The Effects Of Social Status In Pride And Prejudic

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Social status is the main theme which drives and motivates the characters of Pride and Prejudice. Everything they do or say in public is a strategic and pre-meditated action in which their personal goals are trying to be reached. Those of higher class try to maintain that status and act upon others who are not of higher class as though they are not worthy of their time. While the middle class families, such as the Bennets, are always looking for ways to improve their social status among their peers. The first line in Pride and Prejudice sets the theme for the entire novel, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” This line explains the motivation of majority of the women in the nineteenth century England. A wealthy single man is very attractive to women who want to improve their social standing amongst the society in which they live in. Thus enter Darcy and Bingley, two wealthy bachelors who could easily improve the social status of any family that they were to marry into. Mrs. Bennet’s obsession with improving her family’s social status has caused her to aggressively encourage her daughters to gain the attention of these two gentlemen. In the past, her aggressive nature towards suitors for her daughters has been a negative attribute, which is why her daughters are single up until this point. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley do have certain love interests in this novel. Mr. Bingley is immediately attracted to Jane, the oldest daughter of the Bennets’, however because of her social status, he is pressured by Darcy not pursue a relationship with her. Mr. Darcy’s age, wealth, and good looks make him a very desirable target for most single women, except for his rude attitude and snobbish demeanor towards people of the middle class. A marriage with him would no doubted improve the
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