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Discuss attitudes to marriage in "Pride and Prejudice" ; you should also refer to how these differ from modern views.

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Introduction

"It is the truth universally acknowledged , that a single man in possession of a good fortune , must be in want of a wife." Discuss attitudes to marriage in "Pride and Prejudice" ; you should also refer to how these differ from modern views. One of the principal themes included in Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice" is marriage. We notice that this notion influences many of the events in the novel as well as causing controversy between characters. To illustrate the diverse opinions on the subject I will discuss the views of three main characters, Mr Collins ,Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. The novel also demonstrates the historical value of marriage as we learn about attitudes towards it in the nineteenth century. Twenty one year old Elizabeth Bennet , is the heroine of the novel. Dynamic and independent, her marriage to Darcy is the only one that results in happiness, yet even this occurs by an improbable and circuitous route. "In vain I have struggled .It will not do .My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how much I admire and love you." It was extremely rare for a man two feel genuine affection towards a woman, whatever her social status .So, this confession from the highly wealthy Mr Darcy completely shocks Elizabeth and is an utterly uncharacteristic confession for relationships at this time. ...read more.

Middle

Darcy identifies this when she first turns down Mr Collins and then him. Elizabeth also contrasts to Caroline Bingley who is desperate to catch Darcy as a husband. However, Caroline's attraction is merely an act of lust and social climbing ,in order to gain great wealth and be the mistress of a beautiful estate. Caroline Bingley could never fill Mr Darcy's need as a wife as she lacks brains, wit and grace. "Then taking the disengaged arm of Mr Darcy, she left Elizabeth to walk by herself. The path just admitted there're Darcy felt their rudeness," this is an example of Caroline Bingley's impolite and behaviour. Mr Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage results in them avoiding the failings that we see in the other marriages in the novel.. Their views on marriage are unlike the majority of other relationships, which are solely based on marital security. The couple share mutual love and respect towards each other. "Never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him, as now, when all love must be in vain." also, "you liked me against you will , against your reason and even against your character." The later quotation portrays the fact that Mr Darcy loves Elizabeth despite "family obstacles" and social standing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Charlotte's marriage is in no way idyllic she does achieve the dignity and match of good status , together with independence that she wanted, as well as becoming mistress of her own household. When Elizabeth went to visit the Collins' she felt, "when Mr Collins could be forgotten, there was real a great air of comfort through out, and by Charlotte's evident enjoyment of it, Elizabeth supposed he must often be forgotten." This emphasises the fact that the Collins' marriage may not be perfect ,as the couple are not particularly compatible, but the pair of them are not unhappy al all. This marriage contrasts completely to the views of modern day couples .Today it is not a necessary obligation, in the slightest to get married. Couples do not feel marriage is essential for a partnership to work. Many couples can live without the recognition of their partnership, exist as married couples do and even have children. Having compared and analysed the diverse and opposing views on marriage between characters, it seems, a truly fulfilling marriage, in "Pride and Prejudice", can only exist between partners who both have mature and developed characters. Darcy and Elizabeth are the most prominent examples of this in the novel. The slow process of learning the truth about each other is not just a matter of removing prejudice but also of replacing it with a positive appreciation. ?? ?? ?? ?? Georgia McMillan ...read more.

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