Social Issues in Pride and Prejudice

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Social Issues in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s, Pride and Prejudice, shows the social issues of English society in the early 1800’s. One of the main social issues is the role of women in society and how most important to women is their reputation. A woman has expectations in society and if she does not behave in the right manner, she is sometimes rejected by the people in the town. In society, reputation is deemed very important as it could either damage or benefit a family. Elizabeth Bennet is a woman who does not care about her reputation as much as other women do. Most women do not speak freely about what is on their mind, but Elizabeth is honest and witty, which is one of the reasons she catches the eye of Mr. Darcy. Reputation does not pertain to only one person, but rather the whole family. The behavior of the Bennet family gives them a bad reputation, which endangers Elizabeth’s chance of finding a husband. The theme appears in the beginning of the novel when Elizabeth travels to Netherfield, on foot, to visit a sick Jane. She arrives at Netherfield with mud on the bottom of her skirt and shoes, and Miss. Bingley and her sister are astonished by Elizabeth’s appearance. Elizabeth gives herself a bad reputation in front of Mr. Darcy and the Bingleys by showing up in such a way. As this is their first real impression of her, they believe her to be less civilized then she really is. Mrs. Bennet, the mother of Elizabeth, greatens the bad reputation of the family. Although Mrs. Bennet is obsessed with having a good reputation, she is one of the main reasons the Bennet family do not. She does everything in her power to make her family look good by having dinner parties and bragging to other females, but does the opposite. Her rude manner in public and obsession with climbing the social ladder embarrasses her daughters Elizabeth and Jane. Her behavior in

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