A Successful Marriage
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (3). Taken from the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, this opening quote can only lead one to assume what the novel will be about: marriage. A “successful” marriage has many components and the importance of each can vary depending on the individual. According to Austen, based on the way she opened her novel, marriage is mostly a women’s need. Upon reading the novel, one might think that Austen’s idea of a successful marriage is very material. Quite a few of the characters in the novel are trying to get married and it seems it is always for political reasons, mostly social class and money. In truth, for Austen, a successful marriage is collectively made up of many components that a woman must look for such as financial stability, reason, and mutual attraction. Austen establishes, as well as Gurinder Chadha in his adaptation, “Bride & Prejudice”, each one of these elements by introducing four different couples in the story. She uses each one of these couples to show the importance of having this component but also the consequence of lacking the others.
The first important relationship in this book is between Charlotte and Mr. Collins whose marriage represents financial stability and comfort. This match comes as a surprise considering Mr. Collin’s ill manners and Charlotte being Elizabeth’s best friend. As the reader, one would expect Charlotte to have the same level of expectations of marriage as Elizabeth since they are so close. Charlotte’s main reason for marrying Mr. Collins is because he can provide her with a good home and secure her for the rest of her life. As Austen starts dissecting the concept of marriage, the reader is introduced the importance of have financial status. A woman was not entitled to any wealth or allowed to work in the time Austen was writing these novels. Marrying into...
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