Pride and Prejudice: Love and Money
Throughout the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, there is a connection between money and relationships. The opening line of this book sets the tone for this by saying “it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man of good fortune must be in want of a wife.”7 This shows that it is only socially acceptable in this society to be well off. Many women in this society who aren’t wealthy relied on finding a wealthy man that would marry them. Love and happiness were often times overlooked. All relationships in this book debate whether love and happiness or money is more important when looking for a spouse. Pride and Prejudice shows that love and happiness should be the basis of a marriage but in order to get by in society, money must also be a concern. Charlotte Lucas’s marriage to Mr. Collins shows that happiness doesn’t always coexist with financial security in a relationship. Of all the female characters in the book, Charlotte makes the most realistic comments about love. She states that “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance”. Charlotte did not care whether or not she loved Mr. Collins because she believes that love grows after two people marry. She married Mr. Collins for his money and the life he could provide for her. She’s showing that the heart doesn’t always dictate marriage. Charlotte explains to Elizabeth Bennet “I am not romantic … I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as far as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.”. Charlotte doesn’t have much to offer a man in wealth or beauty so she takes advantage of Mr. Collins’s proposal considering it may be her best and only offer she’ll have. She is an intelligent woman who married an odd man and this also shows that this isn’t the best marriage. Elizabeth Bennet, Charlotte’s...
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