Pride and Prejudice - the Importance Fo Marriage

Topics: Pride and Prejudice, Marriage, Elizabeth Bennet Pages: 4 (1421 words) Published: December 11, 2005
Pride and Prejudice: The Importance of Marriage

Pride and Prejudice is written by Jane Austen with the purpose of positioning us, as the readers, to share her attitudes on the importance of marriage. Austen had extremely radical views for her time. She believed that marriage should not occur on the grounds of superficial feelings, pressures to marry, or wealth and social status. The author believed that one should only marry for love. Austen uses characters as literary devices to show the readers the juxtapositioning between relationships who have married for love and relationships which have married for alternative reasons. By influencing the readers to believe that marriage should only be for love we begin to realize that it is this, and only this, which can enable the characters of the novel to be happy.

³It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife² (pg5). The first sentence of the novel Pride and Prejudice highlights the importance of marriage within the world of the novel. The sentence suggests that the sole purpose for marriage was to increase the characters social and financial ranking. The quote mentions nothing of love yet it provokes the feeling in the minds of the readers that the purpose of marriage is to merely create security. Finding a suitable marriage for the female characters who lived in a patriarchal society often became the solace of their lives. The character of Elizabeth Bennet does not fit this generalization.

Elizabeth Bennet is a literary device used by Jane Austen to represent her values and attitudes on the importance of marrying for love. We often see the world through Elizabeth¹s eyes and we are positioned to empathize with her opinion on the absurdity of marrying for reasons other than love. Elizabeth is a free-spirited individual who differs substantially from the other female characters of the novel. Elizabeth refuses to be wed to a man to whom...
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