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Feminism in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Essay

A feminist perspective began to exist during the time when women were not given much right to be heard. With the determination to fight for their right to be heard, women used literature as their means of exposing their true feelings and desire to be equal among men (“Feminist Perspective on Eighteenth Century Literature”, n. d. ). Jane Austen is one of the many female authors during their time that showed her feministic point of view especially in her work Pride and Prejudice.

Feminism in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice showed how women at early times were repressed by the expectation of society and how women fought for their right to be respected and treated the same as their male counterparts. Austen’s feminism influence was shown in her work Pride and Prejudice by making the characters themselves stand up for women (“Pride and Prejudice — notes on education, marriage, status of women, etc. ”, n. d. ). In the movie version of the novel, the dialogue between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth revealed how Elizabeth stood up for herself and her right to be respected.

This is shown in Elizabeth’s line: “I will not and I certainly never shall. You have insulted me in every possible way, and can now have nothing further to say” (“Memorable Quotes from Pride and Prejudice”, 2005). Here, Austen made Elizabeth’s character stand up for her right to be respected as a person. This is what most feminists discuss, i. e. , the right of women to fight and demand respect from other people, and Austen showed that in Elizabeth’s character.

Austen also revealed a sense of feministic view in her work by showing how limited options are for women (“Pride and Prejudice — notes on education, marriage, status of women, etc. “, n. d. ). Austen did not only reveal this issue by using other female characters in the story. In the movie version of the novel, this issue could be clearly seen through the character of Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend as revealed in one of her lines: “Oh hush! Not all of us can afford to be romantic. I’ve been offered a comfortable home and protection.

There’s a lot to be thankful for” (“Memorable Quotes from Pride and Prejudice”, 2005). In this line, Charlotte clearly suggests that not all women can afford to follow what their heart truly desires, meaning women at that time could not afford to choose because of what society expects from them. This could also be seen in Charlotte’s line: “I’m twenty – seven years old, I’ve no money and no prospects. I’m already a burden to my parents and I’m frightened. So don’t you dare judge me Lizzie. Don’t you dare! ” (“Memorable Quotes from Pride and Prejudice”, 2005).

This line clearly states how Austen made Charlotte’s character show how hard it is for women having limited options. Austen showed through Charlotte’s character how women at that time were repressed because of how society’s expectation amongst women affected them. Aside from exposing the issue about women’s rights to be equal among men, Austen also revealed in her work how women are independent individuals that can make their own decisions. In the movie adaptation of the novel, Austen made use of the character of Elizabeth to show how a woman could go against the norms on decision making.

This is revealed in her lines: “Mr. Collins, I cannot accept you. Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony. ” This line from the movie adaptation reveals how Elizabeth rejects the marriage proposal of Mr. Collins, a clergy man newly ordained by Lady Catherine. Austen revealed in the character of Elizabeth how she believes that women should be able to make decisions on their own. Feminists not only discuss issues about how women are viewed during the previous times but also how women fought to be treated equal and to have the same opportunities as the men in society.

Discussing the different issues and rights of women to be heard in a society dominated by male shows the influence of feminism in Jane Austen’s work Pride and Prejudice.

References Feminist Perspective on Eighteenth Century Literature (n. d. ) 123helpme. Retrieved from http://www. 123helpme. com/preview. asp? id=34762 Memorable Quotes from Pride and Prejudice (2005). Retrieved from http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0414387/quotes Pride and Prejudice — notes on education, marriage, status of women, etc. (n. d. ) The Republic of Pemberly. Retrieved from http://www. pemberley. com/janeinfo/pptopic2. html


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