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Pride and Prejudice and The Edible Woman Negative Effects of the Societys Influence Throughout history society has played an important role in forming the value and attitudes of the population Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice and Margaret Atwoods The Edible Woman are two novels which exemplify the negative effects of societys influence Both Elizabeth Bennet and Marian McAlpin are strong women who rebel against societys influences in their lives They refuse to accept the pre-set roles and identities handed to them Both women realize that the individuals needs are not necessarily the same as what society imposes on them they rebel against this very society in order to gain the independence necessary to discover what they want from life Society in the early 19th century world of Pride and Prejudice is represented through Mrs Bennet and those like her who are of mean understanding little information and uncertain temper Austen 53 From the beginning of the novel society prominently displays its views on marriage When Mr Bingly moves to town Mrs Bennet immediately entreats her husband to go introduce himself Mrs Bennet describes Bingly as a single man of large fortune four or five thousand a year What a fine thing for our girls 51 Bingly is immediately acceptable due to his money and connections and Mrs Bennet is already dreaming that one of her children will marry him In fact the business of her life was to get her daughters married 53 One of Elizabeths close friends Charlotte Lucas feels happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance 69 She feels that marriage is a vehicle to gain wealth and connections a view which has obviously been pushed upon her by society Elizabeth refuses to accept this view She feels marriage is for love not money and finds it a fantastic nightmare that economic and social institutions have such power over the values of personal relationships Harding 167 However Charlotte
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