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Examine the Attitudes to Love and Marriage that Emerge in Chapters 1-23 of 'Pride and Predjudice' and Discuss how we are Made Aware of Jane Austen's Attitude Towards them.

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Introduction

Examine the Attitudes to Love and Marriage that Emerge in Chapters 1-23 of 'Pride and Predjudice' and Discuss how we are Made Aware of Jane Austen's Attitude Towards them "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" Jane Austen used this quote to open her second book, 'Pride and Prejudice', which was first published in 1813. This is a story of the attitudes towards love and marriage in the nineteenth century, through the eyes of a number of people in different family situations and levels of society. It explores what was socially acceptable and disgraceful at the time, as well as the author, Jane Austen's, personal opinion on the matter. This is shown mainly through the character of Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five daughters of Mr and Mrs Bennet, inhabitants of the Longbourn estate. At this time, it was very important that young girls of around sixteen and above should aim to marry as soon as possible to avoid becoming destitute and unable to support themselves after the inevitable death of their father, whose estate would usually be inherited by the next male heir in the family. ...read more.

Middle

His second reason is as follows: "I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness" Mr Collins has not even tried to hide the fact that this is a selfish motive! He probably put this reason in if not out of sheer stupidity then because he thought that if he put very honest statements such as this in, Elizabeth would think that she could trust him and that he would be a truly devoted husband. His third and final reason for marrying her was, he said, that he was told to by his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, to find a wife who he could take back to Hunsford, "And thirdly, which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier...she said, 'Mr Collins, you must marry...chuse a gentlewoman for my sake...not brought up too high...Find such a woman as soon as you can, bring her to Husnford, and I will visit her'" Mr. Collins stating that he ought to have mentioned Lady Catherine's happiness before his own is proof enough that he devotes himself to her constantly without him telling Lizzy, effectively, that Miss de Bourgh wants him to marry someone whom she can look down upon and possibly even ridicule. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane Austen (and therefore Elizabeth) believes that this is the only acceptable reason for marrying someone, and that if you do not love a man, you should not marry him. After hearing Charlotte tell her that she does not believe in love before marriage, Elizabeth replies, "You make me laugh, Charlotte, but it is not sound. You know that it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself." This makes it perfectly clear that Lizzy thinks that it would be impossible for anyone, no matter how set-against romance they are,to marry someone for a reason other than love. This proves that she is a romantic, and once set in her ways cannot see how anybody could think differently to her. In conclusion, I would say that Jane Austen looks down upon marrying for material success or gain, and superficial attraction and mismatch because at least one person in the relationship will end up being unhappy. She does, however, believe in marrying for love because you will be able to live the rest of your life happily with a partner you are devoted to. I also think that if you choose to marry, you should only do it for this reason because I believe that all you need is love. By Bekky Kennedy 105 ...read more.

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