Pride and Prejudice

From Charlotte’s Perspective: Societal Expectations of Women in Pride and Prejudice College

Throughout the Romantic Era, young women struggled to balance the traditional values of their elders with the revolutionary ideals of the period. Radical female writers such as Jane Austen attempted to give women a voice in the literary world so that they would have the opportunity rise above the restrictive societal views that limited them to the roles of obedient wives and mothers. In the novel Pride and Prejudice, Austen’s character Elizabeth Bennet is representative of the contemporary young women of her time who were in search of love rather than “suitable husbands”. Yet, in her characterization of Charlotte Lucas and Charlotte's views on marriage, wealth, and social status, Austen reveals how women not as fortunate as Elizabeth were forced to either conform to the roles that they were born into or risk being alienated from their communities.

In his adaptation of the novel, Joe Wright attempts to capture the essence of Austen’s classic and her characterization of Charlotte Lucas on film. Without the narrative element of the novel, however, Wright uses casting, camera angles, and dialogue to reveal Austen’s theme without having to resort to creating a voice-over narration that would distract from the overall ambiance....

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