Discuss the Importance of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

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Discuss the importance of either: love, money or marriage in Pride and Prejudice. The importance of marriage in Pride and Prejudice is shown immediately through the exposition in the opening paragraph of chapter one; ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’(ch.1, pride and prejudice) In this sentence Austen introduces marriage and declares it as the main subject with a humorous tone whilst preparing the reader for an exploration of several different marriages structured on different values. This essay will explore the importance of marriage by comparing and contrasting these marriages. Darcy and Elizabeth form the most important marriage in the novel as they are the two main characters. Their marriage allows the reader to see what constitutes a successful marriage where feelings can be triggered by simply appearance, although must gradually develop to become anything more. In the beginning Elizabeth and Darcy could not be more distant from each other, and he dismisses her as being ‘not handsome enough to tempt me’ (ch.3 Pride and prejudice-penguin edition) and Elizabeth, equally opposed to Darcy laughs at his pride and dismisses it. However, after a long drawn out narrative which draws upon many events which test them both, allows time for characters to understand each other and forgive the prejudices they originally had against each other. In conclusion their marriage is one of mutual understanding and reveals not only the importance of marriage but also the importance of getting to know your partner before entering into matrimony. Another example of a successful and important marriage is that of Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet. Although both of these two characters are gullible and unable to see bad in any other character they make a good and solid match with each other. Mr Bennet says ‘you are both so complying that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy that every servant will cheat...
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