Jane Austen's View Of Women

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Jane Austen and her Women Jane Austen has been described as a feminist because of her portrayal of women in her novels. Pride and Prejudice has been the discussion of critics for many years. But more or less, her feminism relates to her background. During the Regency Period, women were not expected to maintain a life for themselves. They were influenced by their families to marry well in order to have a good future and be provided for. There was a strong emphasis placed on money and class which is clearly evident in Pride and Prejudice. This style of living provided the background for this novel, which some people refer to as feminism and others to the satirizing of women in this age of history. Austen could be described as a feminist in writing at all. But she wrote from her world and her ( womanly ) point of view. As she said on her own limitations I must keep to my own style and go on my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other . ( Dawson 1 ) She painted the world she knew. The absence of large passions and romance is absent from her pages because it was absent from her life. Her love life was said to be sad and strange. But she went on writing and provided her audience with entertainment from her silly characters in Pride and Prejudice. Some of Austen s women were considered to be silly such as Mrs. Bennet and Lydia. Mrs. Bennet is described as a foolish, noisy woman whose only goal in life is to see her daughters married, and Lydia as gossipy, immature, and self-involved. ( Douthat 3 ) But she also presented a varitey of characters that she made fun of. On the male side, a prime example would be Mr. Collins, a pompous clergyman who seeks to inheirt Mr. Bennet s property. But then of course there is Elizabeth who proves to be an admirable heroine who insists on being treated as a rational creature. Through the character of Charlotte Lucas, Austen presents a rather cool and objective view of the limited options open to women. During the Regency Period, women did not recieve the same offers of education that were offered to the gentlemen. They usually did not have careers and were expected to recieve a practical training for their domestic role. One quote from a male stated that women should read neither poetry or politics--nothing but of books of piety and cookery. ( RoP 2 ) The majority of girls time was spent on sewing and needlework. Throughout Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth or Jane works on their cross-stitch during their lesiure time. The household work though, was actually done by the servants. Mrs.Bennet prides herself on her family s being too genteel for her daughters to be involved in the cooking, unlike the Lucas family. ( RoP 2 ) In 1870, Anthony Trollope declared that Throughout all her works, a sweet lesson of homely household womanly virtue is ever being taught. ( RoP 2 ) But it is not hard to see some feminist tendencies. She did however, write about strong willful women Elizabeth

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