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

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Introduction

Pride & Prejudice Coursework Essay Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride & Prejudice. From your evidence suggest what Austen regards as a 'good' marriage. On first impressions of the novel, my own prejudices clouded my judgement of the book and of what it might have consisted. Living in the 21st Century it is somewhat difficult to imagine anything remotely similar, interesting or slightly scandalous happening in a period in which rich men marry apparently beautiful women whose main ambition in life is to marry well. However, as Jane Austen illustrates in the form of Elizabeth, not all women in this period marry just for money, but as Elizabeth proves, some marry for love. Austen, through the image of Lizzy, projects her opinion on love and marriage: she is clearly a woman who believes in marrying for love and I expect that many of her personality traits are possessed by Lizzy, perhaps it is with this level of intimacy and openness that she has discretely (and perhaps subconsciously) projected herself into a character so as to make Elizabeth a reflection of herself. It is within the physical form of Lizzy that the authorial view is made clear. I suppose I shall have to follow suit in the beginning of an essay of Pride & Prejudice. Where else could I start, other than one of the most famous quotes ever: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife." ...read more.

Middle

Their relationship shares most of our current modern values, such as mutual respect and understanding, as do Mr. And Mrs. Gardener's and Jane and Bingley. All of these couples are successful because of their different, and in their time fairly controversial approach to marriage and the traditional place of the husband and wife. The constant love/hate relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy adds to the intensity of their mutual love for each other. They both secretly find the other very attractive, but their own pride and prejudices constrain it. Darcy, in a moment of pure truth, expresses his true feelings for Lizzy, '"My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how I ardently admire and love you." Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. She was at first sorry for the pain that he was to receive; till, roused by resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger.' Elizabeth's reaction is rather harsh, and none the less surprising. It is difficult to clarify the extent of which her 'outburst' is honesty or mere anger and irrational behaviour due to the intensity of the surprise: "From the very beginning of my acquaintance with you, your manners impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the ground-work of disapprobation, on which succeeding events have built so immoveable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed to marry." ...read more.

Conclusion

I can imagine, though, that seeing her friend Lizzy marry to a man for love, especially a mutual love, that her marriage suddenly seems very sour. Then again, I am sure that she would just purchase an expensive item of clothing or jewellery to make it sweet again! There are other examples of bad marriages, which are not as fluently seen in the book, such as, Mr. and Mrs. Hurst, who, even though hardly seen, show how mutual respect is an essential in a good marriage. Mrs. Hurst seems to have no real affection or esteem for her husband, however, perhaps this is because all her husband actually seems to do is eat and entertain himself by playing cards, and never says an intelligent word in the entire novel, and seems only to be concerned by the quality of the food. Austen could be hinting to what Charlotte and Mr. Collin's marriage will end up like; bitter and no amount of money will ever be able to sweeten it again. Perhaps this is a warning to anyone thinking of marrying just for money. This proves that Pride and Prejudice can and does apply to our life today. We are all subject to our own prejudices as well as our own pride. Both of these traits prove problematic, not only in Austen's era, but in ours as well. On completion of the novel, my prejudices were overcome. Once the exterior of the 19th century; the dresses, the mansions, the tradition, the culture, has been removed, one is left with people who are the same as we are, full of pride, prejudice, insecurities, ambition, expectation, denial, and dependency: although times change, human nature stays the same. Jack Howard May 2003 1 ...read more.

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