Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is an 18th-century novel of manners set in rural England and portraying the relationships between the four daughters of the Bennet family and their neighbors. While accurately and vividly depicting the manners and social norms of that time, the novel also provides sharp observations on the themes of love, marriage, class, money, education, and social prestige. In this paper, the four main themes of Pride and Prejudice are analyzed. Marriage is the main topic around which the plot revolves. The author illustrates the conflict between marrying for money, which was the typical idea at the time, and marrying for love. In either case, the economic and social differences were obstacles which made it hard for young women from poor families to break out of their social circle. Each person’s position in society was determined by their class, and the relations between families also centered around differences in wealth and status. The gender differences also played an important role, as women were considered inferior to men and were practically unable to choose partners. Austen both criticizes and examines the social life of 18th-century England, advocating for marrying for love as one of the essential female rights.
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