English_Master February 28, 2016 No Comments
CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS IN PRIDE AND PREJUDICE       Originally written in the late 1700s, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice satirically depicts the universal ideals in Re­gency England, primarily regarding social class. Austen fol­lows the development of an outspoken, middle-class British woman, Elizabeth Bennet, as she encounters and overcomes the many social barriers that separate her from her aristocratic neighbors. Throughout the novel, Lizzie must confront soci­ety’s class-consciousness, particularly with her family’s grow­ing relationship with the wellborn Bingleys and their friend, Mr. Darcy. It is clear that author, Jane Austen, intended Pride and Prejudice to be a parody of English society’s emphasis on the social class structure, which parallels the social class system of today. Although our present-day social class system is more flexible than it was in the 1700s, members of the elite, espe­cially celebrities, are still more apt to marry other upper-class citizens, rather than their social inferiors. For example, it is expected by society, and usually veritable that rock stars, ac­tors and models tend to pursue partners from a comparable social class. Similarly, a marriage between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Anne de Bourgh, daughter of the distinguished Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is expected because both parties are of equally notable lineage and hail from the same prestigious family. The union...
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