Women in the World

‘IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

I have selected these few words for this week’s Trifextra challenge out of the billions of verses ever written because I love the way how Ms Austen uses them, with a cheeky tongue in cheek style, to set the whole tone for her novel.  In just 23 words,  she manages to ridicule the whole sacred and sacrosanct institution of marriage in her time.  She brings to light the fact that women had no other option in life but to be married to a man of means if they wanted to be ‘respectable’, fed, and have a roof over their heads.

It was tragic that women had no prospects back then, no means to establish their own paths in life, but had to inevitably depend on a man for any sort of material comfort.  Thinking of the female plight just a few centuries – in effect even to just a few decades – back I feel a spitting rage rising within me.  And I think, so did Jane Austen and she summarises the whole situation – the whole ridiculous, tragic situation – with these apt 23 words in the beginning of what became her most famous novel.

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47 comments on “Women in the World

  1. Kir Piccini says:

    one of my favorite books, favorite movies (I watch it at least once a month…if not week, even Jacob love P&P..) and one of the most amazing lines every written.

    it’s a true favorite of mine too.
    (love, the woman with the minor in Women’s Studies 🙂

    • Sandra says:

      I attempted to have my boyfriend watch it. It turned out to be the fail of the century! But, like you, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seem that film!

      • Kir Piccini says:

        Jacob is actually one of my 5 yr old twins..he loves the accents, the dancing. John, my husband, does not mind the movie, he gets sucks in whenever I have it on. I won’t say he would choose it outright, that’s a lie, but he doesn’t hate it..

      • Sandra says:

        That is so cute! And good job in inducing your son so early in the exciting world of period drama. The accents are actually a big part of why I love them so much – such perfect English!

  2. Draug419 says:

    I never read this book. Another to add to my To Read list haha 😀

  3. deanabo says:

    This is my favorite book and movie of all time! Brilliant quote choice.

  4. Katie says:

    Jane Austen, she is my favorite! I chose a snippet from Persuasion.

  5. This is one of my favorite stories of all time. I am a horror nut but I have a deeply romantic side too (who woulda thunk it?). I think the quote you picked is perfect for the challenge 🙂

  6. Love the quote, in terms of its power as a first line and what not.

    …Have never liked the book.

    *flees from the fury of Austen fans*

  7. Cobbie's World says:

    Austen is running the table so far this weekend! Congrats on making such a popular and well-received choice.

  8. muZer says:

    One of my fav books and I thought of exactly this quote when I read the prompt.. And then saw your post.. 🙂 Simply perfect!

  9. kz says:

    what a coincidence i’ve just finished watching the movie tonight (for the nth time) it’s a wonderful choice.

  10. Linda Vernon says:

    One of my very favorite books and very favorite lines!! 😀

  11. AmyBird says:

    I’ve read a few excerpts from the book but never the entirety of it… I really must! 😀 This is a brilliant line! 😀

  12. Tina says:

    I love that quote, and it is one of my favorite books, too. Women have always had a fight on their hands when it comes to being independent. But I like to thing we have triumphed.

  13. UndercoverL says:

    You’d think, right? Maybe in those days, when marriage was the official seal that you’re a bona fide adult. But these days? If a man has fortune, it’s probably because he *doesn’t* have a wife. LOL

  14. Mae Kiernan says:

    Hard to beat Jane. Or Lizzie, for that matter.

  15. Jodie says:

    Nice choice, I was thinking of using it, but I do not think I could do it as much justice as you did with your breakdown of the meaning behind the quote. 🙂 Nice job.

  16. atrm61 says:

    A great choice from a brilliant book,loved it Sandra:-)

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