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Discuss the presentation of love and marriage in "Pride and Prejudice".

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Introduction

Discuss the presentation of love and marriage in "Pride and Prejudice" Marriage in general is presented as a central theme in the novel, "Pride and Prejudice," and love often has to do with marriage but not vice versa. "Pride and Prejudice" itself is a light-hearted tale of love and marriage in very early 19th century England. From reading the novel, we can get a clearer understanding of what life was like for men and women at this time. The first line of the novel suggests that marriage is a central theme when we read: "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 in the novel centre and revolve mainly around the two elder Bennet daughters, Jane and Elizabeth. Their personalities in the novel as well as the roles of pride and prejudice play a large part in the development of their individual relationships. The novel shows love and marriage as a state of admiration between men and women, finally resulting in marriage. From the novel, we learn that marriage in this time is very different from marriage now. Nowadays, in most cases, couples marry for love. However, in the early 19th century, when this novel was written, we learn that marriage is not always for love. It becomes more of a competition between mothers who are obsessed with trying to marry their daughters off and they often take it to extremes. ...read more.

Middle

Sometimes one officer, sometimes another had been her favourite, as their attentions raised them in her opinion" They are perceived very differently as characters and appear to the reader, not to have much in common as far as personality. The initial attraction between Lydia and Wickham was based on good looks more than caring for each other deeply. Their marriage causes deep pain to the rest of the Bennet family by the attitude Lydia has to the marriage and when she decides to elope with Wickham. Mrs Bennet is upset and embarrassed because Lydia, being the youngest, is the first to marry and Mrs Bennet is worried about what other people will think about this as well as the fact that Lydia has eloped. She thinks that the reputation that she has built for the family will be ruined and that people will think of it as scandal. Lydia caused pain to the whole Bennet family, not just Mrs Bennet. They are all very distressed and annoyed with her after she eloped and this can be seen after Lydia sends a letter telling her family that she has eloped and Lizzy says the line: "Oh thoughtless, thoughtless Lydia" The love that occurs between Jane and Bingley at the beginning of the novel appears to be genuine. They long for each other for a while. He is handsome, rich, kind and well liked. He and Jane have complementary personalities. They appear to be pleasantly matched and also appear to share a happy life together. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lydia and Wickham are married but show little understanding of each other and are not truly in love like Jane and Bingley. Darcy and Elizabeth did not always see eye to eye during the course of the novel but by the end after their marriage, they seem very much in love and contented. Charlotte and Mr Collins are also contented with each other's company however they are also not completely and truly in love. However, there has been a lot of love in the novel, which has proved to be true and genuine. The Gardners have been role models to the other families in the novel throughout. Their love is definitely genuine and their marriage is very strong. Overall, at the end of the novel, most are contented with each others company and from their marriages, the women now all have a very stable outcome in life and have a better chance of getting whatever it is that they want for their futures. So, at the end of the novel, everyone who is in love or married is happy. Everyone's best sides are shown especially Darcy, who turns out to be a polite and warming character and it is evident that he has managed to overcome his pride and self-importance to make himself happy in his marriage to Elizabeth. It is evident that the other characters are also just as happy in other ways and much happier than they were at the beginning of the novel. In my opinion, Jane Austen has finished the novel on this note so that the reader also feels contented with the outcome. Sarah Lavin ...read more.

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