Pride And Prejudice, History Context

417 Words2 Pages
The historical values of Austen's era include that of: the French and American revolutions, where political upheavals and radical social upheavals thats caused the governments that had ruled for years to collapse. Austen grew up in the time of these upheavals however she did not reveal any awareness of them. However The tumultuous affair such as the Napoleonic war which did not significantly impact on the lives of the middle-class, has been satirised in "Pride and Prejudice" through the character of Wickham. The ranks of the military that would have fought in such affairs were recruited from the lowest orders of the populace, the way Wickham does in the novel and thereby becomes an officer. All-in-all "Pride and Prejudice" was not greatly affected by the Historical aspects of the 1800's, though satires of the monarchy system and the army system is used to a lesser extent. In the world of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", marriage is a necessity (well for women anyway) and I guess that a good marriage is exactly like winning the lottery, lucky in a way and set up for life. Notice one thing missing to this "view" of marriage? That's right "Love". In Austen's era, marriage was celebrated as a goal in itself and love did not matter in the least. Except for if you are Elizabeth Bennet. She refused to view marriage in these terms and believed that if she were to marry, it would be for love. She was also very happy to refuse Mr. Collins proposal because, lets face it, there was no possible way that she could have ever loved him. This is just another of Elizabeth's actions portrayed through Austen's narratorial inclusions that illustrate the strength of the character of Elizabeth. This value of marriage is a social and cultural aspect of the 1800's that was highly valued. The ironic part of this aspect however is that, in fact, only 30% of people actually married in that
Open Document