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Lessons Learned from British Literature

DREW JOHNSON Jon Jee Staff Published: February 6, 2017 7:28 AM

In my dual enrollment class I have been assigned the riveting British novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Although this book is not one of my favorites, there is still a lot that can be taken away from a 204 year old novel.

It is important to realize that in 2017 a women's job is not to marry a man and have children. In Pride and Prejudice Miss Bennet’s main goal is to have her daughters marry rich. In 2017 women have just as many rights as a man and they have the opportunities to do amazing things.

I also learned that fighting over a man or a woman is completely stupid. In the novel everyone seems to be interested in the same three men. The fact that women fought over each other for a wealthy man and men fight over a beautiful woman just goes to show that in the 1800s, compatibility and emotions were not factors in finding a significant other.

One thing that is the same now, as it was in the 1800s is being an arrogant snob gets you nowhere. For example, Mr. Darcy is super egocentric. This causes the beautiful Bennet daughter, Elizabeth, to lose interest.

Another great lesson that can be taken away from Pride and Prejudice would be to not get your hopes up. It seems as if every single time a Bennet daughter falls for someone, the men in turn ask someone else for their hand in marriage. It goes to show that even in the 1800s, finding a partner was extremely challenging.

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In the 1800s, social events seem to happen almost once a week. They have balls for the upper class where everyone wears extremely nice clothes. It is a true black tie event. In 2017, the fanciest event most high schoolers are able to attend are homecoming, prom, and possibly the occasional formal. We need to be more social, and with the invention of social media it seems we have become more distant. It’s quite ironic, the whole purpose of social media was to connect the world and it seems that people don’t converse face to face anymore.

Siblings in the 1800s seemed to be closer than our generation. They talked and actually interacted with each other. In Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth walks outside in the mud just so she could check on her ill sister Jane. Most of the siblings in our generation would just send a text message.

Probably one of the most important lessons to take out of Pride and Prejudice is do not marry because of money. It is important in 2017 to have a relationship based on a deep connection. In Pride and Prejudice, the women go for the wealthy men simply because they have money and can provide for a lavish lifestyle. Some men even chase women for money because they want the “rich-people” lifestyle. The factors of a relationship are much more than wealth and material possessions. A significant other should be supportive regardless of how much money they make.
In 2017, it is important to remember your past. In the words of George Santayana, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

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