My first novel blog post in this “happy, happy 2015” with the first feminist author, Jane Austen. Yes, after hearing so much about Austen’s feminist writing skills, finally, I got my hands on “Pride and Prejudice”.
” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
The above quote, becomes the very synonym of the story of this novel and the very reality of the late eighteenth century British society.
The story revolves around the middle-class gentry- Bennet family, consisting of Mr. & Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters – Jane, Lizzy, Kitty, Mary and Lydia. Though, the crux of the novel is all about getting the daughters married off to some well-propertied men, but Austen through this feminist novel, depicts the complex and inferior position of women, not only in the institution of marriage, but in the society as a whole.
The character of Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet, is shown in the light of feminism by Austen, through depicting her as a rational being as well as a free spirit. Though, Austen has not provided Elizabeth full freedom but still has given her a freedom of speech with the freedom of having a say, in making matrimonial decisions.
The content circles around Elizabeth- Darcy and Jane- Bingley relationship, but the very contrast in the type of relationship these both pairs share, has been highlighted by presenting the latter pair being traditionally dependent on the societal way of weighing marriage, which is, marrying to a rich person (marrying only for a financially secured future), whereas, the former central pair depends upon monetary as well as emotional dependencies.
The social context of the novel lies, when there was Industrial Revolution, followed by French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, culminating in the emergence of a new trade class, which alternatively, shook the landed aristocracy and marriage became the source of mediating between the two classes as well as acquiring wealth.
It is a “change of heart” novel, with a tone of irony and reality in it!
Have a read!