In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, how closely do the characters reflect the historical accuracy of culture within the community?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Among the genteel society of Jane Austen's class, as depicted in Pride and Prejudice, it was certainly the norm to frequently entertain through balls, dinners, and frequent social calls, as we see all of the characters doing. The ways in which the community of Hertfordshire socially engages, is certainly accurately depicted.

Another aspect of culture found, not only in Hertfordshire, but in England at large for the time period, was the mingling of social classes and the questions it raised. During this time period, England was at war with France at the time of the French Revolution. England, wanting to avoid their own revolution began to soften the hard lines of demarcation separating social classes. The aristocracy, not wanting to loose their heads as the French aristocracy did, began to be less assertive with respect to their superiority, as we see Darcy do. Not only that, England's middle class, such Elizabeth's relations like the Gardiners, began intermingling and intermarrying with the aristocracy, as we also see depicted in Pride and Prejudice.

Hence, the characters in Pride and Prejudice give a very accurate portrayal of the society and culture of Austen's time.


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