Historical Criticism In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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ane Austen’s historical background was the most relevant and helpful aspect added within her literary works since she provided typical features of her epoch (the Regency Period) in them through characters, events, social customs, and so on, as it is seen in Pride and Prejudice. Due to historical factors, Austen’s point of view in her works was ‘biased’, that is to say, she had her own opinion on different matters, and as it is known, she was a proud feminist who expressed her beliefs when she wrote.
The Regency Period was a time of social instability in England: from the ‘madness’ of King George III, to the passivity and excessive life of his son, who was to be King George IV. Obviously, the judicial power did not favour every single person
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The author thought that marriage was to be made of a combination of love, affection and compatibility of character, just as the engagement between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Thus, she punished women who took wrong decisions when it came to marriage, as Lydia, who escaped from her family just to get married to George Wickham in a sudden and not very clever act – she clearly was decided just for passion and not for rational thinking. Jane Austen also punished women who got married for convenience, as Charlotte, who got engaged to Mr. Collins just to ensure her future and a stable economic status. At the very beginning, Charlotte Lucas was delighted for her engagement and forthcoming matrimony, but within a short period of time, she does not feel that happiness for her marriage, just as Austen declares in the novel: “his marriage was now fast approaching, and she (Mrs Lucas) was at length so far resigned as to think it inevitable, and even repeatedly to say in an ill-natured tone she ‘wished they might be happy ’” (Austen, 1813:
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