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Exploring 19th century attitudes towards marriage and courtship in pride and prejudice and comparing these with todays views.

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Introduction

Exploring 19th century attitudes towards marriage and courtship in pride and prejudice and comparing these with today's views. In pride and prejudice Jane Austin uses both male and female characters to express different opinions on marriage in the 1700s. These are some of the factors that were considered important when marrying: speaking a little French, having a talent, playing piano, sewing, and singing. In that time it was voluntary that if a woman wanted to marry well she would have to have an arranged marriage. This links to pride and prejudice because in the 19th century most women were more interested in love rather than wealth when marrying, but the society around them were more into wealth and good looks. In the 1900s marriage took place in a church if a woman decided to divorce it would ruin her reputation. Additionally higher class women weren't allowed to work and I think that was unfair because she would have never got a chance to experience the world herself. In the poem called "A woman to her lover" by Christina Welsh it states what men expected of their wives which were general things like; the women had to cook, provide children and look after the children because it wasn't customary for a woman to work. ...read more.

Middle

I think it was not right for Charlotte to get married to Mr Collins because she ended up regretting the decision because she didn't spend much time with him. Elizabeth's reaction was quite impolite because she didn't want Mr Collins to marry her friend because she felt that she was ill qualified. Mr and Mrs Gardiner are good couple who genuinely love each other also they married for love not for money. Also both of them are in favour of Jane and doubt Mr Bingley's love for Jane. Elizabeth refuses Mr Darcy's proposal because Mr Darcy does everything that isn't worth hearing about her and her family. Also he says that his class and Elizabeth's class are not equal but yet he still loves her for who she is. Later on in the story Mr Darcy admits that he helped split up Jane and Mr Bingley because he thought they were not in love and that Jane was too low class. This makes Elizabeth more agitated because Mr Darcy wasn't suppose to be getting involved in something that had nothing to do with him. So she angrily refuses his proposal. In the novel she says "You offend me and insult me and choose to tell me you lied against your will and against your reason and even against your character". ...read more.

Conclusion

Today England seems to be a place of freedom, where most people are not concerned about manners, class or their lifestyle which is completely the opposite from Jane Austen's day. The first line states 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in procession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' opens the novel ironically. Also some people don't mind about marriage they outdate it as long as they are in love and they have a place to stay. People get married today because that if they move to another country they won't have to be separated from their partners. I think that to make a good marriage the person must obviously be in love and intend the best for the partners. Finally I think that Austen's views on marriage were opposing to some people but I agree with her points on marriages because a lot of people get in and out of complicated relationships. Moreover the relationships between men and women represent the society that we live in because if everyone around us was having good and successful marriages it would show that the society that we live in is good and respectful. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nokutenda Tizora Yr-10 English coursework Pride and prejudice ...read more.

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