• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the marriages that take place during Pride and Prejudice - Which is the most successful?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider the marriages that take place during Pride and Prejudice. Which is the most successful? Pride and Prejudice is a novel that deals primarily with the theme of marriage. Through the course of the plot, four weddings take place; between Lydia and Mr Wickam; Charlotte and Mr Collins; Jane and Mr Bingley; and Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. Some of these marriages are seen as more ultimately positive than others. Jane Austen's society was one that declared marriage as the status all women should strive to achieve and the opening statement, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' is therefore fitting (even if quite ironic). It also introduces the idea that aspects such as social class, property and money were extremely important in marriage, generally more so than love. During the 18th Century, connections needed to be respectable for one to have a chance of marrying well. This causes quite a predicament for the five Bennet girls who have an extremely vulgar, embarrassing mother and uncles residing in Cheapside, as well as no money to attract suitors. Because of this, they all have to rely solely on their charms and beauty for a decent marriage. The first marriage seen in the novel is that between Mr Collins and Miss Charlotte Lucas and is probably the most typical marriage of the time. ...read more.

Middle

as he bribes Wickam into it with a large sum. The way the Wickams deal with their financial situation can also be compared to the Bennets - both couples were 'heedless of the future'. We learn Lydia and Wickam were incessantly in debt and often moved from place to place, constantly squandering their money and primarily being sustained by the help of others. 'Whenever they [the Wickams] changed their quarters, either Jane on herself [Elizabeth] was sure of being applied to, for some little assistance towards discharging their bills.' This marriage is in no doubt the least successful because as well as owning a bad reputation, the couple have neither love nor money; at least with Mr and Mrs Collins each fulfil the other's need for security and their financial situation is under control. The third marriage is probably the first genuinely positive one, giving a sense of happiness to the reader. After meeting both Miss Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley, it is instantly obvious that they are well suited to each other because they are both good, kind, optimistic people and as soon as they meet at the Meryton Assembly, he shows a lively interest in Jane, dancing with her twice. Throughout the novel it becomes apparent there is a base of true love (not lust) and affection between them. Jane is the perfect example of what a young woman was expected to be during the 18th Century; polite, rational, conservative, social and beautiful (in fact the most beautiful of the five Bennet sisters) ...read more.

Conclusion

Society's rules cause many barriers for Elizabeth and Mr Darcy and Lady Catherine De Bourgh specifically reproves of the marriage. She has difficulty accepting it, visiting Elizabeth in person and questioning, 'Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?' (page 288), thus implying Elizabeth and her connections are so low they will contaminate the wonderful building only fit for those of a much higher class. I believe that overall the marriage between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy is the most successful. When at last they are together they are financially secure and are accepted by most of society - eventually by Lady Catherine as well. The couple triumph over many original misunderstandings and conquer all their pride and prejudices against each other - in Mr Darcy's case also against her social class. The victory over numerous obstacles seem to have brought them closer together and genuinely in love, 'They were able to love each other, even as well as they intended.' Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are both straightforward characters that are intelligent and honest as well as caring and loving and they make an extremely compatible couple. Additionally, they continue to have equality within the relationship (it was often common at the time for the male to have a more dominant role) and as Georgiana is astonished to find, the couple constantly get along, always having something to discuss, 'she [Georgiana' often listened with astonishment . . . at her [Elizabeth's] lively, sportive manner of talking to her brother.' This marriage turns out to be the strongest and Jane Austen leaves nothing that could be criticised about the union. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. "Pride and Prejudice" Elizabeth's visit to Pemberley.

    Knighley's appearance is mirrored and from his house and grounds his character shows him as traditional, solid and reliable and it is not subjected by the changes in fashion and affection. In "Pride and Prejudice" Lady Catherine's house at Rosings shows affection and snobbery where as Darcy's house and grounds

  2. By looking closely at three different couples in 'Pride and Prejudice'explore what Jane Austen ...

    Jane Austen through Lizzy giving her opinion that Mr. Bennet's scornful, contemptuous attitude towards his wife is a harmful example to his children. She does not think an unhappy marriage excuses his irresponsibility as a father and his lack of marital loyalty, breakdown of respect within a family.

  1. Discuss Jane Austen's treatment of the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    This is also obvious in Chapter 46, where Lydia has eloped with Wickham. But, this event also shows that Lydia is irresponsible and has been persuaded by Wickham. When Lydia returns as a married woman, the way in which she presents herself shows that she sees marriage as some sort of game with which she might impress her friends.

  2. "'Marriage is quite clearly a central theme in 'Pride and Prejudice.' Choose three marriages ...

    I think Austen's view of a good marriage is portrayed through Lizzie. It must be natural love, as well as being exciting and passionate, rather than boring and safe. She often describes Lydia and Wickham's marriage as being awful and almost forced on Wickham's part, 'small as is their chance

  1. Compare and Contrast the various reactions to Lydia going to Brighton

    She warns her father, 'If you were aware, of the very great disadvantage... you would judge differently in the affair.' Elizabeth says all this to ensure that the family pride is not affected in any possible way. She is conscious of the great possibility of Lydia exposing the family honour at Brighton.

  2. Dearest Catherine, Since my last letter, we have experienced some unusual events at Longbourn, ...

    I done the silliest thing ever I asked Mr Collins if he is going to the ball, and he announces that he looks forward to dancing with me during the first two dances. Out of politeness, I agreed, but I was disappointed, as I wanted to dance with Mr Wickham.

  1. Pride and Prejudice How successful this novel is in giving first impressions of ...

    It was her own choice to write about social issues and possibly may have chosen to write in this style as she could have personally experienced the events that she based the novel on, showing authenticity. Why is this novel still popular today?

  2. The Triumph of Love in Pride and Prejudice

    He is confused as to why she would play this game with him, but he is not upset over not being with her. Their unification would be one of convenience, not love. Elizabeth cannot see herself being happy in a loveless marriage with such a man, even though she would be well provided for.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work