top-rated free essay

Pride and Prejucide - Marriage Essay

By ssrs123 Dec 18, 2013 667 Words
The value of Marriage in the Eighteenth Century
“This is truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (5) However in Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, we see that even a women is in desperate need of a husband. Austen spends a great deal of time explaining the rules of marriage in her time period, as it was a major theme in her novel. Jane Austen’s writing helps the reader better understand the historical point of view about how society in the late eighteenth century viewed marriage, as she describes how both the man and woman needed to have manners, wealth, and the parents had to approve the couple. Austen shows how manners are really important for both society’s respect and marriage through the character Mr. Darcy. At the ball in Meryton, Darcy sees the people of Meryton as his social inferiors and proudly refuses to dance with someone “not handsome enough” (13) for him. Moreover, he does this within the range of Elizabeth, thereby establishing a reputation among the community for pride and bad manners. This causes the whole society to think ill of Mr. Darcy, “‘But I assure you,’ she added, ‘that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! …’” (15) It also causes Elizabeth to reject his first proposal; she said she would never marry a man with so much pride and no manners. Wealth was something all men needed to have in order to get a lady to like him. This is shown through the character of Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet always talked about money when it came to her daughters’ marriages, “‘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!’” (6) Mrs. Bennet was so excited to hear that Mr. Bingley was coming to the Netherfields; he had a lot of money and she had five unmarried daughters. Near the end of the book, when Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were to get married, Mrs. Bennet was not very fond of Mr. Darcy. However, when she heard that Elizabeth and Darcy were getting married, she forgot all about the hatred, and was so excited that Elizabeth was getting married to a rich man. A major aspect of marriage that Austen shows in her writing is that before marriage getting your parents approval was extremely important. Both Jane and Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, get permission from Mr. Bennet before they were to get married, “During their walk, it was resolved that Mr. Bennet’s consent should be asked in the course of the evening,” (35). Conversely, if you did not get the permission from a parent and decided to elope, it was considered as a bad reputation. When Wickham and Lydia run away together, the family is very tensed because if they did not find them and get them married, the family would be looked down at in society, “Her power was sinking; every thing must under such a proof of family weakness, such an assurance of the deepest disgrace… Lydia – the humiliation, the misery, she was bringing on them all,” (264). Marriage was a serious deal in the late eighteenth century. Every man and woman needed to get married, but certain requirements had to be fulfilled such as, they needed to have manners, be wealthy, and get consent from their parents. Not following one of these rules and still getting married, would mean that you were looked down in society. Jane Austen does a really good job describing the importance and meaning of marriage from her time period and gives the reader a better understanding of the relationship between marriage and society in the late eighteen century. Works Cited

Austen, Jane. “Pride and Prejudice.” England: Penguin Classics, 1996. Print.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay Example

    ...Marriage: The Foundation of Happiness or Misery In today’s world, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Although the other 50 percent of marriages don’t end in divorce, not all those marriages are considered an ideal marriage. The concept of an ideal marriage has changed as time has progressed. An ideal marriage in our time is a marriag...

    Read More
  • Discuss the Importance of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay Example

    ...or marriage in Pride and Prejudice. The importance of marriage in Pride and Prejudice is shown immediately through the exposition in the opening paragraph of chapter one; ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’(ch.1, pride and prejudice) In this sentence Austen introduce...

    Read More
  • Marriage Ideas in Pride and Prejudice

    ...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 st...

    Read More
  • Marriages(Pride and Prejudice)

    ...The Marriage of Pride and Prejudice "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 book Pride and Prejudice in this way clearly stating that one of her major themes would be marriage. The line implies that men who are financially stable...

    Read More
  • Pride & Prejudice - Marriage

    ...Although, it is tempting to believe that love is the key factor to a successful marriage in Pride and Prejudice, through careful analysis, the fact becomes quite evident that Jane Austen considered and conveyed that marriage was successful when both partners were compatible, could work together, balance each other out, and meet one another’s n...

    Read More
  • Pride and Prejudice Marriage

    ...The Meaning of True Love Marriage defines class, love, and reputation. Austen portrays her view on marriage through the characters. Throughout the novel, the characters’ marry because of love or societal pressure. The author also portrays the class and reputation throughout her characters. In the book, there are three main marriages t...

    Read More
  • An Analysis of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

    ...|Relationships of Reality | |[An analysis of marriages present in Jane Austen’s Pride and | |Prejudice] | | ...

    Read More
  • Attitudes to Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

    ...What attitudes to love and marriage does Jane Austen explore in Pride and Prejudice? Can you identify Jane Austen’s own view? Jane Austen’s novel of Pride and Prejudice is set in the early 19th century and the central theme of the novel is love and marriage. Marriage was viewed very differently in those days and each character in...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.