Pride and Prejudice : Class Consciousness Essay

Originally written in the late sass, Jane Student’s Pride and Prejudice satirically depicts the universal Ideals in Regency England, primarily regarding social class. Austin follows the development of an outspoken, middle-class British woman, Elizabeth Bennett, as she encounters and overcomes the many social barriers that separate her from her aristocratic neighbors. Throughout the novel, Legalize must face society’s class-consciousness, particularly with her family’s growing relationship with the wellbeing Bentleys and their friend, Mr.. Dairy. The author’s objective of writing

Pride and Prejudice is to provide an examination of English society’s emphasis on the social class structure, which seems to parallel our own modern day society.

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Our present-day social class system is more flexible than it was in the sass’s, despite this, we can assume that people from the elite class, such as celebrities, will tend to marry other upper-class citizens. Similarly, a marriage between Mr.. Dairy and his cousin, daughter of the distinguished Lady Catherine De Burgh, is expected because both parties are of equally notable lineage and hall from the same prestigious family.

The union between the two aristocrats was planned ” ‘while In their cradles’ ” (McKee 23) according to Lady De Burgh, who makes a trip to Longhorn to see Elizabeth after hearing that she Is engaged to Ann.’s “future husband”. Lady Catherine is appalled that the anticipated matrimony between Dairy and her daughter may ” be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unhealed to the family’ ” and makes every effort to prevent any chance of an engagement between Elizabeth and Dairy (McKee 56).

During this confrontation, Lady De Burgh’s behavior towards Elizabeth is quite comical and can e compared to Mrs.. Bonnet’s often- embarrassing behavior; had Lady De Burgh not had such stately ancestry, she may have lowered her social status with her ridiculous conduct. Lady Catering’s ludicrous demeanor Is presumably derived from her lofty ego, which society has helped create by exalting the upper class. A mere connection with Lady Catherine, whom Mr.. Collins considers a model, allows the fanatical clergyman to believe he has the notoriety to advance his own social class.

Indirect connections with distinction are Just as praiseworthy as direct ties, at least in the mind of the nonsensical Mr.. Collins, who works for the esteemed Lady Catherine De Burgh. It is evident throughout Pride and Prejudice that Mr.. Collins deems himself imperial compared to the rest of Derbyshire. The author characterizes him as being a “mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility” (Austin 15). He believes that his connection to Lady Catherine places him in the upper crust of society; however, this speculation Is humorous, as Mr..

Collins is simply an ostentatious churchman who will Inherit the estate of a middle class family. He Is convinced that he Is doing Elizabeth a favor by proposing to her. Mr.. Collins cites here specific reasons for his proposal, one reason being ” that it is the particular calling patroness’ ” (Park 1). Because of this connection to Lady Catherine, he expects Lassie’s acceptance of his proposal and therefore, is dumbfounded when she refuses him; he insists that she is playing with his mind, as most women do with men.

He emphasizes that his ” ‘situation in life, his connections with the family of De Burgh, and his relationship to the Bennett are circumstances highly in its favor; and that Legalize should take it into farther consideration that in spite of her manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made to her’ ” (Park 1). His bewilderment about Elizabethan rejection is amusing. The author uses his application of his relationship to Catherine De Burgh to satire the overemphasis of class- consciousness found in Regency England.

It is almost expected by society that a celebrity and his family be treated with utmost respect and dignity, merely because they are of higher social status. Likewise, Mr.. Dairy expects that his original proposal to Elizabeth be accepted simply because he has never really been exposed to rejection and knows no other way. Fatalism Dairy is an unfortunately shy man who has always been isolated in a dome of high society; therefore, he knows no other way of life other than the life of an aristocrat and expects to be treated as such.

His over-emphasis of class differences is a laughable matter. When he is faced with Lassie’s rejection, Mr.. Dairy must struggle “for the appearance of composure” in order to question her unfavorable response (Electroplate 1). Austin points out that “His astonishment was Obvious; as he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification” (Electroplate 1). Again, because society has exalted the upper class, Dairy has been brought up to expect his social inferiors to please and serve him, Inch explains his surprise at Lassie’s unsubtle refusal. Mr..

Dairy’s situation could be paralleled to our own society, for example if a celebrity had been turned down in a marriage proposal by a commoner. In its entirety, Fatalism Dairy’s sheltered life mocks the lives of Regency England’s nobility. At length, Jane Austin makes it indisputable that her novel, Pride and Prejudice, satirized the social class system in England during the late sass. By creating harassers who place themselves on pedestals according to their class, Austin is able to make light of the often derogatory class consciousness common to Regency England.

On the other hand, this British novelist also shows that love and happiness can overcome all class boundaries. Toward the end of Pride and Prejudice, Legalize entente crosses a bridge onto the Pembroke property, Dairy’s estate. This bridge is one of the few symbols in the novel, and represents the bridge between Dairy’s higher class and Lassie’s lower class. Not long after, Legalize acknowledges her affection for Dairy and accepts his second, less arrogant proposal. Nonetheless, Pride and Prejudice focuses on the entertainment value found in the over emphasis of class- consciousness.

Lady Catherine acts completely imbecilic and gets away with her preposterous behavior; Mr.. Collins’ puzzlement lies in the “enormous” hole sheltered life expecting his social inferiors to behave subserviently. These three characters are victims of a caricature of class-consciousness and are mocked and parodied throughout this famous piece of British literature. Austin successfully portrays, and exaggerates the social class system that existed during the sass’s, she engages to invites and entertains the reader while maintaining a degree of significance. Cliffs 1) Society has already predisposed women to be ignorant, and submissive, the role of Omen assumes a significant function in this novel. During the sass’s, women were expected to engage in only one major activity, this was, of course, to find a wealthy and supportive husband. Any women who stepped out of this norm of society, was Calculable and open to ostracism. While that is their main task, they must always follow a certain code that depicts exactly what they must do in society. When Elizabeth Bennett walks into the Bentley residence with muddy boats, this shocks the reputation-conscious Bentley sisters.

Mrs.. Bennett also gives Legalize a bad reputation by behaving ill-mannered and ridiculous as she often did towards Mr.. Dairy, this is out of the societal norms and thus, Mrs.. Bennett builds up a bad reputation. Later in the novel, when Lydia elopes with Hickman and lives with him out of wed-lock, their family is then further disgraced by this flagrant violation of society’s “code”. It seems unfair to condemn the other sisters because of her own acts, but that was the Lipton people used to Judge by.

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