How Elizabeth Bennet is used by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

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How Elizabeth Bennet is used by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice as a form of social protest In the society of Jane Austen's day it was imperative that a woman married a suitable husband in order for them to live comfortably and improve the social standing and wealth of her family. Women in high society did not work and so it was vital that they married well. This situation is best summed up in the book by Jane Austen as we are given an insight as to the motives of Elizabeth's sister Charlotte as she considers an offer of marriage, she writes "Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and…show more content…
She is like no other woman in the book or indeed of her time and by presenting this character Jane Austen is challenging the stereotypical woman of the day contrasting the typically obedient and loyal wife of the time with a woman who is strong willed and determined, something that would have shocked readers of the day. Within the book Mrs Bingley gives the reader an insight as to what was looked for in a potential wife all of which ironically Elizabeth does not agree with "A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must posses a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved", all of which Elizabeth struggled to comply with. It is her liveliness and her opinionated manner that ultimately attracts the arrogant Darcy to her, and her belief that that she should not conform to the idea of marrying for money and social status as was the general belief of the day. She is reluctant to place marriage at the centre of her ambitions without any regard for feelings or circumstances. Despite being intent on marrying for love and not money, Elizabeth's strong principals almost put her family's financial security and future at risk. The belief of the day was that if a man proposed and
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