In Austen’s time, societal constraints left women with little choice but to marry for economic survival (Multiple, 1966). This is exemplified by the Bennet family, a well-to-do lower-middleclass land-owning family with no male heir. Because of this the Mr. Bennet’s property is entailed to pass ownership to a distant male relative (William Collins) (University of South Africa, Department of English, 2012). The purpose behind one of the Bennet girls marrying Collins is to create financial certainty for Mrs. Bennet and her other daughters. Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth’s mother, is constantly agitated and obsessed with securing her future.
She is the second daughter of a country gentleman who risks poverty if she does not find a husband who can provide for her as her father cannot pass on his estate or the house to her. Getting a job and supporting herself is not really an option for a proper young lady at that time. However, as being highly independent and intelligent, Elizabeth opts to make her own marriage decision in looking for love and companionate marriage. Undoubtedly, it is being in opposition to the common reality during the early 19th-century England that women who lack of fortune need to marry ‘well.’ By ‘well,’ it means wealthy. For example, turning down Mr. Collins may demonstrateher as a no-brainer woman among the society at that time.
Disobedience was seen as a crime against their religion. Marriages were arranged to suit the family. Elizabethan women were expected to marry to increase the wealth and position of the family and then to produce children - preferably male heirs. There were no careers for women and there were no schools for girls, so the majority were illiterate. If a woman was born from a respected, high-status family, then she may be given the privilege of being able to receive home tutoring.
"It will be impossible for us to visit him, if you do not go" (Pg. 4). Mrs Bennett and her daughters are keen to speak with Mr Bingley as he is an eligible bachelor. Female’s needed to marry in order to be taken care of since they could not own property, nor gain an education that would enable them to provide for themselves. As such many women married out of necessity rather than for love.
Who knew that I desperately wanted a husband, a house full of children, a boring job? How had I wound up here in the first place? ...” (Linda Greenlaw, 50) Above all, Linda Greenlaw is a woman, but doesn’t like other women with the same age, they have their own family with their husband, children; and
“Why did women win the vote?” Woman’s roles and statues were affected by Victorians view of women. They thought that women weren’t capable to do much and were constricted to very little. They had very little choice of what they wanted to do like choosing who they wanted to marry, what they wanted to do with the things (like money) they inherited and they couldn’t do much either like getting a full education, get equal pay, own property and couldn’t sue her husband as he owned her. Women’s roles were affected by Victorian views of women as their role was to look after the children, the family, and the home. Women were viewed as men’s property so they had to do whatever the husband wanted them to do.
Women were not treated equal. Women could not conduct business or control their own money, for which they needed the authorization of the man who 'owned' them - husband, brother or father. In A Doll's House, Nora at first appears to be a silly, selfish girl, but then we learn that she has made great sacrifices to save her husband's life and pay back her secret loan. When a woman loves as Nora does, nothing else matters. She will sacrifice herself for the family.
Austen was first published in the early nineteenth century, in a time where social status was of paramount importance within society. Status was recognised by the amount of land a person owned, as well as the wealth one inherited. Women were not entitled to inherit, so for women, marriage was crucial for financial security. This key point is highlighted often within the novel. Charlotte's acceptance of Mr. Collins’ proposal is a prime example; “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 preservative from want” (p105)1.
Henrik Ibsen depicts how the conscious and subconscious motives and desires are obtained. Kristine Linde is a woman who has had to give up her dreams due to circumstances beyond her control. She was once in love but because her mother “was bedridden and helpless”and she “had to provide for two younger brothers”(Ibsen, 2011, p. 556) she was forced to marry for convenience of the situation. We can tell this has made her look at life in a more realistic and wise view than that of her friend Mrs Nora Helmer the main character. Mrs Linde has had to work hard and was not afforded love and children which she longed to have.
She was one of six siblings, two of whom would die before Anna was twenty. While Anna, one of the middle children in the family, was always in poor health, she would outlive all but one of her siblings, as robust health was not one of the family’s gifts. Family harmony was also not enjoyed, as father Andrey was a handsome womanizer, and mother Inna, raised in wealth, had great difficulty tolerating his unfaithfulness and the family’s modest means. A beautiful woman, Inna was always loved by her daughter, and when the inevitable marital breakup came, Anna would distance herself from her father (Feinstein14-21). Through her mother’s behavior, Anna would see great religious piety, and both parents were fairly liberal in their political leanings, sympathizing with the aims of “People’s Will,” which has been described as “a Socialist revolutionary group responsible for several political assassinations” (15).