Female Oppression in Pride and Prejudice Essay

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The Theme of Female Oppression in Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen.

In today’s society, women are faced with oppression in many different ways, whether they are denied a promotion at their job over a man of equal or lesser ability or qualification, or brought up to act a certain way as a female member of society. A female’s fight against oppression, be it social or societal, is certainly a difficult one, and one that - depending on the woman and the society in which she lives- may follow her throughout her entire life. Pride and Prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen that follows a woman named Elizabeth Bennet through her struggle to fight oppression in a time where certain behaviour
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Elizabeth is also very opinionated, and never hesitates to speak her mind when she deems it necessary. “‘I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.’” (Austen, 27). The opinions that others state of Elizabeth and her constant ‘drive’ or will to continue to fight against the oppression she is faced with and maintain her own sense of self is a clear indication of her willpower and it is interesting to compare her almost brash and boyish behaviours to the polite and proper behaviours of the other women in this novel.

In the society in which the Bennet family lives, class segregation and separation is common. Those who are rich and those who are poor rarely mingle, but since the Bennet family is part of the middle class, they delight in being invited to upper-class events such as formal events, or balls. “Mrs Bennet’s eyes sparkled with pleasure, and was eagerly calling out, while her daughter read, ‘Well Jane, who is it from? what is it about? what does he say?’.” (Austen,21). Such class segregation prevents women from lower classes from being able to associate themselves with men from middle or upper classes, or from being considered for arranged marriages by wealthier families in society. “‘I have an excessive regard for Jane Bennet, she is really a very sweet girl...But with such a father and mother, and such low connections, I am afraid there is no chance of it. ...It must

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