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

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Introduction

How does Jane Austen present love and marriage in " Pride and Prejudice"? Jane Austen presents love and marriage in many ways in the novel "Pride and Prejudice." In this essay I am going to discuss some of these marriages, not only from Jane Austen's portrayl of her characters but also from my own point of view. Jane Austen opens Pride and Prejudice with a statement: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must want be in want of a wife." By using this statement as her opening line she makes it very clear that she is humoured by the idea that every young an who has a large sum of money are eagerly looking for a wife. The main part of her book is based on matrimony. The statement shows clearly that she feels money and marriage are somewhat closely connected. Jane Austen expresses several relationships in the novel. Some of these happen to be successful, but on the other hand some don't. By expressing the successful and unsuccessful relationships between the characters, it makes the reader question what the necessities are for a successful and loving relationship. In this essay I am going to discuss how Jane Austen distinguishes each relationship in a very different way from another. Jane Austen presents Mr and Mrs Bennet's marriage as highly unsuccessful. ...read more.

Middle

During this time of his lookout for a wife, he changes quickly from Jane Bennet to Elizabeth Bennet but after being rejected by both women he turns to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth's best friend. Mr Collins is only capable of loving himself; he is quite selfish and has no proper knowledge of love. He is so convinced that he is a " good catch" that he doesn't take Elizabeth's strong refusals to heart, instead more as compliments. Charlotte Lucas is a plain 27-year-old woman who is in danger of soon being classified as an old maid. To her Mr Collins is her only chance of ever being proposed to. She knows that if she marries Mr Collins, she will be secure with a home she can call her own and also a family. She knows that if she doesn't marry him as she will feel a burden on her family and be passed around her brothers and sisters as either an aunt or unpaid servant. She says herself that she is not a romantic person. At the Merryton assembly, she says to Elizabeth: " Happiness in a marriage is entirely a matter of chance and that therefore long acquaintanceship beforehand is not needed. " As she believes that people grow apart after marriage, she says " It is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person of whom you are to pass your life." ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite Mrs Bennet's relief of casting off Jane and Elizabeth, I fell that both girls made good choices in partners. They certainly both deserve their partners and they will continue to love, honour and understand them thoroughout their married lives. Neither of them chose to marry for money, simply for love, a strong opinion Jane Austen has. Referring back to the first chapter of the noel, which opened with the famous quotation Jane Austen made, I would like to point something out. When though she is humoured by the fact that every wealthy man is in lookout and in need of a wife, Austen makes it very clear that marriage should be made for the right reasons. Her novel gives information and shows understanding of her reasons for this. She disagrees with any bragging done by Mrs Bennet to Mr Bingley about all the men that have previously liked Jane and also with her sending Jane in the rain in the hope of her staying over with an illness. Jane Austen feels that marriage should be committed for strong love, friendship, trust and the capability of bringing out the best in your partner by understanding them. She tells us the moral for marrying. Not all of the relationships in "Pride and Prejudice" follow this moral but Jane and Bingley do, as well as Elizabeth and Darcy. She tells us that people shouldn't marry for money, looks or sex, for love alone, because from loving greater things can grow. ...read more.

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