Pride And Prejudice: Context


Austen's Attitudes Of Love And Marriage

  • Believed happiness in an essential goal of marriage, and the ideal love is one where feelings are based on rational feelings.
  • A marriage must include respect for one another, provided by equality of intelligence, fincanical security, and love in order to be successful.
  • Austen never married (Her lover died the day after their engagement) and she provides different kinds of marriage in Pirde and Prejudice to show how life and relationships can be complicated.
  • Austen believed you needed to learn about yourself before you can others.
  • Austen shows marriages forced for money will not result in happiness.
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Austen's Literary Style

  • Highlights social hypocrisy with irony - allows the reader to reflect on their own views without being overwhelmed.
  • Lighthearted.
  • Free indirect speech - allows more empthay.
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Class And Social Expectation

  • Women are to marry rich young men to secure a comfortable life.
  • If unmarried and under 30, and woman should never to seen in the comany of another man without a chaperone.
  • Seven main classes, followed by the army and navy.
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Men And Women In Regency England

Property was often entailed.

The eldest son would inherit estates.

Upper and middle class women couldn't earn/ inherit money.

A women's beauty and accomplishments were preferred over their education.

Austen applauded people with independence - because women in Regency England were passed from their father to a husband and were completely dependent of them.

For women, marriage was the only path to a good future.

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Loss Of Virtue

  • Damage to your reputation
  • Prospects of marriage will decrease
  • Shunned from society
  • Disgrace to your family
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'Coming Out'

  • People met through balls and dances - inidcation a young woman was interested in suitors.
  • Women were never permitted to go out alone and meet a man - must have supervision.
  • Female siblings came out induvidually - the eldest child would be married first, and it was rare for lots of female siblings to be out at the same time.
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Pre Marital Copulation

  • Sex before marriage was a wicked act.
  • If a woman lost her virginity to a man before marriage the man would leave after.
  • If a man really loved the woman he would adhere to strict etiquette obligations.
  • A 'spoiled' woman would be a social pariah - no man would marry her, her family would be shamed and ruined, and she could even be disowned.
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Jane Austen


  • Born in Steventon, England in 1775.
  • Her father was the rector of the local parrish and taught her at home.
  • Pride and Prejudice was published in January 1813.
  • Her other works were Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility.
  • Only her immediate family knew that she was the author of the novels.
  • She wrote behind a door that creaked when vistors approached.
  • Sh published annoymously  - it helped her from aqquiring an authorial reputation, and enabled her to preserve her privacy at a atime when English society associated a female's entrance into the public shpere with a reprehensible loss of femininity.
  • She was a realist - she satirised snobs and poked fun at the poor breeding and misbehaviour of those lower on the social scale, distinguishing between internal and external merit too.
  • Died in 1817
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Pride And Prejudice: Context

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