09/04/12: Jane Austen: Pride & Prejudice

Jane Austen’s narrative, Pride & Prejudice, revolves around the ideology of women’s responsibilities and social expectations during the early seventieth century in England. Specifically, women were encouraged without much choice to search for a secure marriage by conceding their happiness. Elizabeth, the protagonist of the novel, illustrates her unrestrained prejudices of misunderstood assumptions about Mr. Darcy, a questionable character of pride. I am glad Austen publically introduced her concern against the social injustices conducted upon women at the time through her novel. Even in the twenty-first century, women are underpaid and rather considered to become housewives eventually.

Austen influences her philosophy of women’s unequality through the grace given to Elizabeth and her misjudged actions. For example, when Elizabeth delivered a devastating blow to Mr. Collins by denying his marriage proposal, Austen’s purpose was to incline society to the thought of how women should not be submissive to men. In addition, when Elizabeth accuses Mr. Darcy with slander, regarding his decision to terminate his social ties with Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy does not fiercely retaliate against her impudence to the situation. Although a man of Mr. Darcy’s stature would have the ability to humiliate the social status quo of any family after such a misconceived accusation, Austen decides not to end with that conclusion. Instead, Mr. Darcy treats Elizabeth’s fallacy of him with respect while placidly presenting his own defense for his previous behavior to Mr. Wickham. In a theoretical outlook, Mr. Darcy’s response is parallel to Austen’s aspirations to have women be considered as significant members of society with certain ambitions of their own.

By including a social, belligerent character in the plot, Austen made a historical contribution to society at the time, as well as a current inspiration to women today who desire to reach their objectives in life. Furthermore, her rhetoric persuasion attempts to have her female audience protect their unalienable rights as human beings while demanding the male audience to accept them.


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