Novel Of Manners Analysis

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Jane Austen is one of British Literature’s most well-known female novelists, especially when considering the rise in popularity of the Novel of Manners in the 19th century. The Novel of Manners centers on a female character and the rising action culminates in familial, social, and communal conflicts. The protagonist navigates the difficult and strenuous expectations placed on her by the people around her while she subverts and resists the standards and oppressions of the time. One prominent component throughout the history of Austen’s work is the uplifting of women and the role they play in their societal sphere with Pride and Prejudice exemplifying these characteristics. Because this piece is one of Austen’s most popular, it has been adapted…show more content…
A major stance Austen takes that subverted the general notion of her time is that love cannot and should not take place without the direct consent and consultation of both parties. Families arranged weddings in the most politically advantageous way for those involved, and women often had no say in who they married as they were expected to be submissive to the men in their lives. This view was especially true in European aristocratic families like the Bennets. One can find an example of this in the contrast of Mr. Collins’ and Mr. Darcy’s respective proposals. The novel and film handle this situation identically. When Elizabeth rejects Mr. Collins, he responds immediately by dismissing her. He states that it is “usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept… It is consistent with the true delicacy of the female character” (Austen, 129, 131). Collins fully expects to be turned down because he thinks it means Elizabeth truly desires him. He is certain he will marry her before long showing that his character embodies the notions of the time. Men married because it was expected of them, not out of love or affection. In the case of Mr. Collins, he proposes because it is “the right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstance” (Austen, 127). Elizabeth’s will is not
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