On Austen's View of Marrige

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On Jane Austen’s View of Marriage
——Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen (1775-1817) is often viewed as one of the greatest realistic novelists in English literature in the 19th century. During the forty-two years of her life, she completed six novels and left behind three fragments, which vividly revealed the class relationship, social customs and morals of her time and depicted the life of the rural gentry in conservative and tight conditions. In her works, innocent courting and proper marriages constitute the central strands of the story, but behind these we can see ulterior motive of loving and marrying for money and social position, which is the truthful reflection of the specific historical period.

In Pride and Prejudice, Austen took the love affair between Elizabeth and Darcy as the clue, and described four marriages. The novel showed the social reality that economic status and property elements influenced marriages and women’s fates, meanwhile expressed her ideal marriage: We can not marry for money or regard marriage as a game. She advocated the marriage for both love and economic consideration with love playing the leading role. And we can figure that out by comparing four different marriages in the novel.

Elizabeth’s marriage —— with both love and money
As her father’s favorite daughter, Elizabeth is intelligent, vivacious, humorous, perspective and quick-witted and she has strong personality and dignity. She is deeply aware of that if she wants to live a better life in the future she must find a good husband. She refuses Mr. Collins’ proposal, which makes Mrs. Bennet very angry, because she does not and will never love him. She once holds good feeling towards Wickham, considering him to be the most agreeable man she have ever met, meanwhile feels it imprudent to fall in love with him. It is her steadfast pursuit of spiritual agreement that makes her image brilliant in the novel. And the finest quality of Elizabeth lies in her sense of dignity....
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