What is the role of women in the society depicted by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Pride and Prejudice the roles of women follow the same roles that women were expected to follow back in Regency England, which was Jane Austen's time.

First, women had to be married to become formal citizens, basically. If a woman did not marry she would literally become a destitute, or an annoying spinster expected to live in the house of one of her brothers or sisters.

Second, women were to be the epitome of good manners, prudence and nurturing. A woman was to be her husband's "everything".

Third, women were expected to come into a marriage through a dowry. A dowry is like a "down payment" made by the bride's family to officially combine the finances of both parties. The larger your dowry, the higher the possibilities to make a good marriage. Good, in this case however, refers to financially stable.

Finally, women were to surrender everything to the home, be home keepers, entertainers, mothers, counselors, AND wives. It was no simple task.

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Pride and Prejudice

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