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Consider how Jane Austen Portrays Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

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Consider how Jane Austen Portrays Marriage in Pride and Prejudice 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.' The fact that Austen opens Pride and Prejudice with this sentence is evident that the theme is going to be important. Also it holds a truth as well as being satirical and humorous. As a beginning sentence, we know that this idea of marriage will be expanded later on and become more important as the novel commences. Austen fills the novel's dialogue with irony, making people such as Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins reveal their foolishness to the reader through their ridiculous comments. Pride and Prejudice is a love story that is both humorous and deeply serious. It shows a mixture of emotions on all the characters behalf. Satire is used a great deal, where Austen criticises people in a humorous way. This is due to the fact that for a woman in this period, marriage was the surest route to independence and freedom. The story is based on a series of conflicts, the central one is between Elizabeth and Darcy, and smaller ones concerning the other characters. Jane Austen portrays marriage in Pride and Prejudice in various ways. The first idea is true and deep love, and that they would want to be together forever regardless of money or social class. This reason alone should be why the couple marry. Another idea would be money, people may have chosen to marry due each other having a substantial amount of money or land. ...read more.


Little did she know that Wickham had no intention of marrying her, but when he finally did decide to, he only took into consideration how much money the Bennet's owned to find out how much he would make. Lydia did not see or understand that Wickham did not love her and did not intend on marriage. Everyone in Lydia's family thought that she was stupid and foolish accepting Wickham's proposal as they could see how untrustworthy he was. They also all knew that he was forced into it by Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy also felt responsible as he new what Wickham was like, but failed to warn anyone even though he knew the consequences would end in marriage. Darcy forced Wickham to marry for the reason that he wanted to help out Elizabeth as he had feelings towards her and he thought that doing this would make her love him. When Lydia went on her trip to Brighton, she saw this as an opportunity to become friends with male officers. 'She saw herself the object of attention to tons and to scores of them at present unknown.' After the two married, the Bennet's welcomed Wickham into their family more freely, even if they didn't mean it and they were just acting warmly towards him. Elizabeth could not bear to listen to the conversation the family were having about the couple. She heard Lydia telling Jane that she had taken her place in rank order, and this distressed her. ...read more.


This is Elizabeth's reply to Lady Catherine when Elizabeth denies telling her what she knows about her and Darcy. Towards the end of the novel, Darcy asks Elizabeth about her feelings towards him, she said she had changed her mind and that she does like him now. Elizabeth and Darcy then get married as they both feel the same way towards each other. This marriage is portrayed as a perfect marriage as they both married for the reason that they each love one another. I agree with this marriage, as they each fell for one another at the end, after all their ups and downs and one marriage proposal. Furthermore, these two have been through many different emotions of anger, stress, sadness and then to happiness until they were both ecstatic by being with each other. I have come to the conclusion that Austen portrays marrying for love and security as the right reason and is the decent way of doing things. We find this out because any marriage that she sees is good she goes into great detail about and explains everything that is going on, however if she disagrees with a marriage she will explain it quickly and try to finish on the subject rapidly. When Austen disapproves of a character, she views them negatively and does not inform the audience of any positive attributes. Overall I have decided that the best marriage throughout the novel was undoubtedly Darcy and Elizabeth as they married for all the right reasons. They were also the central theme so were meant to be together and work out in the end. ...read more.

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