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Explore how the theme of marriage is presented in Pride and Prejudice. What comments do you think Jane Austen might be making about her own time?

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Introduction

Explore how the theme of marriage is presented in Pride and Prejudice What comments do you think Jane Austen might be making about her own time? Marriage is a key theme in Pride and Prejudice. Throughout the novel we receive many different views on each marriage because several different situations are presented to us. Jane Austen gives us her view point in some sections of the novel which put across even more the minor theme of marriage. We are also, at points, asked of our own views on certain aspects of one, or more, of the marriages. We are given four main marriages to review. From a glance it is very easy to notice that Charlotte and Collins are marrying for simply economic safety. Lydia and Wickham are forced to marry after their scandalous relationship based on physical attraction. In contrast, her sister Elizabeth is determined a marriage should be based on mutual admiration and respect. Elizabeth and Darcy eventually join together after trial and tribulations and is based purely on love. Jane and Bingley are similar to Elizabeth and Darcy. Jane wants her marriage to be based on love and happiness, which she does eventually gain from the marriage. The main point put across by Jane Austen is that many people in that time believed that money was needed for happiness. Throughout the novel many different points are presented to show how money should bring happiness but how few people actually believe this. Some people will marry when they are first offered but others will wait until they are truly ready. ...read more.

Middle

This shows an irony of tone in the language used. Jane Austen's point of view is put across through the character of Charlotte Lucas. She portrays how people of her time would have viewed an ideal marriage at that time. Charlotte and Collins' marriage will be successful because neither of them are marrying for love and lead separate lives. They both have someone or something to fall back on and the marriage is based like a contract. The marriage agreement suits them both fine because they have no want for love but for social security. Jane Austen portrays an example of an unacceptable relationship, at that time, through the characters of Lydia Bennet and Mr Wickham. This relationship was an embarrassment to the Bennet family. This relationship is perceived as a failure, due to the way Lydia is presented to the reader. She is still a child and acts like it most of the time. This is not a basis for a successful marriage. This marriage is an example of when the reader develops their own views on the success of the marriage. The way the relationship is presented makes it apparent to the reader that this marriage should not be taken seriously. Lydia seems to be either jealous or would like to be like Charlotte Lucas, because she states that she will be able to live comfortably and never be distressed for money. Lydia later decides to run off with Mr Wickham to marry, much to the astonishment of her mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

This marriage is a true marriage to which people of this society could relate to. People do understand that relationships have their ups and downs, as in this relationship. Throughout the entire novel, the reader often has the chance to express their own views on a certain marriage. On the whole, it seems that society at this time would like to be married for money and social security, rather than love. It was acceptable for two people who did not love each other to marry, at that time. There are occasions, as with Elizabeth and Darcy, and Jane and Bingley, where we gain Jane Austen's view at the time. Jane Austen also believes that you should marry for love. There are many humorous characters throughout the novel which adds to the effect. I, myself believe that the marriages between Jane and Bingley, and Elizabeth and Darcy, will be very successful. This is because we have seen their relationships progress through the whole story and it is what a marriage would be like today. Jane Austen has written this book to portray the acceptable marriages of her time. From her narrative writing we can gather that: * We are not to take Lydia and Wickham's relationship seriously. * Charlotte and Collins have an understanding marriage, but not ideal. * Darcy and Elizabeth are the couple that the readers want to be together. * Jane and Bingley have the ideal marriage. The reader is drawn in by all of the different situations that they encounter and this is what makes their relationships more understandable. Shelley Beckett AT10 ...read more.

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