Comparing and Contrasting Features of Marriages Presented in Pride and Prejudice

Topics: Pride and Prejudice, Love, Marriage Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: February 27, 2014
The novel “Pride and Prejudice” is a story based in 19th century, at the end of the age of reason and at the beginning of the era of romance. This was in the year 1816, which in truth was a very conflicting period of ideas. This is reflected in Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship as it progresses throughout the novel, as at the start, Darcy’s own distorted and ‘prejudiced’ way of viewing those lower than him is slowly discarded as he becomes more romantically interested in Elizabeth as the plot progresses. Therefore, in context, their relationship may in fact symbolize the era the author was living in with progression between reason and romance.

This essay focuses on how Jane Austen uses all the different marriages to try and express her own idea of an ideal marriage. The author expresses her view of an ideal marriage, which is one where the love surpasses the importance of economic and social compatibility, which is when it no longer matters if they are of the same economic and social class respectively. The key reasons behind the marriages in the novel “Pride and Prejudice” will be debated in this essay. All the marriages in the novel express a different reason behind their occurrence. Love, necessity, chemistry, compatibility and social stature all play a very valid role in the marriages in the novel.

Taking into consideration of the marriage of Lydia to Wickham, I can say, their marriage is one where their desire outweighs reason, decency and good sense with their passion over-shadowing their virtues. Lydia is immature, infatuated with the uniform, wants to get married and gain in social stature. This leads to her affection towards Wickham. That along with Wickham’s inducement toward “financial”(p.75) gains eventually leads to them marrying each other for the entirely wrong reasons. Eventually their decisions lead to criticism by society as they break the rules of society that the author herself supports. They share an age gap, she is “fifteen and...
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