Welcome

Anti Essays offers essay examples to help students with their essay writing.

Sign Up

Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Is a Novel Which Questions Certain Values Inherent to Marriage in the 18th Century British Society. Essay

Open Document

Below is an essay on "Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Is a Novel Which Questions Certain Values Inherent to Marriage in the 18th Century British Society." from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Jane Austen’s renowned novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was set in 1796 and was published in 1813. As per the description of the OUSL- Introduction to Fiction (1995, p.76) “She restricted her material to a narrow range of society but treats it with the clear sighted judgement of the Augustan age”.   In the novel she apparently maintained the theme of ‘marriage’ related to the 18th century and questioned some of its values related to society and relationships. And the sametime Austen successfully portrays the Age of Reason through each characters and their involvement in the social hierarchy of microscopic societies of England.

18th Century England is a place of strict class structure where propriety and the social order are of the utmost importance. The main characters in this novel come from a class called gentry; this is the class above the emerging professional class and below aristocracy. Class was more to do with breeding than with wealth. Rules were set for everything, rules for dressing, rules for travelling, rules or introducing yourself to others and rules for behaving. In this period of time women were not allowed to work. They could not inherit wealth from their father, and the Bennet sisters were no exception therefore Mr. Collins was their heir to Mr. Bennet’s property. Hence, the ambition of finding ‘good husbands’ to her all five daughters of Mrs. Bennet’s is fair in the sense of security.

Some women in 18th century were willing to marry just because marriage was the only allowed route to financial security, or to escape an uncongenial family situation. This is the dilemma is expressed most clearly by the character Charlotte Lucas, whose pragmatic views on marrying are voiced several times in the novel: "Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest...

Show More


Citations

MLA Citation

"Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Is a Novel Which Questions Certain Values Inherent to Marriage in the 18th Century British Society.". Anti Essays. 13 Dec. 2017

<http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Austen-s-Pride-And-Prejudice-Is-A-509091.html>

APA Citation

Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Is a Novel Which Questions Certain Values Inherent to Marriage in the 18th Century British Society.. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Austen-s-Pride-And-Prejudice-Is-A-509091.html