Marriage Ideas in Pride and Prejudice
Marriage is supposed to be about money and a very small affection towards the person you are marrying. Marriage is a decision made by societies dictates as well. "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" (Austen 1). Jane Austen started her novel Pride and Prejudice this way because it clearly states that marriage is going to be a theme. The line also implies that men who are financially stable must want to get married. We come to find that in some cases this is true, mainly because they must produce an heir. The most frequent circumstance though is that a female without money or beneficial family will be in search of a husband. In fact in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, it is mostly the female characters that not only are in want of husbands but also are doing most of the pursuing. The problems with marriages during this time are the strictures that are put upon the women while finding their husbands. Society rules dictate the whole affair leading up to marriage, and in most marriages women may not even know their husband. Due to a process called entailing, if the father of a family did not have a son, his property, upon his death would be given to a male relative on his side of the family, instead of his wife or daughters. This was the reason that a woman's main role in life was to marry above her station. It meant that not only was she provided for, but that her family could also be provided for on some level. Jane Austen oversteps the boundaries for her time in presenting new character ideas in the men and women of her novel. Through the exploration of Austen's characters we will come to see the new and old ideas of marriage for the 19th century. The story has ups, downs, and surprises with every page turn for each of the relationships that are formed, broken, and then formed again between the daughters and other men. It is in the end...
Bibliography: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library, 1995.
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