Please discuss a Marxist approach to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One possible Marxist approach to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice would be to examine how the novel promotes a form of false ideology. The basic plot of the novel suggests that two young women from a poor but upper class family can solve their economic problems by marrying rich men. In historical terms, such marriages would have been extremely rare. Realistically, the older economic system of land ownership as providing for large families was failing, and women's lack of economic power and earning capacity was not compensated for by the small chance of an economically beneficial and pleasant marriage. Thus one could say that Austen's novel promoted complacency among women who should have been actively protesting their economic oppression.