Love and Marriage in "Pride and Prejudice"
Pride and Prejudice is a very popular novel written by Jane Austen and it is read widely all over the world. It was written in 1813. This novel is taught to be less conservative than her past novels, due to the material that is being presented. She states The work is rather to light, and bright and sparkling (Austen) .
During this specific period of time people considered wealth to be one of the most important factors or the only important factor when considering possible marriage with someone else. The novel is made in the thoughts of compromises ad mutual instruction (Kliger). Through this book we witness how certain characters are used to portray the idea that money was a big influence for women because it was the only way you could belong to a high social class and be fully respected. Regardless if you loved the person or not, the only factor that would matter was that they had to be wealthy and they would be able to provide you with a stable living.
As we begin to read the book, we come to a clear understanding that marriage and social class were very important during this time period. Austen opens the book by saying "It is a truth universally acknowledged, a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" (page 5). This leads me to an understanding that not only a man is in
search for a good fortune but he also wants a good wife. She also states that a man, financially well off, but with no mate to accompany him to share in his wealth, is absolutely in search of a wife. On the other hand, a womens desire of need in love wasnt
taken much into consideration because all marriages were arranged for the benefit of the family and especially the womens well being.
The Bennetts are a middle class family composed of five unwedded daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Mrs. Bennett who is a foolish, noisy woman,
has only one goal in life, which is to see her five daughters married to a wealthy man.
She takes advantage with the arrival of Mr. Bingley ,who is very wealthy, and seizes the opportunity to introduce their five daughters and make notice that they are unmarried with intentions of placing her five daughter into a rich community. Mrs., Bingleys interest is so great that she confronts Jane the oldest daughter, and tells her to make contact with Mr. Bingley at the ball. Surprisingly Mr. Bingley was stunned by her beauty and nobility and liked her from the moment he saw her. On the other side Elizabeth who is the second oldest daughter in the Bennetts, caught the attention of Mr. Darcy, but not because of his wealth and attributes, but because of his arrogance and dignity. Her first impressions of Mr. Darcy was that, "He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Elizabeth, being from a different social class than Mr. Darcy and absolutely with different personalities, one arrogant; thinking much less of his surroundings and Elizabeth very prideful, makes her quickly discover what his character shows and immediately looses interest in him.
Later on in the novel Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth but Elizabeth refuses Vasco 3
because during his proposal he clearly states that the only intention of marriage was to inherit the land Mr. Bennett owned. Elizabeth makes herself clear and lets Mr. Collin know that if she were to get married, she would marry because she was in love, not for
With the character of Mr. Collins we can see that he values only social power so he seeks security by serving and fulfilling his superior's ideas and conceptions. He is desperately in search of a wife because he is determined to obey lady Catherines wishes (his superior), thus doing this he will be socially recognized and decides to arrange marriage between him and Elizabeths best friend, Charlotte. Charlotte tells Elizabeth , "I see what you are feeling, you must be surprised, very much surprised, so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it all over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am no romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and, considering Mr. Collins character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. She accepts to marry him because she believes that he is the only alternative to poverty and social isolation. Austen demonstrates to us that society was more powerful than love.
On the other hand Austen uses the relationship of Jane and Bingley to demonstrate the opposite of the caring upper class, that you too can get married because of love and not only because of wealth. Austen shows us that this couple cared about each other with love and tenderness. They were impressed by each other since the very first moment, Jane says, "He is just what a young man ought to be, sensible, good-humored,
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