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"Jane Austen shows Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage as the ideal state in between two extremes." Discuss this with references to the marriages in pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

"Jane Austen shows Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage as the ideal state in between two extremes." Discuss this with references to the marriages in pride and Prejudice. In pride and Prejudice there are many different marriages that occur. There are also, various, different incentives for these marriages. In comparing Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship with, Lydia and Wickham, and Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins the reader begins to see the different reasons in which the partners marry. The reader can base their views on the priorities of each relationship. If a reader was to read of a marriage based on financial security like Mr Collins and Charlotte Lucas' they may have preconceived ideas about how the relationship will work if love is not involved, they may form prejudices on the marriage based on their own beliefs and ideals. Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship could be seen as the ideal state between two extremes because they are marrying for love and financial security whereas Lydia and Wickham's marriage is one of physical attraction and emotions. ...read more.

Middle

Her behaviour could have cost the whole family's reputation. However Lydia may have been saved from total degradation by Darcy's financial intervention, her and wickhams marriage is now one void of love and respect. Making it an imperfect marriage. Charlotte's marriage also receives considerable disproval (although it is nothing compared to the disproval that Lydia and wickham receive!) The marriage is a practical one, mutually advantageous for both charlotte and Mr Collins. Charlotte is twenty-seven and in Jane Austen's day would have been considered quite old for marriage. Charlotte has given up hope of falling in love and now only dreams of financial security and not dying alone and poor. I think that Charlottes marriage can be summed up quite well through this quote from the book in chapter 22: 'Without thinking highly of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want' It shows charlottes lack of faith in marriage for love and how she has given up on this thought only wishing upon financial security. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes Darcy a dislikeable unpopular character from the start of the novel in most of the Bennet's opinions. However When Elizabeth and Darcy begin to talk Darcy confesses his love for Elizabeth in a rather unflattering manner. She is not happy and rejects his proposal. I think this is when Darcy's character begins to change and he becomes less arrogant and dislikeable. Elizabeth sees him in a different light and the pair begin to fall in love. Later on in the book as the pair become better acquainted Darcy re-proposes Elizabeth this time agrees seeing the error of her quick judgement, (though I do think her rejection of Darcy, and his earlier rejection of her contributed to the changing of his character which encouraged her to say yes.) The couple's hard work and perseverance led to this marriage being so successful. I think that Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage is the ideal state between two extremes because the love of money and fear of loneliness, and the love of love only led to the couples being forced into unhappy marriages. A good middle ground like Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship (or Jane and Bingley's) leads to a happier marriage for the couples. Rachel Lawrence 10 Beta ...read more.

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