Women's Role in Society in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

2716 Words11 Pages
Over the centuries, women’s duties or roles in the home and in the work force have arguably changed for the better. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen teaches the reader about reputation and loves in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries by showing how Elizabeth shows up in a muddy dress, declines a marriage proposal and how women have changed over time. Anything a woman does is reflected on her future and how other people look at her. When Elizabeth shows up to the Bingley’s in a muddy dress they categorize her as being low class and unfashionable. Charles Bingley, a rich attractive man, and his sister had a reputation to protect by not letting their brother marry a ‘low class girl’. Reputation even today and back in the nineteenth…show more content…
The richest, best looking men were usually married off first that is why when Mr. Bingley came to town everybody introduced their daughters to him and his family. Mrs. Bennet say to her husband Mr. Bennet, who usually ignored her, “It is truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be want for a wife” (Austen 1-2) A rich man did not need a wife as much as a woman needed a man. A rich single good looking man, like most of the bachelors in the novel, was every girls dream; a girl’s father could only introduce his daughter to a man. In the novel Mrs. Bennet begs her husband to introduce their girls to Charles Bingley, even though Mr. Bennet already met up with Mr. Bingley and already had plans for him to meet his daughters. A girl or mother were not allowed to introduce themselves to a man, when Mrs. Bennet says to her husband “It will be no use to us, if twenty such come, since you will not visit them” (Austen 32) Only being able to meet someone through a father’s approval and introducing of his daughters shows how powerless women were in the fact they could not make their own decisions. At the town ball the Bingley’s and Mr. Darcy arrive late but almost instantly noticed by every family, with a daughter, in the room. Mr. Bennet took this opportunity to introduce all his daughters in front of his wife. After Mr. Darcy,
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