Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Social Classes in Jane Austen’s Novel Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is a very successful novel of Jane Austen. If we look at the characters background about social class, we can find the presence of characters from lower, middle and upper classes. Mr. Darcy is a rich man and his friend Mr. Bingley is also from a rich family. The Bennet sisters are from the middle class background and their friends and relatives belong to the same level. There are some servants from the lower class. It seems to me that Jane Austen has more soft corner for the Middle class people. Most of the rich people except Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are stupid and arrogant. They have artificial life and artificial manner.
On the other hand, we have a smart girl in Elizabeth Bennet. Her sister Jane is also a good person with good quality.


  1. Sabrina2:25 AM

    As a female writer, it is really appreciable that Jane Austen was a successful novelist. From the point of criticism, it is said that Jane Austen has dealt with silly matters in her novels. Comparing with other female novelists, may be it seemed that her subject matters are silly but this is not. First we have to observe the society of her contemporary time and second, the life style of people, especially women. Marriage, money, dowry all are linked to society and Jane talks about these matters in her novel. We can find these things in Pride and Prejudice. By showing social classes, Jane Austen has used these matters. Characters of different classes show us difference in thought of different classes. We can also say that it is one kind of highlight on classes of her contemporary society.

  2. The Bennet sisters are from the middle class background and their friends and relatives belong to the same level.

    The Bennet sisters are from the upper class, due to their father being a member of the landed gentry. This is so, despite Mrs. Bennet's middle class origins.

    On the other hand, Mr. Bingley should be considered a member of the middle class, due to the fact that his wealth came from trade. In order for the Bingleys to be considered upper class, Mr. Bingley would have to cut all financial ties with the business that had made his family wealthy, in order to cleanse the "taint of trade".