Reasons for Marriage
Jane Austen published one of her most famous works, Pride and Prejudice, in 1813 and it addresses many issues that are still around today. Jane Austen would often put many of her own personal qualities in some of her created characters. One such character is Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth is the second out of five siblings, who are all women. Elizabeth is witty, intelligent, loves to read, and believes in marrying for love, just as Jane Austen had. Elizabeth is also very stubborn and critical with people, which gets her into some predicaments in the story. The society that Elizabeth lived in is much different from today of course, but the issues are still the same. This book covers a variety of different issues, which might be why the book has been so popular over the years. There are also many different themes in this book. Theme is defined as a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. A theme is a thought or idea the author presents to the reader that may be deep, difficult to understand, or even moralistic. One of the most important themes in Pride and Prejudice besides pride and prejudice is marriage. An analysis on Sparknotes.com agrees by saying, “Courtship therefore takes on a profound, if often unspoken, importance in the novel. Marriage is the ultimate goal, courtship constitutes the real working-out of love. Courtship becomes a sort of forge of a person's personality, and each courtship becomes a microcosm for different sorts of love (or different ways to abuse love as a means to social advancement)” (Douthat). Jane Austen uses this theme of marriage to address the issues people have with why they get married. Her message is that people should marry for one reason, and that is love, but not everyone believes in that. Pride and Prejudice presents many different reasons for marriage which are portrayed through the characters in various ways throughout the novel. The reasons for marrying that are represented in Pride and Prejudice are economical, social, and or course love. First, many of the characters in Pride and Prejudice believe in marriage for economical reasons. Mrs. Bennet doesn’t care who she marries her daughters to, just as long as the man has a high rank of lots of money. She states this in the beginning of the book when the idea of Mr. Bingley coming to town is introduced by saying, “Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our daughters” (Austen 2). Mrs. Bennet hasn’t even met the man yet, but thinks he would be perfect for one of her daughters just because he is rich. Mr. Wickham is another character that believes in marrying for money. First, it is learned that Wickham attempted to elope with Mr. Darcy’s sister, Georgina, in order to obtain her fortune. Darcy luckily stopped Wickham in time, but it didn’t stop Wickham from his pursuit for money. Mr. Wickham then uses his charm on Elizabeth, but is soon turned onto another woman, Miss King, who had just inherited a large fortune. Once again his plan did not work, which is when he turned his sights onto the immature fifteen year old Lydia. Wickham married Lydia so he could make some money off of her, which was generously covered by Darcy. Mrs. Bennet didn’t care that the marriage was a scam, she was just happy that one of her daughters got married. Next, Charlotte, who is Elizabeth’s best friend, also marries for economical reasons. Charlotte was proposed to by Mr. Collins, and accepted it even knowing that he was a ridiculous man. She was getting old and thought that he was probably her only chance to find a husband, so she accepted his proposal. She didn’t want to end up becoming a spinster. Melissa Moschella, from Gradesaver.com, also analyzed Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte’s reason for marriage and said, “The novel demonstrates how many such as...
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