorporated her distinctive and independent heroine’s struggles with her own subtle viewpoint on gender injustice. Her male characters, Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy, displayed demeaning behaviour towards women making them prime examples of the treatment women received at that time. Moreover, Charlotte Lucas exhibited a female’s desperation for marriage to assure a secure future. Jane Austen skilfully used her literature, not only to entertain, but…show more content…
“To be born a woman into such a world means having even less choice about whom to marry or how to determine the shape of one's life” (Florman and Kestler, “Themes: Marriage”). As a result, men often manipulated that fact to their benefit, treating women like they were mere commodities. Austen’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, prides herself in looking for love and equality, rather than superiority. Elizabeth’s egotistical, pretentious, and ostentatious cousin, Mr. Collins, proposed to her in a condescending manner; once he is courteously denied, he recapitulated his proposal, stating, “you should take it into further consideration that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another marriage may ever be made you” (105). This is but a key example of how women were frequently patronized at that…show more content…
Austen ironically paved the road for the readers, letting them cunningly know what to expect. The author’s literary prowess was excellently used to lace romance and drama with her own judgment on feminism and gender discrimination in her era. This unjust treatment was apparent in Austen’s male character’s behaviour towards females in the narrative; Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy executed superior conduct towards the women of the story, mainly the author’s female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. Lastly, women of the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century with quite restricted socially dictated options were forlorn, desperate for a husband who could provide long term protection and safe keeping. This was shown in the heroine’s best friend, Charlotte Lucas, who married an unpleasant man for the benefits she would reap. Ultimately, Jane Austen was a brilliant advocate for women’s rights and feminism in the Victorian Era, subtly speaking her mind through her celebrated and beloved

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