• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"How does Jane Austen portray marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"How does Jane Austen portray marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice?" Marriage plays an extremely important role in Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice'. The novel begins with the sentence "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." This single sentence extremely significant in the fact that it is strongly connected with one of the main themes of the novel, and introduces a powerful irony that clashes with the events that unfold during the progress of the novel. In Jane Austen's day, women of high status were almost entirely dependent on men. With the only means of employment available to them being a governess, most unmarried women remained financially dependent on their male relatives. Also, the fact that most estates and fortunes such as the Longbourn estate owned by the Bennets were entailed, meaning that only male relatives could inherit it drove women to stereotype marriage as a means of financial survival, with the gentleman with the highest earnings being the most favoured for a "comfortable home...connections and a situation in life" (i.e. social status). This can first be perceived as soon as Mr Darcy is introduced into the novel; where the attention of the room during the dinner party is drawn by not only his physical features, but also by "the report which was in general circulation...of his having ten thousand a year." ...read more.

Middle

Instead, he marries Charlotte and neither gives nor receives love in their marriage. A final example that is quite significant in the novel is between Lydia and Mr Wickham. Their marriage is seen to be based on mere attraction and lust. Mr Wickham is seen as a handsome, charming polite young man, however we soon find out through how devious and hypocritical he is. Mr Wickham does not truly love Lydia, and she, still fairly young and wild cannot see this, and elopes with him ignoring the inevitable scandal that follows as a result. Jane Austen includes this relationship in the novel to illustrate how marriages based on honesty and real understanding may prove to be the best of all. Along with this, Jane Austen also tries to portray how significant family status was in her time, and how scandals can severely blight a woman's prospects in marriage, whether or not she is directly responsible. Two fine examples of this are given in the novel, and both are connected to the same character; Mr Wickham. The scandal that we first learn about is related to Elizabeth by Mr Darcy. He explains how Mr Wickham almost eloped with his sister Georgiana to avenge Mr Darcy, but he prevented them from eloping and saved her from a large scandal that might have enveloped their family. The second scandal is witnessed soon after; Elizabeth receives a letter stating that her youngest sister Lydia had eloped with Mr Wickham. ...read more.

Conclusion

This leads to him proposing to her, to which Elizabeth lashes out her wit with a sharp-tongue promptly rejecting him. However, 'all's well that end's well' as Elizabeth soon learns of the truth about Mr Darcy and the deceit of Mr Wickham and discovers how kind and sincere a man he is, and realising that she is in love with him, accepts his second marriage proposal. Elizabeth and Mr Darcy's relationship can be seen as one that is based on honesty and real love and understanding gained through emotional hardships that they both encountered. This can also be illustrated by the familiar saying: "The course of true love never did run smooth". In the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' Jane Austen comments on many factors such as social class, wealth, and the position of women in her time and links them closely into her main theme of marriage to try to make us aware of the various pressures on both women and men as a result of these factors. She routinely gives us examples of marriages that can be classified as 'bad' and 'good' throughout the novel to exemplify these ideas, and the characters she uses as well as the technique in which she writes in not only brings the story to life with wit and humour, but also makes this novel very worthwhile and enjoyable to read. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ayesha Butt 11G English Assignment- Mr. Hooper 18/10/2004 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Pride And Prejudice:Why is the news of the elopement of Lydia and Wickham in ...

    5 star(s)

    Jane?s letter gives us an insight in to the state at Longbourn. Mrs Bennet is described as quite unhelpful in the situation: ?My poor mother is really ill and keeps her room.? A good mother would try to at least provide comfort to her family and remain calm, steady and strong.

  2. How does Jane Austen Present the role of Women in Pride and Prejudice?

    they would only want to find two qualities in a man' which is wealth and status. Most single woman were not happy because this was a drawback and weakness. In the end of the day the women had to be in a loss any way, mainly because if any thing

  1. An exploration of Men and Women's relationships in Jane Austen's 'Pride and 'Prejudice

    To regain some self pride he then married Charlotte three days later yet ironically this makes him even more laughable. Jane Austen uses a variety of techniques to create an imaginative and equally gripping novel. Irony commonly emerges throughout the novel creating most of the humour.

  2. Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice. ...

    a father and mother, and such low connections, I am afraid there is no chance of it." Mr and Mrs Bennet relationship is reflected in the book through Lydia and Wickham. The relationship between them was very sudden. The pair had not been seen as close and Wickham made no special attention to her.

  1. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    Jane's prescence in London (although she knows that it would be of great interest to him.) It is because of their pride, and their warp perception of their own, and in this case their brother or friend's pride, that influences to think they would be "doing the right thing" by keeping Jane and Mr.

  2. How does Jane Austen present love and marriage in " Pride and Prejudice"

    They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least!" From the points that I have just discussed, I think it is safe to say that the marriage of Mr and Mrs Bennet is very unsuccessful. The next unsuccessful relationship I am going to discuss is that of Mr Collins and Charlotte Lucas.

  1. What are the Variations of humour portrayed in Pride and Prejudice?

    "I have been so fortunate as to be distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh". The namedropping of Lady Catherine is so extreme that Mr Collins uses her name even in his proposal to Elizabeth- "Allow me, by the way, to observe, my fair cousin,

  2. Prose Study Coursework: How does Jane Austen Present Marriage and the Marriage Market in ...

    Soon after in the novel Elizabeth acquaints Jane with some of the contents in the letter, which deals with Wickham. 'I don't know when I have been more shocked,' said she (Jane). 'Wickam so very bad! It is almost past belief.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work