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Considering the marriages in 'Pride And Prejudice'.

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Introduction

Considering The Marriages In 'Pride And Prejudice' In 19th century England there was a tendency to marry for money, rather than love. In 'Pride and Prejudice', Jane Austen shows that marriage at that time was a financial contract, where love and happiness was strictly a matter of chance. This is evident from the first line of the novel which is 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife'. Love and Marriage are prominent themes in Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen brings together four couples in this novel and through the vast range of characters, she helps us to see the reasons behind the marriages. The four couples are Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley, Lydia Bennet and Mr Wickham and Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins. I am going to consider each marriage in turn and then conclude by deciding which marriage is the most successful. Jane and Bingley take a liking to each other as soon as they lay eyes on each other. Bingley says that Jane is 'the most beautiful creature he has ever beheld' and Jane thinks Bingley is 'sensible, good humoured and lively with such happy manners'. ...read more.

Middle

I can also tell this because when Mr. Collins said any thing of which his wife might reasonably be ashamed, which certainly was not unseldom, Elizabeth would involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte. Once or twice she could discern a faint blush Mr Collins and Charlotte's marriage is surprising but it is obvious to us that they marry for money and stability, not at all for love. The marriage between Lydia Bennet and Mr Wickham also comes as a shock to us, bur again, I can see the reasons behind it. Lydia is the youngest member of the Bennet family who is devoted to a life of dancing, fashions, gossips and flirting. She is na�ve, fun loving, noisy an extremely flirtatious. Marriage for her is no more than an opportunity for 'very good fun' (chapter 51), and she does not understand what she is getting herself into. George Wickham, on the outside, is charming and sensible, but we soon learn that he is a liar and a spendthrift, who exploits women for personal pleasure. Lydia and Wickham have no real love for each other and neither can provide anything that the other needs. Lydia has an infatuation with handsome officers in general and I think that when Wickham shows her some attention, she tells her herself that she really does love him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr Darcy's undying love for Elizabeth continues, despite her refusal and he does not give up hope. He does not even try to hide his feelings anymore, shown in chapter 45, when he says to Miss Bingley, "She (Elizabeth) is one of the most handsome women of my acquaintance". He also proves his love for her when he goes to the extreme of paying his enemy (Mr Wickham) to marry Lydia, just so he is able to marry Elizabeth, and to save the Bennet's reputation. I believe that Elizabeth's love for Mr Darcy reaches a climax when she discovers this shocking revelation. She realises she has been blind to the love that has been right in front of her. When on a walk together, Darcy reveals that his proposal offer is still open and so she accepts the offer and claims that 'they will be the happiest couple in the world'. Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage definitely shows the most promise, in my eyes. They have overcome a number of obstacles in their path to marriage and this shows how strong and stable their marriage will be. It is clear that the pair genuinely love each other, and they know each other's character very well, having been through so much together. Their marriage, in conclusion, is the most successful one in 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...read more.

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