Essay about Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

1524 Words Jan 8th, 2016 null Page
Her Most Deserving Daughters: The Radical and Traditional Ideal Feminine Character In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

In Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas puts it best; in Regency era England, marriage is “the only provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want”(74). Charlotte, a practical soul, knows that it is in her best interest to seek marriage even at the cost of some independence. It is impossible to look at the lives of women in early 19th century Europe without considering the institution around which their lives revolved to a great extent. In any era a woman’s first interest must be to protect herself and her family, and during this time, being joined to a man of certain prospects was the best way to ensure comfort and security. For this reason, almost every single young woman was on the hunt for a husband. Only a good marriage could provide a stable and honorable position in society. Any fair assessment of what constitutes acceptable or ideal feminine behavior in the Regency era must consider the fact that marriage, not economic independence, was the best way for a woman to provide for herself. I intend to analyze the novel Pride and Prejudice with a feminist perspective to ascertain the behaviors considered acceptable or ideal in unmarried female characters based on Austen’s “assumed analysis of female identity”(Brown). My focus will be on the…

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