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Explore the relationships of 3 of the couples in Pride and Prejudice, commenting on what Jane Austin considers to be the essential elements of a happy marriage.

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Introduction

Explore the relationships of 3 of the couples in Pride and Prejudice, commenting on what Jane Austin considers to be the essential elements of a happy marriage. Marriage, and relationships during the eighteenth century played a major role in women's lives, that it dictated their every action. The three relationships, I have chosen to explore are a variety; Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are an example of an unsuccessful marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Collins is an example of a successful relationship, and the relationship between Jane and Mr. Bingley is an ideal relationship where the two are perfectly suited to one another. The relationship between Charlotte and Mr. Bingley is an example of a mercenary marriage in the novel, and it seems it came purely for economic reasons. Evidence of this is plentiful. Charlotte appears to be Mr. Collins' draw back, seeing as he had only just received a rejection from Elizabeth. ...read more.

Middle

Jane Austen's view of the practicality of the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Collins is evident; " It was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must their pleasantest preservative from want." She also feels that Charlotte did what any sensible woman of that time would do, as she had received her financial security. In direct contrast to this sensible view towards marriage, is the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. The relationship between the two is now dead, and they have no real affection for each other, "Her father captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour, which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind, had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her." From this passage also we learn that Jane Austen warns against such marriages based on "youth and beauty" and an impression of good "humour". ...read more.

Conclusion

I have no doubt of your doing very well together. Your tempers are by no means unlike, you are each so complying." In the novel Jane Austen's opinion of this relationship is perceived through Elizabeth; Elizabeth really believed all his expectations of felicity, to be rationally founded, because they had for basis the excellent understanding, and superexcellent disposition of Jane, and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her and himself." Jane Austen sees happiness as "rationally founded", and the marriage is likely to be a success because of the "excellent understanding" We see evidence of Jane Austen's opinion towards a successful marriage through out the novel, mainly through her characters, especially Elizabeth. Mainly three types of marriages are portrayed in the novel, and she makes it clear that the passion of the moment is a poor foundation for lasting happiness, and that for a marriage to be successful it takes mutual respect, although no secret is made of the need to marry for money (e.g. Charlotte mainly marrying for financial security). ...read more.

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