Through the Pride & Prejudice final project, I was able to expand my knowledge of societal and marital norms of Jane Austen’s time. The ideology of marriage in England was idolized. For females, it was extremely crucial that they marry for financial stability and not for the concept of love. Life in the twenty-first century completely differs from life in the eighteenth century.
Although there are some similarities, the martial and societal norms have completely transformed. Through the final project, I was also able to collaborate with my peers. I was able to receive feedback about myself which helped improve my skills as a learner. In this essay, I will be contributing my ideas and opinions about my knowledge of the English culture, the comparison of the two centuries, and my individual reflection. In Jane Austen’s novel, Pride & Prejudice, individuals are able to gain insight into how societal and marital norms were incorporated in the daily lives of people living in England.
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Austen gives numerous amounts of examples of how life as a woman living in England was revolved around the ideology of marrying for financial stability instead of love. Mrs. Bennet’s mentality is solely revolved around wanting to marry off her five daughters to wealthy men to provide a reassuring future.
When Elizabeth rejects Mr. Collins and opposes these eighteenth-century marital norms, Mrs. Bennet goes into shock and does not want to associate with her daughter. Due to this ideology of marriage, there were limited options for the women to choose from. Marrying for love was not uncommon but it did not exactly follow the norms embedded in society. In order to have the “ideal marriage”, a woman would have to marry into wealth or a higher social status. If I lived during Austen’s time period as a middle-class unmarried woman, I would want to find a suitor who was able to provide the financial stability I needed.
Although I do not believe in marrying for money, it is important that a woman, especially those from lower classes, be able to have an opportunity to be secured. As a middle-class woman, I would have a different role in society as I do today. Women in the eighteenth century were raised to be submissive and powerless to their husbands. They were also raised to bear offspring and tend to the house. Today, I have the privilege to accomplish anything I aspire to do. Marital and societal norms nowadays completely differ from those in Austen’s time because we have the ability to marry who we want without being harshly judged. Gay marriage is now acceptable whereas before in Austen’s time, it was not socially acceptable due to their strong beliefs based on the Catholic religion.
We have the opportunity to express our sexual orientations freely with lesser consequences than those living in the eighteenth century. During this collaborative project, I noticed how much of an independent worker I am. When we first started the Pride & Prejudice Project, I did not speak as much as I wanted to. But I progressively began to input my ideas and opinions the more frequently my collaborators and I worked together. I believe that I worked better with individuals who share the same interests and abilities. In my group, I felt very comfortable working with Onteya and Brendan more than I did with Chyan.
Working with individuals such as Chyan, I felt like I had a harder time projecting my ideas due to our personality differences. The role I tended to take in the group work was being the recorder and researcher. When working on group projects unrelated to Pride & Prejudice, I tend to take the role as one of the researchers and artists. I believe that I am only outgoing with certain individuals who I feel comfortable with, otherwise I believe I am an introverted individual. I characterize myself as an introverted individual because I like to be independent in my work and I feel more comfortable with myself.
When I am frustrated with others, I tend to put it aside because I realize that frustration should not intervene with work. Individuals who are overbearing and conceited tend to frustrate me the most when collaborating because I do not like being told what to do unless it is an authoritative individual. My strengths as a group member are that I am very open-minded to any idea that is stated, I am a good listener, I try to include everyone in the discussion, and I am a hard worker. My weaknesses as a group member are that I am too soft-spoken and shy. I believe that my peers see me as soft-spoken, independent, open-minded, and an easy going collaborator. I encourage others in my group by simply asking their opinions and give appraisal when they come up with a creative idea. After collaborating on this project, I believe my group interacted with one another phenomenally. A problem that arose during the group project was that one day no one worked on the project at all, setting us back a day.
Another problem was being able to meet outside of school. It was hard to get everyone together due to each individual’s busy schedules. They were resolved when Chyan took the role as a leader and was able to get us all working again. I ask frequent questions about the material we were presented with to help advance the discussion. I believe I contributed a lot to the creations of the powerpoint and questions. If I could go back and change anything, I would want to contribute to the second body paragraph of the essay. I think I praised the members of my group frequently.
I think it is very important to encourage and “hype” one another up, especially with the shortened amount of time we had on the final project. I would say things like “great job today”, “thank you for inputting your ideas into the discussion”, and “yessss that is such a great idea”. Each member generally had identical reactions, they would all smile. I asked frequent questions about the powerpoint and I made numerous amounts of suggestions for each individual’s slides. Such as suggesting to shorten the number of words on the powerpoint. When we were creating the questions, I thought the long essay prompts were the hardest out of all of the questions.
Each day we worked, I gradually improved my roles, participation, and work ethic. After this Pride & Prejudice project, I have come to the conclusion that I learn better when I am with my peers because I am able to push myself to work harder than before. Activities that interested me within this project is having the opportunity to work with people I would usually not work with.
During the Pride & Prejudice Project, I was able to gain insight on how my peers view me as a collaborator. By knowing this information, I can improve my skills as a learner. I am glad that I was able to gain this experience to remove me from my comfort zone and be able to collaborate with individuals I would usually never collaborate with. After this experience, I was able to evaluate myself as a hardworking and open-minded individual. Through this project, I was able to broaden my knowledge of the societal and marital norms of the English culture.