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What do Chapter 50 and the rest of the novel reveal about Austen's view on marriage?

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Marriage plays a dominant role in the novel by manipulating, provoking and even confusing many characters within the play. It is what pushes the story along, if you will, and causes all the confusion which produces such an enjoyable read. Austen's view on marriage is one of a very complicated nature - as shown by her choosing of such a diverse range of marriage types. Although the novel is a romance novel, focusing on the rising of love between characters, there are many forms of marriage which Austen uses to compare and contrast with other marriages to gain basic ideas, not only of the characters, but also of love and the society at hand. Due to the time in which this novel was written - early 19th century (1813) - the social differences, family respect, and perception of one's self was seen as extremely important areas within a society, person, or household. Because of this, marriage was seen as very important, not only for financial support - as women were not allowed to inherit, as shown by Mrs Bennet's haste to marry off the Bennet sisters - but also to gain a reputation as a comfortable and - to an extent - successful women. ...read more.


Collins, the first example of Mr. Collins act to marry for economical reasons is when he proposes to Elizabeth clearly shown by how he says "I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father, I could not satisfy myself without resolving to chuse a wife among his daughters" (pg. 104) The second example is with he asking Charlotte to marry him, Charlotte very cleverly did this to be economically secured in life which was done very commonly this is shown by when it is described in the book how she started to plan how many years Mr. Bennett would be alive till Mr. Collins could inherit the estate. Jane Austen's opinion on this topic is that she does not view it as a thing she would want to do but at times such as expressed through Charlotte you have to be realistic and take into account your economic situation because it was seldom to marry a rich man of a much higher class than your own - even if he is such a man as Mr Collins. Moving along from the economical pressure into marriage is the even worse pressure of respect and dignity within a society. ...read more.


Austen also makes clear that forced marriages cannot stay happy forever, as Lydia had to keep asking Lizzy for money coming towards the end - it seems the only two really happy newlyweds is Jane and Elizabeth. Even relating to today's world, marriage is still a very traditional sort of procedure and therefore contains many traditional thoughts. It is still seen as undignified to elope - even if it can be seen as romantic - it is still slightly frowned upon to marry outside your social class in some societies and cultures, and it is still meant to focus on true love. Considering the social class, it now even relates to marrying outside your race, culture, religion and nationalities. However, women now have many more rights than in the 19th century, and because of this, women are now able to decide upon their own marriage freely, they can inherit now, so no pressure upon them financially, most marriages are accepted now - as it is under the eye of God - and most importantly, the marriage must be founded and grow upon true love, which Austen would have truly loved to believe in. ?? ?? ?? ?? What do Chapter 50 and the rest of the novel reveal about Austen's view on marriage? 2007 1 ...read more.

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