In the 18th century, women were treated differently from men. Because they were men and because they thought they are stronger and more power compared to women.
A lot of strain was put on women those days to get married. It is said ‘The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news’. As well as having pressure on getting married they could even marry their cousins. As in chapter 19 where Elizabeth Bennet who had been asked to have her cousins hand in matrimony. Elizabeth refused Mr Collins proposal as he would not give her the love she needed and she too would not give him the love that he felt he should get.
Either they were married or many women would turn their noses up at them. They were considered good enough to anyone and felt maybe they shouldn’t be seen with someone at that age not having a husband as there was a lot of strain.
Many women were intimidated if a man had money as it is said in chapter one “Oh! Single, my dear to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!” so then financially women were better off with a husband that had a good amount of money. They didn’t seem to have much money it came from men as women weren’t say as having much power. Mainly widows as they had property and money from their husbands before they died. This made very few women look powerful but it was very rare.
At the start of the chapter the first sentence is “It is truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife”. This shows a good point against marriage and financial status of women.
Women were very smart. Mainly women were taught in school, others by a family member and some learnt of watching through the years. Many would read a lot and a lot would also draw, paint or write which would be many hobbies as well. Women were well brought up. Well-mannered and talked very educated and formal. With marriage on their case they would have had to learn how to dance and sing.
To keep them occupied they would usually read a book, go to dances / balls , play card games, write letters, horse riding, go to town to shop or visit a friend or relative.
The women had to ask parental permission in order to speak to a man alone. Even in chapter 19 when Mr Collins had to ask Mrs Bennet to speak to Elizabeth. Although Mrs Bennet jumped to say yes as she knew Mr Collins was going to propose to her daughter and as Mrs Bennet said so herself, her best interest was to get her daughters married.
Although women who had a small fortune most were still very educated. They were like most women as they did a lot of things that others still did even if they weren’t very well educated they would still read and dance and sing. They still did activities, got married and even the rule of social etiquette still stuck to them.