Feminism Before Its Time

Pride and Prejudice

jane austen

Jane Austen, some, may say she was ahead of her time. She was an author who wrote about social stands in the gender roles that played in the 19th century. One of her most influential books was and still is, Pride and Prejudice.

You can capture the style of writing she was trying to achieve by the very realistic and satire writing with the first sentence of the book.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” said Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

It is like Austen is making fun a very true and realistic idea that society had of the proper duties of a man and women. You get to see that throughout the book that she tries to make light of the little freedom that role of women had; it all led to finding a proper suitor to marry. The book opened the door to feminism in the 19th century.

“Austen takes part in a larger network of feminist literature in which private space is equated with female creativity and freedom from domestic duties,” said Lamia Alafaireet, from the University of Missouri.

The whole purpose of the book is the constant nagging of Mrs. Bennet the mother of four daughters whom is married to Mr. Bennet, and all she wants in the world before Mr. Bennet “passes away” is get her daughters married to wealthy men.

Each daughter plays a certain role: Jane the eldest has quality of making any man happy with her passive personality and beauty; Elizabeth the second oldest is the narrator of the story, she has certain view of each character, is very independent and proud woman; Mary is seen as the least attractive one and has very dry personality; Kitty is described as very “silly” and is fascinated by the opposite sex; Lydia the youngest is quite the same as Kitty, but even more wild by the way she acts in the time period.

The book has been a phenomenon worldwide. It has been made into TV shows, movies, and has even been made to spin-off stories. Even caused some controversy in the British literature at the time period it was written.

“I’d give all she ever wrote for half what the Brontës wrote—if my reason did not compel me to see that she is a magnificent artist,” said Virginia Wolf in letter to friend.

 

 

 

 

 

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