Essay on Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

Essay on Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice

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On the surface, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a romantic story of love overcoming varying vices. However, Austen takes care to feature very complicated characters to counteract the predictability of such a love story. In fact, Austen is often praised for her many-layered male and female characters. Austen creates detailed women who both follow and disregard the stereotypical concepts of femininity in varying social classes. However, she also creates complicated men who both fulfill and shirk the duties of husbands and men. In order to create such complicated characters, Austen seems to employ the duties and stereotypes of individuals as outlined by Mary Wollstonecraft in her work of A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Wollstonecraft asserts that the success of society relies on the future of society: children. However, Wollstonecraft also suggests that the successes of children depend entirely upon parents fulfilling their duties not only as mothers and fathers, but as men and women. Jane Austen uses the personalities of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet to portray characters who fail their children not only by failing to fulfill the duties of parenthood, but by failing to fulfill the duties of women and men.
Wollstonecraft asserts that the first and foremost duty of parents is to provide education for all of their children, not only for their male offspring but for their young girls as well, for “girls, who have been thus weakly educated, are often cruelly left by their parents without any provision” (Wollstonecraft 135). Without an education, women are left to either the “bounty of their brothers” or are forced to find suitable husbands to provide for them (Wollstonecraft, 135). The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet failed to provide th...


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... 319). Through this advice, Mr. Bennet offers some atonement for his failure to his children. He realizes marrying a partner one cannot respect ultimately leads to grief and misery, and advises Elizabeth to learn from his mistakes.
Jane Austen’s familiarity with Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women may not be able to be determined. However, Pride and Prejudice reveals Austen shares the same major views on the treatment of women during her time as Wollstonecraft. Austen gives readers a realistic example of how society is when the inherent duties outlined in A Vindication of the Rights of Women are not followed. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet fail their marriage, their children and society through their vanity, selfishness, and their indirect upholding of social hierarchies. The failures of individuals become detrimental to their children, and ultimately society

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