Explore the variety of attitudes towards love and marriage in regards to chapters one, nineteen, thirty-four and fifty-eight in 'Pride and Prejudice'.
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Pride and Prejudice Introduction Jane Austen was born in 1755. She was the seventh of eight children. The family was well educated and affectionate. Her father was a clergyman and they lived at the rectory in the parish of Steventon in Hampshire. She wrote several novels one of which was 'Pride and Prejudice'. It is full of romance, drama and humour. The novel was set in pre 1914 in a society were women had no vote, were unable to voice their opinion and had no income of their own so they had to rely on their husbands. 'Pride and Prejudice' stands upon the affirmations of love and marriage. Jane Austin believed that the perfect relationship existed between two people who respected and loved each other. She illustrates the idea of a perfect relationship and also demonstrates how some relationships are not ideal. I am going to explore the variety of attitudes towards love and marriage in regards to chapters one, nineteen, thirty-four and fifty-eight. Chapter One The opening sentence immediately links money and marriage without referring to love. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune, must be in want of a wife." It is a very bold statement and very presumptuous. In those days people were more concerned with status and money rather than love, that's the way that society operated. If you were married to somebody of a high class who had good connections then people would admire you and respect you. This is what Mrs Bennet believed. Attitudes towards love are based on material wealth not emotional wealth. There was a lot of competition as to who could get their daughters married off first. Mrs Bennet likes to gossip and is very persistent. It is made clear that she is more concerned with marrying off her daughters as opposed to Mr Bennet who doesn't concern himself with such matters.
Whereas Mrs Bennet is far easier to understand and there is nothing more important to her than getting her daughters married; married to someone of great fortune. "The business of her life was go get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news." So the only way she could achieve this is to become acquainted with all the wealthy, high-class gentlemen. Chapter Nineteen Mr Collins is planning on proposing to Elizabeth. He's quite nervous about asking for Mrs Bennets Consent but when he does Mrs Bennet answers for Elizabeth, "Oh dear!-yes-certainly-I am sure Lizzy will be very happy-I am sure she can have no objection" Mrs Bennet is really excited for her daughter. It is made clear from previous chapters that Mr Collins is disliked by all of the sisters and found to be very irritating. Elizabeth does not like Mr Collins and nor is she prepared to marry him. She knows what he's going to say so she tries to leave the room. "Dear Ma'am, do not go-I beg you will not go-Mr Collins must excuse me-he can have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear. I am going away myself." Mrs Bennet is very pushy and persuasive. "No, no, nonsense, Lizzy; I desire you will stay where you are." Elizabeth felt trapped because she couldn't disobey her mother and she's to mature to run away from the situation. The proposal was very comical and Mr Collins gave many reasons for wanting to marry her but none of them involved love. He repeatedly mentions himself. There is a lot of dramatic irony during the proposal as Mr Collins thinks Elizabeth is simply being modest when she refuses his proposal when actually she really doesn't want to be there. "Your modesty, so far from doing you any other perfections" so instead of putting him off he seems even more keen on her now.
Darcy didn't want Elizabeth to know what he had done to help because he's modest and embarrassed but he is glad that she does know, otherwise her opinion may have never changed. "I am sorry, exceedingly sorry, replied Mr Darcy in a tone of surprise and emotion that you have ever been informed of what may, in a mistaken light, have given you uneasiness." Elizabeth finally accepts Darcy and thinks of him as a decent human and not that monster she thought he was. "Let me thank-you again...for that generous compassion." Again Mr Darcy expressed his love for Elizabeth but in a more sensitive and respectable manner. Elizabeth finds it difficult to speak which doesn't happen often because of her strong opinionated character. "Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word" She accepts Darcy's proposal and both of them are in love. "He told her of feelings, which in proving of what importance she was to him, made his affection every moment more valuable." We assume that Elizabeth and Darcy will be happy because they have based their relationship on love and respect. Darcy's pride and Elizabeth's prejudice has been removed now that everything is out in the open and the truth is known. Darcy explained his actions and Elizabeth now understood him. This is Jane Austen's portrayal of the ideal marriage. Conclusion Jane Austen has created a variety of relationships so show us that it is important to marry for love, respect and common interest. Beauty fades so don't go for physical attractions and money is not everything, although it is important it is not necessary. Darcy and Elizabeth, Jane and Bingley will be happy together because they love each other and that's enough for them but people like Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet will never be happy because they don't know each other and neither one of them makes an effort to make it work. Jane Austin was trying to get the point across that things change. Not everything starts of perfect but with a bit of love you can get there in the end and things will be ideal.
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