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

How is marriage presented in the novel "Pride And Prejudice"?

Extracts from this document...


English Prose Coursework: Pride And Prejudice. How is marriage presented in the novel "Pride And Prejudice"? "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune is in want of a wife." This is the immortal opening line of the novel, 'Pride And Prejudice' by Jane Austen. The statement is true for societies views on marriage in the Eighteenth century, which was when the book was written. There was a tendency to marry for money in 18th century England. A person sought a partner based on the dowry receivable and their allowance. This process went both ways: a beautiful woman might be able to attract a rich husband, or a handsome man could attract a rich young girl. In these marriages, money was the only consideration. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen comments that marriage in her time is a financial contract, where love is strictly a matter of chance. This is evident from the opening line. The first marriage we encounter is that of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Their marriage is an unsuccessful one. ...read more.


The contract of their marriage was based on no physical attraction or true love. Their marriage could be classified as a typical marriage of the time. Their marriage was convenient. Charlotte is happy because she receives a home and secure social standing. Charlotte's view on marriage was typical of many women in this period. "I ask only for a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connections and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state." However, Charlotte's views and Lizzie's views are very different. Whilst Charlotte follows societies views and marries practically, Lizzie feels that marriage should be based on love, friendship and mutual respect; views very much like Austen's own opinions on marriage. Similar to the previous marriages mentioned, is the marriage of Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham. Lydia's behavior is more that of a flighty Romantic. She is ever-changing in her moods and behavior and wants no responsibility. These three marriages are based on little respect and are therefore unsuccessful. ...read more.


Considering this, the marriage between Darcy and Lizzie shows the most promise. Darcy is a man of reason, stability, and intellect. Lizzie still has her intellect, but now she has more reason. Both of them are more socially stable now that they are married. The marriage would be successful as again, it contains what Austen believed to be the main true factors to marriage. Lizzie now fully respects Darcy after finding out the truth about him from his letter. She admires him for being who he is, a man of manners, decorum, and integrity. Lastly, she expresses extreme gratitude for all that he has done for both of her other sisters, especially Lydia. Darcy did not have to overcome so many barriers. The only barrier that exists for him is the vast difference in class stratification between the two. However, this seems to bother others much more than it bothers him. Austen clearly conveys her judgment of the characters and their actions through their marriages. She often voices her opinion through the character of Lizzie. Through Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage, however, Austen shows that you do not need to be a Romantic to fall deeply in love. Austen obviously supports those who demonstrate what she felt were the true characteristics of marriage, which were love, trust, respect and friendship. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The essay writer shows useful insight into the diverse attitudes to marriage presented in the novel. Quotations are effectively used to support points being made, though some points require further support.

Paragraph control is mostly good but there are examples of poor sentence construction and coherence. Lexis is mostly up to the task, though there are some slips.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 13/08/2013

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. Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary both portray significant female ...

    Children are another important issue in the women's lives. Nora shows that she really cares for her children unlike Emma. Nora buys Christmas gifts for her children and plays hide-and-seek with them (61). Nora tells her children "the strange man [Krogstad] won't hurt Mama" (62).

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

    on the subject; and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence could ever subsist between them again." The contrast is shown between Elizabeth and Charlotte, Austen portrays many women's views at the time through Charlotte and her own through Elizabeth.

  1. Free essay

    Pride and Prejudice

    Mr Darcy pays him to prevent upset for the family, but mainly to please Elizabeth, and she is one of the only people to find out. When we first meet Mr Darcy at the assembly in Meryton, he is very sour towards Elizabeth.

  2. Pride and Prejudice - Social class differences in the first half of Pride and ...

    "Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her." Bewitched is a magical word, its meaning is, attract and fascinate; cast a spell over. It is as if Elizabeth has cast a spell over Darcy and he is spellbound by her.

  1. Comic Characters in Pride and Prejudice

    Mr Collins, a clergyman himself, can be seen to portray all of the unpleasant aspects of a clergyman that Austen criticised. Mr Collins value as a comic and satirical figure can't be underestimated, as he adds an effective amusing side to the novel.

  2. Compare and contrast 'The Chrysanthemums' and 'The Odour of Chrysanthemums', paying close attention to ...

    Steinbeck begins the story with a description of a secluded village in the Salinas Valley, California. It is compared to a closed pot as the fog covers the valley from the sky, "On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot".

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

    He answers her in such a manner that infuriates her greatly and refuses to accept Mrs Bennet's wishes of him going to pay Mr Bingley a visit when he arrives in the neighbourhood. Shocked at this refusal, she asks him to think of his daughters' future, as she believes that Mr Bingley would be perfect for one of them.

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

    Charlotte is saying that she is not marrying Mr Collins for love but merely for a secure future for herself. By marrying Mr Collins, Charlotte will also move into Longbourn on the death of Mr Bennet. Elizabeth, on the other hand believes that marriage should be formed only because of love.

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