Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 1 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. (1.1-2)
Historical Context Snack: men may have had it a little easier than women when it came the whole marrying thing, since they wouldn't be ruined without it. But they weren't supposed to stay swingin' singles forever, either. There was a lot of social pressure on men with money and/ or estates to marry and have children—it was their duty. Austen is bringing the snark here, but it works for a reason: it kind of was a universal truth that rich, single men needed to marry.
"It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them." (1.32)
Right away, we learn how powerless women are: there's literally no respectable way for the Bennet girls to meet Bingley unless their dad makes the first move.