Pride and Prejudice: Marriage

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Successful Marriage

I: Biography
Looked upon as being one of the most influential and popular writers during the romantic period, Jane Austen published many romance novels, such as her most famous, Pride and Prejudice. Austen focused her writings on the importance of “romantic love as a true happiness to marriage” (Olsen 426). Having not experienced marriage, Jane often based her stories off of her family’s romance. Jane was born into a middle class family with very little income; Jane used her lack of money to inspire new novels. She mainly focused her novels over social standings and how love is characterized as true happiness. Her focus on love began when her siblings married for money rather than love. Austen strived to fix the many family issues by creating “fairy tale stories” ending “happily with the heroines marrying the men they loved” (Ruth 50). Jane Austen wrote her novels around the controversy of whether love should be based upon increasing one’s “social status” or “falling in love” (Bernard 34). Jane creates romance novels to replace the love that’s missing in her life. From growing up in a poor family Jane rarely received the opportunity to find love and marry a suitable husband, giving her thoughts and dreams of what her life would be like if she found marriage through love. Austen’s novels portray that marriage shouldn’t be based upon personal wishes such as money or class, but for one to be happy one should find love. In the novel, Pride and Prejudice, the author shows that despite social pressure, for a marriage to be successful it must be based upon love. II: Pride and Prejudice

The novel Pride and Prejudice is surrounded with young couples and the issue of marriage through social class and public opinion. Many critics follow Jane Austen’s theme that love builds to create a happy successful marriage. The critic Bilal Hasan follows Austen’s theme and supports the theory that one shouldn’t marry for money if they plan on being happy. Also, he believes that “through their relationship Jane Austen shows that a hasty marriage based on superficial qualities looks and leads to unhappiness” (Hasan). Both supporting Jane’s theme over happy marriage, the critic Rachel Davies uses the qualities of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s love to show a successful marriage. “Darcy and Elizabeth’s love is genuine, existing despite social barriers” (Davies). Davies relates Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage to the marriage of Charlotte and Mr. Collins, comparing that due to the burden Charlotte held on her family, she created a limit to finding love. Charlotte became a “burden to her family” when she became the age not very few men adored to marry; she hadn’t found love and caused her to marry for money (Olsen 425).

Austen chooses to influence all the characters to show their struggles between them, providing that they all come to the reality that “without money, it is probable marriage will not happen” (Disney). Many focus on the differences in financial status when finding marriage. A woman who is a burden would more like to marry a man of wealthy class without caring whether she was in love. The character Elizabeth Bennet was written to have a hard opinion on marriage based upon love and never on money. Jane Austen writes that for a man to best show his love for a woman, he would ask for her hand in the next dance at the ball. “Money divides real love and incites false love initially in Pride and Prejudice. Love is shown to demolish the seeming impossibility of Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage” (Davies). She does believe that there is a relation between love and money in marriage. Money to some she believes, can buy happiness, but love overpowers money and creates a strong everlasting bond in a marriage, while money can be lost. An example would be “when Darcy pays Wickham to marry Lydia, thus giving Elizabeth feelings towards Darcy for caring for her family” (Davies). Austen herself faced the issues of money on...
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