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Explore Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in the first volume of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen wrote "Pride and Prejudice" around 1798 when the world had been changing rapidly

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Introduction

English Coursework Leah Johnstone 10-5 Explore Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in the first volume of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen wrote "Pride and Prejudice" around 1798 when the world had been changing rapidly. The American war of independence took place in 1795, slavery was abolished in 1788 and the French Revolution began in 1789, but she wrote of things she observed closer to home. She looked intensely at love and marriage and delivered her ideas in her novel. In the first volume of "Pride and Prejudice" her characters' actions and situations made it obvious that love and marriage do not always go hand in hand. She presents no couples who are in love and married. They are married and not in love or in love and not married, never both! Many nineteenth century novelists used lots of description, metaphors and symbolism to describe places and people. Jane Austen didn't, she relied on the characters' actions and dialogue combined with the thoughts of the main character and the comments of the omniscient narrator. The novel opens with the famous statement "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." ...read more.

Middle

Bingley danced with Jane twice everyone concluded that he was interested in her, whereas when Mr. Darcy didn't dance with Elizabeth everyone concluded she had been insulted. Austen did not present this relationship as love at first sight, infact the complete opposite. The reader watched love grow. Love was less important than marriage. Women were compelled by society to find suitable husbands. Elizabeth thinks Jane should act naturally to Mr. Bingley and her love will be seen by him, but Charlotte Lucas thinks Jane should be very assertive and not let the chance of a financially secure marriage go. Charlotte Lucas is a very pleasant character; this character's voice is presented as being always practical and affectionate. Austen made her the complete opposite of the repulsive, irritating Mr. Collins. Their relationship is one of the most upsetting in the novel. Charlotte believes a successful marriage is just luck; "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." This reveals she thinks happiness is not an essential factor of marriage. In her opinion you should work on falling in love once married, "When she is secure of him, there will be leisure for falling in love". ...read more.

Conclusion

Bennet we learn more of Mr. Darcy. After first rudely over-looking Elizabeth he noticed her eyes and became physically attracted to her. He then began to admire her "quickness" of mind. Due to all the obstacles they have to overcome Austen builds tension and we all want the relationship to succeed. All the marriages presented in the first volume were fairly conventional, unlike the much more unconventional ones of Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia that followed. Virtually all the relationship problems outlined in the first volume i.e. Jane and Bingley, Elizabeth and Darcy, Charlotte and Collins were due to inferior position of women in society. Jane and Elizabeth could not inherit therefore could not support themselves or attract good husbands easily. Poor Charlotte Lucas could only get financial support for herself through marriage - even if it had to be someone like Collins. Austen uses humour, mismatches, love at first sight and gradually growing love to help illustrate love and marriage in her society. She persuades the reader into following her views by creating some very sympathetic characters and then putting them in situations that highlight the importance of love in marriage. Jane Austen presents love as the most important ingredient for happiness in a marriage. ...read more.

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