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Pride and Prejudice - Marriage

By Madmagic Aug 06, 2013 685 Words
Jane Austen wrote the well known novel entitled ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which deals with the themes of reputation, love, class and of course pride and prejudice. However the main subject is marriage in a greedy society, where sometimes it only meant to just climb the social ladder. The novel shows its difficulties to be faced by any eligible female in pursuit of a husband. If not married it could have been frowned upon and Jane Austen used the relationships of the characters to accurately show the readers the convention of marriage. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, the a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in a want of a wife” (page 5) The very first sentence of Pride and Prejudice highlights the absolute importance of marriage in the early century. The sentence expresses the purpose for marriage, as it dealt nothing with love it was strictly to increase the characters social and financial status. Rather it provoked the feelings in the minds of the readers that the purpose of marriage was to create security for them finding a suitable marriage mate for the female characters became the sole focus of their lives.

Through Jane Austen’s writings the relationships between Wickham, Lydia, Mr and Mrs Bennet and Jane and Darcy, showed examples of the different types of marriages that you could still find today. The worst of these marriages is of course of Lydia and Wickham. Austen uses this relationship to show the outcome of relationships when it was based on youthful ignorance and physical attraction. Lydia is naive and attractive, where she is completely oblivious on how Wickham really feels about her. This type of marriage you can already see the outcome, with the help of Austen’s writing, without stating that Wickham isn't the loyal husband that Lydia believes he is. Neither character felt true love for one another and as a result both characters will appear somewhat miserable in their married life in the future.

The marriage between Mr and Mrs Bennet show the example of insanity, which can erupt between two people that have been wed for the incorrect reasons. Mr Bennet has a very witty sense of humor and often teases his wife. This is the only enjoyment he gains from Mrs Bennet. Mr Bennet marries, on what Austen beliefs to be, false grounds. Mr Bennet decision on marrying Mrs Bennet was seduced by her good looks and youth and this effect of this is that Mr Benner isolates himself from his family finding refuge through mocking his oblivious wife. This becomes his only happiness.

Finally the marriage between the main character Elizabeth and Mr Darcy gives a happy marriage. The relationship first begins with Mr Darcy’s opinion of Elizabeth “she is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me” (page 13). Mr Darcy was not a first attracted by Elizabeth and yet her personality as he started know and later admits “In Vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” (Page 157). Mr Darcy feelings grow to become so in love with Elizabeth that he wishes being with her forever. This proves the he didn't marry her not just for wealth, reputation, class or attraction like the other examples of marriages, but for love and happiness that he finds with her. Austen represented her beliefs on a good marriage through Elizabeth and Darcy relationship to prove to the audience that happiness in marriage can only be achieved if the couple marry because of their love for one another.

Jane Austen showed her audience through reading Pride and Prejudice the importance of marrying through the examples of Lydia, Wickham, Mr and Mrs Bennet, Darcy and Elizabeth on the outcomes that come along with the marriage mate. These examples of marriages found in the novel, we can see this in reading that Lydia and Wickham’s marriage was somewhat frowned upon whereas we had the happy ending of Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage that was through happiness and love.

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