Know Your Place Essay

1879 Words 8 Pages
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a Victorian era novel that chronicles the relationship of social status and love during early nineteenth century England. This gives readers a sense of how social structure during the eighteenth hundreds was shifting from heirs to earners with people vying to stay relevant and included in the upper class. Historically, the novel was hardly influenced by what was occurring during the time it was written which included the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. “In the world of Pride and Prejudice, the soldiers are present only to give the younger Bennet daughters men in uniforms to chase after. Their world is limited to their own home, those of their friends and neighbors, a few major resort towns, and, …show more content…
The middle class which was about fifteen percent of the population in 1837 and twenty-five percent in 1901 encompassed the broadest spectrum of income levels and types of work. At one end, it embraced industrialists and wealthy bankers; the other end was composed of low paid teachers and clerks. Physicians, clergymen, engineers, military officers, shopkeepers, and land-owning farmers were in the middle of the spectrum. The upper classes consisted of the landed gentry and aristocracy which was six to fifteen percent of the population. The gentry came by wealth and land through their own efforts, while the aristocracy inherited their lands and wealth from their fathers. At the beginning of the Victorian age, the aristocracy and the gentry held most of England’s wealth as well as holding all seats in Parliament. As the middle class grew in numbers and affluence, it also rose in social status and political power, making them a threat to upper class. “ ‘Know your place’ was the widely accepted attitude at every level of English society.” (Damon 1-2 ) “One great interest of the Victorian age was the time when a new social order was being built up, and entirely new problems were being solved. The nineteenth century has been called the age of hope;” (Inge 9) Victoria was crowned on June 28, 1838 in London’s Westminster Abbey and had a reign that lasted for sixty-four
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