Pride and Prejudice Essay
A well-known aphorism states, “Money makes a marriage.” In Victorian society, women had only one of two options in regards to their financial future. They either married well or had to rely on their male relatives for support. This social structuring caused people to marry for money to secure their future rather than marrying for love and felicity. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, several relationships start due to a suitor of superior social class but the social class is not what led to the eventual marriage. Jane Austen shows that people have the choice in love and their decision should not be based on income alone. This choice between love and wealth causes the conflicts of the novel. Although money might complete the marriage, it does not make it. That is why Austen condemns relationships based solely on wealth and encourages relationships based on character and love. One of the first relationships introduced in the novel is that of Jane and Mr. Bingley. They met at the very first ball in Meryton. Mr. Bingley immediately took a liking to Jane, seeing as he danced with her the most. They fell in love due to all of their similarities. For example, Jane is a very gentle, benevolent girl and Bingley is a very scrupulous, civil man. They were both falling in love with each other and all believed that an engagement between them was imminent. The relationship was perfect except for the detail that Jane had no wealth or connections. Mr. Darcy and Bingley’s sisters persuade Bingley that Jane is not in love with him, convince him to stay in London for the winter, and conceal from him the fact that Jane, herself was in London. When Lizzy addresses the issue, Darcy only says, “I have no wish of denying that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister or that I rejoice in my success… I esteemed a most unhappy connection” (183,189). Darcy with his pedantic attitude is focused only on wealth and...
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