Comparing Mary Wollstonecraft's Pride And Prejudice

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The Reverberation of Mary Wollstonecraft in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) has often been regarded as one of the most influential and important articulations in the history of feminist theory. Wollstonecraft, addressing such issues as education, politics and marriage and debunking the myths of female frailties, vehemently argues for the rights of women and the equality of the sexes. In particular, Wollstonecraft’s views on marriage are continuously echoed throughout Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice (1812). Wollstonecraft’s notion that marriage should be based on friendship and respect rather than economic security or physical attraction is an ideal epitomized by the nuptials between Pride and Prejudice’s two leading characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
Matrimony in eighteenth and nineteenth century England played a significant role in the lives of women. In hopes of obtaining a secure financial future, women often dedicated their lives to marrying wealthy men, without any regard to mutual affection. Wollstonecraft condemned such marriages, arguing instead that marriages should be based on true friendship. As Wollstonecraft affirms, “Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded …show more content…

Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five daughters, is an intelligent, headstrong woman who detests the idea of marriage being a mere economic contract. Elizabeth adamantly rejects Darcy’s first proposal of marriage. Despite the affluent lifestyle and economic security Darcy would be able to offer Elizabeth, she still refuses his proposal on the grounds that he is egocentric, impudent and uncivil. This reproach to Darcy prompts him to reform his character and after a series of events, Elizabeth soon begins to see Darcy for the moral man he really

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