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Women Need Work Not Love Essay

  • Submitted by: prasanac
  • on October 3, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,443 words

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Below is an essay on "Women Need Work Not Love" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

This essay considers the validity of the proposition that a young woman is most in need of work, not love, in relation to Evelina and Pride and Prejudice. The proposition is an inversion of the opening line in Pride and Prejudice - that it is a universally acknowledged truth that a single man of fortune must be in want of a wife. It must be said that this is a perhaps a rather modern proposition to impose onto women of the time. This essay neither supports nor disputes the proposition in general; rather, it attempts to determine the validity of the proposition in relation to individual characters in the two novels discussed here. And in doing so, it deciphers at the onset the meanings of “work” and of “love” as it applies to 18th century society, especially to middle-class women. These terms are then discussed as they relate to the business of marriage – which is an 18th century preoccupation for the middle-class. The characters compared and contrasted here are Evelina, Elizabeth Bennet, and Charlotte Lucas.
Towards the 18th century, the separation of the sexes becomes all the more entrenched. Violence, aggression and worldly practicality come to be considered male characteristics; domesticity, modesty, and elegance come to be sees as female characteristic (Lindley, 2012, SU2-19), which effectively separated women from the world of work. And as middle-class women withdraw from the public life, the business of marriage took over as a preoccupation for the want of anything better to do.
But, the questions is, what do Evelina, Elizabeth, and Charlotte look forward to in their marriage – is it the occupation of marriage itself, the love of the man they marry or is it something else altogether? What do they need for their personal growth and for them to flourish not just as sentient beings but as intelligent ones as well? Do they need work, love, or both. In the both novels, the description of even men’s work seems nebulous at best - Captain Mirvan is in the Navy,...

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Women Need Work Not Love. Anti Essays. Retrieved April 25, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Women-Need-Work-Not-Love-318738.html