• 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 use Elizabeth Bennet in the novel Pride and Prejudice to comment on marriage and the marriage market in the early nineteenth century?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Jane Austen use Elizabeth Bennet in the novel Pride and Prejudice to comment on marriage and the marriage market in the early nineteenth century? In the novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen has used Elizabeth Bennet to comment on both marriage and the marriage market at the time. "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." This is how the novel starts and generally sums up Austen's view on the topic and how the women of the time were treated. But from the start Austen makes fun out of this by saying that it was actually the women and their families who were looking for a rich husband. This makes us feel that quite a lot of the women in the novel would only marry for the money. Elizabeth on the other hand goes against the moral fashion of the time and marries for love, where as most girls were encouraged by their eager parents to marry a man who had a vast fortune. ...read more.

Middle

So once she is living with him it seems that all she does is tend to chores and pleasing Lady Catherine. I don't even think that they even like each other. Lizzie and Charlotte's relationship type contrast a lot and also their reactions to proposal. Charlotte is very pragmatic, meaning she will always do the most practical and useful thing. Like in the book when she is proposed to by Mr Collins, she says yes because she knows that one day he will come into a lot of money. 'I'm not romantic you know' this tells us that she is too old to marry for love and so she knows that she has to really marry anyone who offers her their hand . 'I only ask for a comfortable home.......I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is fair.......' Also she doesn't want very much so is probably happier with more men than Lizzie. Where as Lizzie is a romantic and follows her feelings more than charlotte would, being pragmatic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again this makes us think about her attitude towards marriage and the marriage market. Normally someone would accept his offer the first time, as he has a lot of money and is handsome, but once again Lizzie contradicts this idea and says no. Through the character of Lizzie, Austen has said that the man in the relationship has a lot of the power. For example in Mr and Mrs Bennets, Mr Bennet knows he has an easy power over Mrs Bennet and can easily wind her up. Also she puts across the point that most women at the time would marry for money not love like Charlotte Lucas. Over all at the end pf the novel we feel that the relationship between Darcy and Lizzie is slightly out of place in the 19th century as the quote at the start of the play says that "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." But Mr Darcy was not in want of a wife even though he had a large fortune. ...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. Discuss the relationship between marriage and money in 'Pride and Prejudice'

    Even Elizabeth thoroughly denounced her friend's judgement when she first gained knowledge of the match. However, Charlotte's decision was sensible and would secure her future, making it the more intelligent, mature option. Personality is also a largely contributing factor to decisions such as these.

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

    and that by Jane being asked to dance twice, the "very lively hopes of Mr Bingley's heart were entertained." Mrs Bennet then continues to lavish praise onto his character and appearance amid the protests of Mr Bennet, who does not appear to have the slightest bit of interest in his wife's affirmations.

  1. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    Charlotte doesn't' need love to make her happy, just that of social security. Charlotte wishes for a stable life. As Mr Collins was a man of connections, a tolerable situation in life, and offering her a comfortable home, Charlotte thought her reasons for marriage were as reasonable as Elizabeth's.

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

    Austen is sarcastic in this comment, how could Mr Collins want to marry and let alone be in love with Charlotte after he has only just asked Elizabeth to marry him? The couple certainly have none of the four things Austen considers in an ideal marriage.

  1. Discuss the different types of marriages presented in Pride and Prejudice and what this ...

    Lizzie soon shoots this remark down by telling him "You could not make me happy, and I am convinced I am the last woman in the world who could make you so". When Mrs Bennet got new of the refusal went to her husband for support in believing Lizzie stupid.

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

    A home was hired in London and the mother arranged parties and balls with the sole aim of parading and showing off their daughters in society in the hopes of finding a husband that was suitable both socially and financially.

  1. Explore Austen's Presentation Of Marriage in "Pride & Prejudice"

    Darcy was considered better than Mr. Bingley based on his wealth, his flawed personality portrayed him negatively in people's eyes. "...he was looked at with great admiration , till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity" This line shows the difference between first and second appearances.

  2. Jane Austen's use of letters in 'Pride and Prejudice' ...

    At that time, this is in fact all that most women would hope to achieve through marriage - few were lucky enough to marry for love. Thus Mrs Bennet's distress at hearing of Elizabeth's refusal of his marriage can be accounted for: 'she is a very headstrong foolish girl, and does not know her own interest'.

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