“Pride and Prejudice” and “Letters to Alice” contains many similarities yet some obvious differences even when considering the fact that they were written hundreds of years apart. Both texts provide strong perspectives on a variety of issues and are very blunt in their approach. The key issue throughout both novels is the ideology of marriage in the sense of whether one should marry for love or financial stability and standing. Both novels are written in an epistolary format providing a different perspective for the reader from the standardised third person format. Similarities and differences exist between the changing values of women within the two texts on such issues as moral standards and behaviours or class and social rank however each portrays a slightly different approach and extent with which they exemplify their beliefs. Through “Pride and Prejudice” Austen explores many values in place in her society and exemplifies just what value she applies to them. Marriage is the key issue addressed throughout this entire text along with her focus on women, which is Weldon’s focus as well; her approach is simple and abrupt. She accepts that marriage is a necessary goal for women yet believes that one should marry for love and happiness rather than financial gain or standing. Financial gain that results from marriage should be luck rather than the key factor for the marriage. This belief contradicted beliefs of society within that time as society dictated that the sole reason of marriage was to gain financial standing and as a result better standings within class and rank. Within the text there are many instances that show these contradictions of beliefs, of society and Austen.
Charlotte portrays the belief that “happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance” this exemplifies the perspective of Austen’s time that one should marry solely for financial gain and standing. Elizabeth, the main character, refuses two marriage offers in the text even when