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Status and marriage in Jane Austens Pride and prejudice
2003 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine Austen’s depiction of the strong rank and status consciousness that penetrated her society and the related social obsession with a good marriage and also to show how Austen offers a subtle criticism of this mindset in the novel. In the 19th century society in England, women were considered to be inferior to men and therefore they often needed to marry men they were not in love with in order to gain financial security and reach a higher social status. This was especially true for women from families belonging to the non-titled gentry. Marriage to a rich and wealthy man was the only choice for a young girl of this rank. By taking a closer look at the different characters in Pride and Prejudice, though, one is able to reveal that the awareness of rank and status is deeply rooted within all the different parts of society and for the aristocrats depicted in the novel it is of importance not to get involved with anyone from a lower stratum of society in order for them to maintain their status and high reputation. In this society, a high social rank was all that mattered. However, in her sometimes ironical descriptions of the most status obsessed characters, one is able to reveal Austen’s criticism of these social conventions, and with this essay I hope to have illustrated the fact that according to Austen herself, by using caricatures from different levels of society, other factors than wealth and money decide who is a worthy human being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 16 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53728Local ID: ENG C-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53728DiVA: diva2:1102288
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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