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Pride and Predjudice Early Feminism and Women

It is evident from reading Pride and Prejudice how different the lives of women were during the end of the eighteenth century. During the eighteenth century it is evident that a women’s reputation is of the greatest importance. Women, in general, were expected to behave in certain ways in order to uphold their reputation, such as wed when age appropriate, focus primarily on arts, and always look presentable. From the first sentence, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” (1) it is evident that there is great importance on marrying a man of well-established status and fortune. The entire novel speaks of Mrs. Bennet trying to seek out suitable men for her five daughters to marry. An extreme amount of attention is paid to these men in hopes of an engagement. When one of the sisters married, Lydia, she said to Mrs. Bennet, “’and what do you think of my husband? Is not he a charming man? I am sure my sisters must all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck’” (236). Lydia is apparent in her expressions that her sisters are unfortunate because they are not wed. She later proceeds to say that because her sisters are not wed that they must not have anything important to do at all. It seems as if unwed women of the eighteenth century are frowned upon and discredited. This discrediting may be attributed to a women’s social, as well as economical, position being dependent upon their father and their future husband. It is also evident from Lady Catherine de Bourgh that it is pertinent for women of the eighteenth century to master the arts. During Elizabeth’s first encounter with lady Catherine, she was asked whether she played and/or sang. Elizabeth recounted that she, along with her sisters, played and sang little. After such a response, Lady Catherine seemed disappointed and made point that all ladies of society should ...

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Pride and Predjudice Early Feminism and Women. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 11:53, September 20, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/371.html