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Marriage in pride and prejudice.

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Katie Muston Marriage in Pride and Prejudice One of the most prominent themes in Pride and Prejudice is that of marriage. The very first sentence hints to what ensues in the novel and what kind of influence it will have over the characters and events that occur. " It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Mrs. Bennet's only task in life appears to be finding suitable marriage partners for all five of her daughters and the more affluent a young man, the better. Jane Austen also carefully points out the dangers and misfortune of a marriage that is not based on mutual respect and love. View on marriage in the 1800s were very different compared with our views today. One of the main reasons for getting married then was to secure a future. Women were expected to marry and it was always encouraged. Charlotte Lucas' and Mr. Collins' marriage and their views on wedlock prove this. Charlotte is 27 and of a naturally pragmatic and practical nature. She knows she is getting towards the age of being too old to find a husband and must soon marry or resign herself to becoming a spinster. ...read more.


We also know that Jane is very good with children from her relationship with the young Gardiners and would be quite good at playing the housewife role. Both Bingley and Jane always see the best side of people and are very optimistic if humble and modest in their attitudes. They are also both very physically attractive which is what at first enchants them to each other. For example at the first ball, Bingley chooses to dance every dance with Jane. Also Lizzy notices this when Bingley revisits them after being away for a very long time and finds that the 'beauty of her sister rekindled the admiration of her former lover'. However it is quite obvious that their feelings are deeper than surface attraction and will endure. However this is a huge contrariety in comparison to the marriage of Lydia and Wickham and the incidents surrounding it. It is merely based on lust and physical attraction alone and is used by Jane Austen as an example of a bad marriage, taking place in the wrong circumstances. Lydia is about 10 years younger than Wickham and is na�ve, immature and shallow in her thinking. ...read more.


The fact that they have both failed in trying to stop liking each other so much proves that this is true love. Mr Bennet says that 'you must respect your husband' and it is obvious that she does. This is a very healthy marriage as both of them have very strong personalities as well as being physically attractive. They both respect each other's intelligence and wit and it is obvious that they will work very well together as a couple. We can now see very clearly the contrast between marriage in the 1800s and marriage today in 2000. It was a lot more austere and there were many things you could not do that many people do nowadays before marriage, i.e. living together, sex, children, etc... Also in those days marriage was for life and divorce or separation were very rare, when it did occur it was severely frowned upon. Jane Austen herself never married and concentrated on her writing career so maybe she was more accurate to write about such a subject then someone who was already married and would have personal views on it. Or perhaps she was less accurate as she was merely going on what she had heard from friends and family members. Either way she has written a novel that captures the moral and social opinions of marriage in the 1800s. ...read more.

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