16 April 2011
How Does Pride and Prejudice Reflect Society
In her book Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen talks about a lot of very important parts of society in the novel’s time. It talks about the differences in class, how the women are supposed to act, and how they are viewed, and a lot about the importance of marriage in the nineteenth century.
The very sentence it the book says “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Jane Austen). This sentence shows that people mainly married for money, and a higher social status, not for love. Young, wealthy, men must want a wife to share their life with right? Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet are the parents of five young unmarried daughters. When Mrs. Bennet hears that Mr. Bingley, and young man of great fortune, is to move into Netherfield Park, she immediately starts to think about the joys of one of her daughters marrying him.
Women in the nineteenth century were expected to get married and have children. Their husbands were in complete control over them. When they got married their wealth went to their husbands, and there husbands were supposed to take care of them. They weren’t allowed to own any of the property or anything, But in 1882 when William Gladstone became prime minister he passed the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act. This allowed women to own property that they might have inherited from a parent.
Jane Austen’s book Since and Sensibility is very similar to Pride and Prejudice. In Since and Sensibility, Jane Austen also tells the importance of marriage, class, and financial status.