Womans status: Eighteenth Century to Modern Day Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Since Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, the way women are treated and the way they act has altered considerably. Women have become more independent and more sociable.

The prospect of employment is one of the factors that have changed. In the eighteenth century, a man was looked down upon if he worked and a woman working was unheard of. There were only a few occupations women could belong to and these were for the destitute women who had to work to survive. These jobs were: Governess, seamstress, maid, nanny, housekeeper or other household service, bar maid or prostitute. All of these were degrading and paid very little. In particular, the book includes Mrs Bennets brother who is an attorney, the soldiers and Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins is treated quite ill be Mr. Darcy at the Neitherfield ball, when Mr. Darcy walks away from him while he is mid conversation. Ill hazard a guess that Mr. Darcy would not dream of doing such a thing if Mr Collins was not of a lower and a working class.

Miss. Bingley, Mrs. Hurst and Mr. Darcy look down on and express amusement at Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Mrs. Bennet on, because they are of a working class. Miss Bingley actually says, I think I have heard you say, that their uncle is an attorney in Meryton. After this they burst out laughing and found it rather amusing. These days women want careers and high paying jobs in accountancy or law and it is shameful not to work.

A woman was never allowed to own anything unless she came from a very rich family who were able to afford to make a will. All the belongings including the humble abode and furniture would be legally owned by the nearest male relative on the moment of the owners decease. The nearest male relative was usually a son but if they were no sons, as in Mr. Bennets case, everything would have to be given to a cousin or a nephew. Now in the twenty-first century, belongings can be dispatched to anyone whom the owner intends: male or female, family or friend.

Voting was a thing for only rich men to do. Women were never involved because their views were seen to be inadequate and non-important, as they were seen as trophies on a mans arm.

Education has too been an extensive transformation. Girls would by no means attend a school and only extremely wealthy parents would send a boy to a private school. A girl was supposed to be pretty and not clever and be there when and if they are needed. For them to have an opinion, like Elizabeth Bennet and speak their mind was wrong and rude. So if they were taught too much then they may start thinking for themselves. If a child were taught anything it would have been from their mother or Governess.

Girls were taught to understand writing, sew, to play the piano or another instrument and dance. These skills were essential if a woman was to become accomplished. This meant they could achieve what they were trained to do exceptionally well and could sing and play to an audience. As time went on, becoming accomplished became less and less important, until the present day, when it has become a exceptional occurrence for somebody to be able to play an instrument extremely well. It is now compulsory for each person to attend a school until the minimum age of sixteen.

Sewing, reading, letter writing, walking and instruments were what women used to do as leisure activities. They would occasionally play a round of cards, go riding, or dance.

For example in Volume One, Chapter Two, Mr. Bennet asks Elizabeth, When is your next ball to be, Lizzy? A ball was extremely popular with women in the nineteenth century. It was a chance for them to meet young men and have some fun. Two centuries later, women are swimming, running, driving, watching television and doing the identical things for fun as men and activities that would disgrace people in the nineteenth century.

Love, relationships and marriage, is one of the largest areas to have modified. It is customary to live with someone before even thinking of getting married and sex before marriage is not a great deal, but when you leap back in time to when Pride and Prejudice was written things were viewed very differently.

A girl belonged to her father until she got married, and then she was the possession of her husband. But to marry a woman, a man would have to request the permission of her father before she could consent.

The intentions of a woman were to get married to a rich man, be a good mother and a good hostess. It was then her duty to give birth to at least one boy to have an heir to the estate, but if she had all girls the mother tried to get them married off to a rich man.

A woman tried her hardest to marry up in society because she would then live a comfortable life, in a large house with high connections. Her children would be well educated and she would never have to anything. They wanted to marry for financial security but not for love. A woman who marries for money in our society is looked down on as a penny-pincher, but it used to be extremely common. This was the case for Charlotte Lucas. After she had been proposed to in Volume one, chapter twenty-two, she was talking with her good friend Elizabeth Bennet.

I see what you are feeling, replied Charlotte, you must be surprised, so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it all over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic you know. I never was. I only ask for a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collinss character, connections and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness is fair, as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.

Miss Lucas does not marry for love but at the age of twenty-seven she feels that Mr. Collins is her ultimate chance of being married. She states, I am not romantic you know. This automatically implies that she is not in love with the clergyman, Mr. Collins, but is marring him for a different reason. She then goes on to say that she only asks for a comfortable home and because of Mr. Collinss state in society she will be as happy as anyone else might.

Jane and Elizabeth, the two eldest of the five Bennet girls, want marry for love and for Elizabeth there is no other option. Jane says to Elizabeth near the beginning of Pride and Prejudice that she will try to marry well for the family.

At first Elizabeth has feelings for Wickham, which were soon put to rest by the truth of his character being exposed by Mr. Darcy, and then possibly Fitzwilliam, but nothing of consequence. Eventually she falls for the desirable Mr. Darcy, when she over looks her pride and prejudice although she speaks her mind and is thought by a lot to be disgraceful. Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is Mr. Darcys aunt, did not see this match with kindly eye. She calls upon Elizabeth at Longbourn and allows her sentiments known. Lady de Bourgh is very rich and expects to listened to because of this. She forbids Elizabeth from marrying Mr. Darcy before he proposes because of the gap in society. Only Elizabeth takes no notice and does it anyway.

Divorce used to be a sin that only men could commit if he was unhappy with his wife. She was never able to divorce him until much later on. On average, today one in three marriages end in divorce and either person in that marriage can end it as long as they have been married for a year.

As you can see, since the eighteenth century, many changes have occurred within daily life. Women are now equal to men.

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