Social Class - Pride & Prejudice Essay

1022 WordsOct 29, 20145 Pages
Jane Austen explores the theme of social class throughout Pride and Prejudice by voicing her views and opinions through the two main families in the novella, the Bingley’s and the Bennet’s. Each family delineates a certain social hierarchy, in which Austen soon amplifies how the families are both equal, despite their social working class; none of them are inferior to the other. Austen describes how even though British society were so formal back in the 19th century about social class and status; as it was particularly known to in that time era, she illustrates how, within one class would be several other ranks of social hierarchy in which “middle class of lesser landed gentry shaded into the professional classes .. below them were the urban merchants, farmers and wealthy tradesmen.” However, it portrays despite many having superior social position; people like farmers and tradesmen were looked down upon mainly because their own families had acquired their money and hadn’t inherited it like the ‘usual’ landed gentry did. Like the Bennets, although they are respected and are placed in the social hierarchy rank, they are lower gentry, middle class, due to the fact that they do not own their house or land, Mr Bennet’s inheritance was not passed directly to him; it was passed from generation to generation. In comparison to Mr Bingley who is of upper gentry, higher class, as himself and his family inherited money like the normal gentry’s did. If one was to be more respected and socially superior it would automatically be the Bingley’s due to their inheritance of money and therefore showing that their social class is much higher than the Bennet’s. She then goes on to satirize ones with higher social position, especially the Bingley sisters, the the most snobbiest and uptight people around. Austen perceives the Bingley sisters as very opinionated and one-sided girls, in

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