Pride & Prejudice, Little Women and even a few Netflix shows, all have one thing in common: showing that issues that were faced in the past hold heavy similarities to social injustices today. Spoilers are inevitable for this topic.
Watching a period drama, viewers may notice that there is almost always a headstrong leading lady and a boy that is creating a blockage to the independence she craves.
Pride & Prejudice is a prime example of this notion, for Elizabeth Bennet refuses to give into the callous longing Darcy gives her. She claims that there is no place for a man in her life ––creating the independent female lead the audience aspires to be.
Bennet creates a prideful persona and delivers every line with an intention of making Darcy uneasy. She is a prime example of a leading lady who makes it clear love is not her intention.
In modern times, women are still objectified, and a life without marriage seems unconventional. Pride & Prejudice exaggerates the hustle to be married at a young age to a man that can provide –– this belief exists today. Even after the many years of “progression,” women still face the constant pressure to settle down, get married and have children. Similar to how this may not have been the first choice for Bennet, this is not the first choice for a lot of modern women, yet many find themselves falling to societal pressure.
Similarly, Jo March, in Little Women, creates the boundaries from the beginning that she will never be married and will never love in the way she feels she’s “supposed” to.
Later on in Little Women, Amy March delivers a powerful monologue depicting that the money she makes and the children she births will not be hers once she marries. The money and the children will belong to whomever she decides to marry.
Today, the man is still considered the head of the household and expected to be the primary provider. While the woman of a household could provide as much as the man of the house –– or may even provide more, from the outside looking in, society is going to assume that the man is the sole provider.
Next in the line of powerful monologues, Jo delivers one at the very end, when she realizes her love for Theodore “Teddy” Laurence and states that she is lonely and just wants to be loved. However, her mother provides wisdom with asking if she actually loves Teddy or just wants someone to love her.
These storylines prove that love may always feel like an obligation and not a want. This seems to be a prominent topic in everyday life now, as marriage is not always an option for everyone. Although these movies end with marriage, they did not come without turmoil and the likelihood of a different future.
Netflix’s Bridgerton brings the same type of story with the dismay of Eloise Bridgerton not wanting to be married after her sister Daphne’s marriage to Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Eloise constantly questions why marriage has to be an arrangement.
Daphne’s storyline relates close to Meg March’s storyline from Little Women. They both dream of being married, which appears bizarre to the characters that refuse marriage to be the only destination.
Though the characters end up married, they are not always happy and struggle to find happiness. Bridgerton deals with an exaggerated depiction of an unhappy marriage that works to solve their problems.
Another Netflix show, Anne with an E, based on the classic novel Anne of Green Gables, starts the series off with an orphan girl struggling to find a household she belongs to because the host house was expecting a boy.
Dealing with feminism, racism and sexism, Anne with an E is a very educational show that displays social injustice faced today, although set in the 1800s.
Anne with an E creates bold storylines with direct attention to the disadvantage women face, solely based on their gender. Anne grew up having to be her only source of care, so a standard woman in the house never seemed like a viable option to her, therefore, she constantly questions the women’s role in society.
These movies and shows all relate closely to the fact that we as people want to believe that these problems faced by people of society are in the past but, in reality, they still plague women today.
Kayla Bennett is a freshman studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Kayla? Tweet her @kkayyben.