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Polygence Scholar2023
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Wonwoo Lee

Class of 2025Seoul, Seoul

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Projects

  • "How has the discourse on marriage, women’s rights, and inheritance as well as the evolution of epistolary novels been impacted by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen?" with mentor Caitlin (Aug. 11, 2023)

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How has the discourse on marriage, women’s rights, and inheritance as well as the evolution of epistolary novels been impacted by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen?

Started May 20, 2023

Abstract or project description

This paper observes how the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen impacted the discourse on marriage, women’s rights, and inheritance as well as the evolution of epistolary novels. Pride and Prejudice profoundly focuses on the importance of marriage in many social classes during the 19th century. The novel is named for the pride of some of the characters and the prejudice that the protagonist and others have to face in order to fall in love and marry. This need to marry well to live a successful and fruitful life is emphasized through the characters’ actions, dialogue, and reactions and it reflects on the desires and problems of many young women during the time period that the novel was published. Pride and Prejudice also alludes to other works discussing marriage and women’s rights, such as Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Austen’s novel includes some of Wollstonecraft’s ideas about the constant need of young women to marry in order to be seen as fulfilled, though Wollstonecraft’s book greatly disagrees with this. The protagonist of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, has been beloved for centuries and has known the importance of a quality marriage. As the novel follows her and her sisters’ journey to marry well whilst overcoming pride and prejudice, the significance of inherited social classes and women’s rights are also discussed. This novel is also sometimes considered an epistolary novel, or a work of fiction written in the form of letters, due to some letters that Austen chose to include throughout her work. Austen’s significance as a groundbreaking women author of interesting ideas and genres during a time when authors were predominantly male has left an unforgettable and remarkable impact on the literary world that must be emphasized further. Thus, this paper explores the ideas of marriage, women’s rights, and inheritance throughout Pride and Prejudice, as well as some of its epistolary elements and what significant impacts it has left on the discussion of marriage and women’s rights after its publishing.