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

Discuss the different types of marriages presented in Pride and Prejudice and what this tells you about the different attitudes to marriage in the early nineteenth century.

Extracts from this document...


By: Nick Thorogood Discuss the different types of marriages presented in Pride and Prejudice and what this tells you about the different attitudes to marriage in the early nineteenth century. Austen opens this book with a cynical commentary on the Eighteenth Century conception of the value of love - 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gentleman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife'! Throughout the book, there are many insights into different beliefs on why to marry. Marrying for money was very popular, followed by lust, calculated marriages and arranged marriages. Something not as often thought about were love marriages. "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance". This was mainly because parents either rushed their children into marriage, or convinced them that love marriages don't always bring money. Also, Fathers such as Mr Bennet who talks of his daughters as being "four of the silliest girls in the country" gives the impression that parents want to give their daughters away to the richest people that come their way. Jobs for young women were scarce in Jane Austen's time because of a lack of education available to them. This was because university places were not open to women, nor were professions or politics. This made a successful career highly unlikely. One way for a young woman to acquire wealth and status was to marry someone rich. ...read more.


She realises that her first impression of Darcy's "Pride" was, well "Prejudiced" because her judgement was clouded by his superior status. However, when she visited his Pemberley Estate in Derbyshire, she fell in love with it and began to find even more that Darcy was a good man. Her opinion of him changes from "...I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine" to a similar opinion of his maid - "The best man I have ever known." Mr and Mrs Gardener regard him highly after meeting him a few times describing him "all ease and Friendliness" with "no false dignity". Jane and Bingley have a love relationship based on a genuine, true affection. They are very stable, although Bingley has some problems with Jane's low connections. They are similar in character and mannerisms. The indifference they display is mutual and neither of them want to rush into marriage. Throughout the novel Lizzie urges Jane to stay with Bingley but not be too forward. After all they had only met a few times. This contradicts Charlotte Lucas's who criticises Jane on being "too guarded and self-controlled, and believes she will risk losing Bingley if she doesn't encourage him more." Mr Collins proposal to Lizzie tells a factual point about how hard it was for women of the Bennet sisters' class, with low connections to find a good husband. ...read more.


Austen flags this fact out quite obviously that she does not believe in these types of marriages and would prefer a marriage built on strong foundations herself. Lydia and Wickham's marriage is another lustful, passion of the moment marriage. They're elopement brought shame to the Bennet family. Running away with a man was considered one of the worst things you could do. Wickham had no intention of marrying Lydia as she was not very attractive, not very rich and had low connections. This is the weakest relationship as Wickham is untrustworthy and a described by Darcy as a "scoundrel". The marriage would not last, as Wickham had to be paid off to marry Lydia. Mr Gardener and Darcy paid off Wickham, a considerable amount, to bring Lydia some happiness but also to lift the shame of Lydia's elopement. By: Nick Thorogood This book is a parody of the battle between the lower gentry of merry England and the slightly higher class as they each search for love, but each is hindered by pre-conceived Prides' and 'prejudices' of other social classes. The main protagonist, Lizzie Bennett, manages to overcome her mother's objections to the pomposity and design of her long-time adversary, Mr Darcy, and find true love. The book is full of minor characters that all marry for the wrong reasons. Charlotte for status; Lydia for sex and Mrs Hirst for money. But the Bennett sisters are manipulated by Austen to marry for the only thing worth marrying for ... love. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How is marriage presented in the novel "Pride And Prejudice"?

    3 star(s)

    themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for you are as handsome as any of them. Mt. Bingley may like you best of the party." Mrs. Bennet does not realize he is mocking her with false flattery. However, Mrs. Bennet is aware of the difficulty for women to be financially secured in later life.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Pride and Prejudice. Mr Collins proposes to both Elizabeth and Charlotte, but their reactions ...

    3 star(s)

    I believe you should only marry someone if you are deeply in love with them and feel that you want to share your life with them. Also, Elizabeth does not want to make the same mistakes others have made in past marriage; advised by her father as he does not have true feelings for Mrs.

  1. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    'She had been blind, partial, prejudice, absurd.' From now on Elizabeth's attitude to Darcy starts to change. She now feels gratitude and respect for Darcy but does not love him or like him. When Elizabeth goes with the Gardiners to Derbyshire they visit Pemberley, Darcy's house. The house impresses her.

  2. Charlotte Lucas says, "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." With close ...

    interpreted as revealing Charlotte has no other goals than a "comfortable home", and even if she does she would be willing to let go of them in order to obtain marriage. Her attitude could also be seen as her acceptance of her role in society.

  1. Discuss the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice showing how they relate to the ...

    like, "your wit and vivacity I think must be acceptable to her..." Elizabeth's wit and vivacity are the very qualities that made Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth. Another reason he states for marrying Elizabeth is: "...That being, as I am to inherit after the death of your honoured father (who, however may live many years longer.

  2. How does Jane Austen show her views on the marriage conventions of the nineteenth ...

    These lines can be read as a statement of fact, Austen is saying that this is just how her contemporaries think, and it is very likely that many of her readers have nodded their agreement to this wise recognition. There is also a sense, however, that such a widely-held view

  1. Who makes the best marriage in pride and prejudice?

    Elizabeth Bennet is the second oldest of five sisters, she is lively, quick-witted, sharp-tongued, bold and intelligent. Elizabeth is good-looking, and is especially distinguished by her fine eyes.

  2. Consider the variety of attitudes to marriage as expressed by the different characters in ...

    early on in life; however on the other hand, people may admire her for not wanting her daughters to end up as governess. In Austen's time few occupations were open to women who were not married, and those few that were, such as being a governess, were not highly respected,

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