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How is love and marriage treated in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?

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Introduction

Pride And Prejudice Q. How is love and marriage treated in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? Pride and Prejudice is the most popular of Jane Austen's novels. Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813. The original novel was written during 1796-1797 under the title 'first impressions' and was in the form of an exchange of letters. The great strength of her novels is the social observations they contain: Austen employed a strong sense of irony in her critique of aristocratic disaffection and the pretensions of the nouveau riche. With a measured sardonic eye she was able to summarise social mores and the restraints suffered by women in Regency England. The novels of the 17th century were written as such that they focused mainly on the aristocratic class and ignored the middle class and the lower class. Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' tells the story of the initial misunderstandings between Elizabeth Bennet and the haughty Darcy, which are sorted out eventually, and the problems of marriage during Jane Austen's period. The tone of the novel is light, satirical and vivid. The opening line of the novel itself summarises the attitude of people towards marriage during Jane Austen's period. ...read more.

Middle

'I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so. Charlotte Lucas however opts for economical security over love. This marriage is shown to be more of a mutually advantageous arrangement between Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas and is another unsuccessful marriage in the book since it is based on money and not love between the two people. Charlotte degrades herself in the eyes of her best friend Elizabeth by marrying Mr. Collins 'I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collin's character, connections and situations in life, I am convinced that my chances of happiness with him as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state'. ...read more.

Conclusion

to be rationally founded, because they had for the basis the excellent understanding, and super-excellent disposition of Jane, and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her and himself'. How unlike the perfect Darcy and Elizabeth match there is a problem in Jane and Bingley's marriage. The problem is that both characters are too gullible and too good- hearted to ever act strongly against external forces that may attempt to separate them. 'You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you, and so generous, that you will always exceed your income.' In Pride and Prejudice, Jane has denounced the elements of marriage and society that she found distasteful. These are the conclusions of her observations of the people in her world. In her writing Jane has also reflected her own enjoyment in life among people with and without their fault. This long, interwoven theme of marriage can appeal today, as social classes and position are factors in people's marriages - Austen seems to be saying that none of this is important, and one should marry someone that he/she really likes as a person, not as a means of prestige. ...read more.

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