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Austen's Treatment and Views on marriage in Pride and Prejudice

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Introduction

Discuss Austen's treatment of marriage in P and P, with reference to at least three episodes in the novel. In Pride and Prejudice Austen has different views on marriage; some people in this novel get married for love, but not all of them. A number of others marry because of convenience or physical attraction before they even know the individual properly. The three couples I have chosen all get married for different reasons; the couples are: Mr and Mrs Bennet - who married on physical attraction and now he regrets it Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins - who married for convenience because they both needed a partner and Darcy and Elizabeth - who married because of true love. Mr and Mrs Bennet got married because they were drawn to each other by physical attraction not love. They didn't even know each other's real personalities. Later Mr Bennet has realised what Mrs Bennet is really like and if he's not spending a lot of time in his library reading books, he's teasing Mrs Bennet. She is unintelligent, garrulous and capricious; as soon as a rich man (Bingley) enters the neighbourhood she insists that Mr Bennet goes to visit him; when he asks why she's replies that "You must know I am thinking of his marrying one of them" (them being their five daughters.) ...read more.

Middle

Mr Collins' only intention in coming to Longbourn was to marry; he didn't care who, it was purely for convenience. Charlotte agreed also for convenience. This is another of Austen's views on marriage. In those days people would marry for expediency and some people nowadays still do; for example to stay in this country if they are asylum-seekers or other foreign people they would just marry to give themselves a better life. My third couple are Lizzy and Darcy. The novel is mainly based around these two; the title Pride and Prejudice defines them. Lizzy is the Prejudice and Darcy is the Pride. Austen's view of marriage with this couple is different to the others in the novel. At the beginning Darcy cares little for Lizzy and Lizzy hates Darcy more and more each day, but it all works out in the end and they marry. Unlike other couples who fall in love straight away or do it for convenience these two are in constant conflict almost all the way to the altar. Darcy's pride is initially discovered when the two first meet at an assembly in Meryton. Mr Bingley and his friend Mr Darcy are there and Bingley dances with Jane a lot whilst Darcy just stands around ignoring most people; when Bingley comes to him ands tries to persuade him to dance with Lizzy he says "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me..." ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy proposes a second time to Lizzy saying "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever" She at last accepts and they walk on and talk. He recites some of the things she said when she rejected him the first time and she says "Oh! do not repeat what I then said. These recollections will not do at all. I assure you that I have long been most heartily ashamed of it." Austen has eventually guided the pair to the altar and through all sorts of happenings and events; these two really marry for love, a strong love and their relationship will prove to be a fiery one because of both their strong personalities. I conclude that Austen has at least three differing views on marriage: Convenience, Physical Attraction (which they might have thought was love) and of course love. She respects people who get married for security and convenience and she laughs at those who do without even knowing each other. She has higher opinion of people who fight through a lot to marry for love, whatever their circumstances. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joe Collins - 1 - ...read more.

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