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Analyse Jane Austen’s presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice. From your evidence suggest what Austen regards as a ‘good’ marriage

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Introduction

Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice. From your evidence suggest what Austen regards as a 'good' marriage Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice was written in 1813 and is set firmly in this period. The novel revolves around the choices people make when choosing a partner in marriage; the social rigmaroles they go through while attempting to find the right man or woman and the difficulties some people have to overcome before they can marry. The novel was written when society stressed social control over personal pleasure. "Society" at this time was very judgemental; men had to have money, social status and be agreeable; women needed some money, social status, beauty, accomplishments and education. To succeed one had to learn and live by rules. Accomplishments such as reading, riding, sewing, singing and playing music were important for wealthy girls, as "society" would not allow them to take up a profession. The novel is based on middle to upper class society where snobbery is common. Elizabeth Bennet, our heroine, is described by Lady Catherine as "a young woman of inferior birth," whom she thinks is "of no importance in this world." Austen, however, would seem to disapprove of mercenary attitudes. Regency England, therefore, did not possess the freedom of our own twenty first century society regarding love and marriage. ...read more.

Middle

He eventually gives up. Mrs Bennet is outraged. She is engrossed in getting Elizabeth married off and having the house safe after Mr Bennet dies. However, Elizabeth will not say yes, and so Mr Collins transfers his amorous intentions on to Charlotte Lucas. We hear later that she accepts his marriage proposal immediately because she considers herself to be "plain," all she wants is "financial security" from a marriage; her view is that "Happiness in marriage is purely a matter of chance." Their marriage doesn't possess "understanding of one another's characters," "good dispositions" or "similarity in feeling and taste." The affection/attraction in the marriage perhaps comes from Mr Collins, although as she and everyone else say that she is "plain," he must not think so. The only thing this marriage really possesses is "financial security." Austen gently mocks their partnership. Wickham and Lydia's marriage is also one of little "understanding of one another's characters," no "good dispositions," no "similarity in feeling and taste" and as we later find out, there is no "financial security" either. The initial attraction was based on good looks and affection for one another. But after the initial attraction, Mr Wickham becomes disinterested in Lydia and this is even more of a problem. Lydia doesn't understand the shame she has brought upon her family and boasts that all her sisters should "look up" to her because she is a "married woman." ...read more.

Conclusion

to keep them very happy. Jane and Elizabeth talk much about Bingley's "expectations of felicity" were "rationally founded." Rationality is one of the things Austen considers as part of a good marriage. Marriage is a contract; Austen believes that a good marriage is a contract of love; a developed understanding of one another's characters; good disposition; similarity in feeling and taste; affection and attraction; and finally, financial security - enough money to live comfortably. She also believes that bad or unsuccessful marriages are based on irresponsible attitudes, ignorance and lack of reason and judgement; the couple must have self-understanding as well as that of their partner. They must also possess self-respect and have respect for their partner. Austen condemns the marriages that are based on rank and wealth or just physical attraction. Throughout the novel we see characters taking part in many different courtship and marriage situations. We are shown Austen's varying view of these marriages and her attitude is revealed in her style. Proposed other paragraph to go in above conclusion: The marriage of the Gardiners is also presented as a "good marriage" because they possess everything necessary for the marriage to be successful. They are a very friendly couple and take Elizabeth on a holiday to the Lake District. This trip plays an important part of Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship because they meet in the grounds of Pemberly and he is very forthcoming and polite. He enquires, "How is your mother?" ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Dawson Page 1 5/2/2007 ...read more.

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