Gender Roles, Marriage and Society in Pride and Prejudice
A look at Jane Austen’s `Pride and Prejudice` as a historical account of gender roles, marriage, and society in the early 19th-century, and the character of Elizabeth Bennet which constitutes a critique of traditional norms of women’s behavior.
“Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice can be read as an historical account of gender roles, marriage, and society in the early 19th-century. Most of the characters in the novel embody traditional 19th century standards. However, the character of Elizabeth Bennet constitutes a critique of traditional norms of women’s behavior. Her independence, intelligence, and bold personality do not hold to a traditional 19th-century view of women. Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr. Collin’s proposal does not conform to the submissive role that women were expected to adhere to. Elizabeth has no respect for the existing economic classes as seen by her rude disposition to Lady Catherine on her trip to Hunsford. Further, Elizabeth’s carefree and independent nature simply does not agree with the traditionally expected role of women.”