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

Explore how Jane Austen presents the themes of love and marriage in volume 1 of Pride and Prejudice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore how Jane Austen presents the themes of love and marriage in volume 1 of Pride and Prejudice "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." The novel begins with a satirical quote, representing many people's opinions on love and marriage at the time of writing. To many, marriage was a way of bettering themselves socially and economically, but seldom for happiness and love. Throughout the novel there are numerous and frequent references to this way of thinking, and Austen makes characters who think of love and marriage in this way appear ridiculous. One character made to look absurd is Mrs. Bennet. Most find her intolerable, and even her own daughters and husband are embarrassed by her regularly. In chapter one she says, "A single man of large fortune... What a fine thing for our girls!" Nothing of Mr. Bingley's character is mentioned, but the fact that he is wealthy seems reason enough for Mrs. Bennet to approve of him. As will be future explored, Mrs. Bennet is derided throughout the novel, clearly showing that Austen herself does not approve of her way of thinking, as it is centred around the material rather than being centred around love or moral reasons. ...read more.

Middle

Much of the proposal is an insult to Miss Bennet as he retells Lady Catherine's exact words ("let her be an active, useful person, not brought up too high"). Mr. Collins obviously does not love Elizabeth, nor is he pretending so. He seems to think that, due to the fact that he has good connections, Elizabeth would jump at the chance of marrying him. She refuses politely, yet Mr. Collins cannot see why she would refuse his offer. He is a prime example of someone who doesn't think love is a necessity for a successful marriage. He sees his proposal as an honourable gesture; as a way to compensate the Bennet family for the fact that he shall inherit the house upon Mr. Bennet's death, but somewhat selfishly to better his own status and comfort. Soon after this, as Mr. Collins retreats with a slightly bruised ego, we learn that Miss Charlotte Lucas, a close friend of the Bennets, has accepted another proposal from Collins, presumably one of the same type. After Elizabeth confronts her on the news of their engagement Charlotte justifies her thoughts with the following: "I am not romantic... I ask only a comfortable home... ...read more.

Conclusion

This seems evermore the case when listening to the piano at Netherfield; he thinks to himself that it may become dangerous to pay too much attention to Lizzy. He makes it clear that he regards her of a lower class in his refused proposal ("He spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed... His sense of her inferiority - of its being a degradation - of the family obstacles.") and is obviously concerned about other people's opinions. Despite the fact that the story ends happily and both Elizabeth and Jane marry for love, the underlying theme of the novel is, predictably, pride and prejudice. Lydia, though eager to marry Wickham for love, runs the risk of being ostracised due to her living with him outside of wedlock. This, in turn, would ruin the reputation of her sisters. Despite being in love, would Darcy and Bingley want to get married to the siblings of a disgraced woman? If Darcy had not have been able to persuade Wickham to marry Lydia, would he in turn have abandoned Elizabeth? Though Austen strongly hints that she approves of marrying for love rather than money (through satirising some characters and not others), it is clear that reputation and etiquette were still as important, if not more important than love in one's marriage. ...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. Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice. ...

    When Charlotte accepts Mr Collins' proposal in the narrative she even admits to herself that she doesn't like him: "Mr Collins to be sure was neither sensible nor agreeable; his society was irksome and his attachment to her must be imaginary."

  2. A Comparison of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen

    The names of the characters in the novel appear to have a blend of realism and symbolism. Grindgrind suggests the grinding away at hard facts and M'Choakumchild who stuffs the children with facts. Suspense is effectively used, particularly in the introduction of Stephen's wife and Mrs Pedler.

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

    The flowery and pompous language Mr Collins uses establishes the tone and his character and to everyone in the room his actions become fairly obvious. Mrs Bennet never hesitated to leave them both alone with each other, as she wanted Mr Collins to say what he had to Elizabeth and for her to agree with him.

  2. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    She never says anything bad about her husband. The marriage between Lydia and Wickham was the result of irresponsible behaviour. They met at a dance where the Malatia Regiment, to which Mr Wickham belongs, and the Bennets were invited. When Wickham is first introduced in the novel he pays attention to Elizabeth but he knows that Miss King

  1. In Pride and Prejudice, what views does Jane Austen convey to us regarding Pride, ...

    Marriage Throughout the book Jane Austen shows her views on marriage through the majority of the characters. Throughout the book Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy is, "in a sense a triumph of the individual over society; but, paradoxically, Elizabeth achieves her most genuine conquest of pride and prejudice only after she

  2. Discuss Jane Austen's treatment of the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    see the ring" this shows that by not talking of how happy she is being married and instead talking of how she wants people to know, she has not real feelings for Wickham. By the ends Lydia's game becomes reality and she is constantly travelling to be away from Wickham

  1. Examine the different marriage relationships and attitudes towards marriage presented in 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...

    This theory is also backed up by Mr Darcy at first, as he feels that Jane does not show much interest in Bingley as a person; however he does not know her temperament as Charlotte Lucas clearly points out to Elizabeth "Remember Eliza, that he does not know her disposition as you do".

  2. ‘With reference to “Her First Ball” and at least one other short story from ...

    Her tumultuous lifestyle may even support this. For example, in 'Her First Ball' we are first depicted a familiar scene within the context. A young, na�ve girl eager with anticipation, 'she tried not to smile too much...but everything was so new and exciting.', who is made aware of the restrictions

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