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Mrs Bennet declares 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in Possetion of a good fortune must be in want of a wife'. How accurate does this statement prove to be in the novel Pride and Prejudice?

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Mrs Bennet declares 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in Possetion of a good fortune must be in want of a wife'. How accurate does this statement prove to be in the novel Pride and Prejudice? This essay is concerned with studying examples of courtship and engagement in relation the marriages they produce. Jane Austen's exciting novel explores the paths taken by young men and women, living in a time when pride and prejudice influenced people's actions and behavior. Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in the early nineteenth century, when social etiquette was strict and uniformly. Every male born became an heir to his family's fortune, every female's aim in life was to marry and secure her home. Inevitably, this would take away an element of romance to a marriage if it happened on the basis of economical reasons. Austen wrote a novel with a main theme of marriage, although love is mentioned only occasionally. Austen appears to be sceptical of the qualities of passionate love, and more approving of true love that is based upon respect, gratitude and understanding of one another. ...read more.


Neither partner truly cares for the other, and this is why their marriage is similar to that of the Bennets. Elizabeth's first impression of Mr Darcy is not a pleasant one. Darcy refuses to dance, when pointed toward Elizabeth, 'She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me' (Chap 3) Darcy's pride leads him to be prejudiced by many of the women at the Ball. Especially Mrs Bennet who explains her dislike to Mr Bennet afterwards, 'He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set downs. I quite detest the man' (Chap 3) Elizabeth's pride is hurt and she too is quick to be prejudiced about Darcy, this is her main fault throughout the novel. Elizabeth and Jane are very different; Jane is very passive and strives to see the best in everyone, whereas Elizabeth is more intelligent and observant when judging characters. Jane suggests that the reason for Darcy's rudeness and pride is shyness, which happens to be the real reason behind his apparent inhospitality at Netherfield. ...read more.


Much as I respect them, I believe, I only thought of you.' (Chap 58) Elizabeth has found her happiness in a relationship of loving respect and mutual suitability. When Jane Austen handles the second proposal she is careful to show that there is no physical contact, and little eye contact. The way that the normally calm and collected Elizabeth stumbles over her words and reveals her inner thoughts to Darcy show a revelation in character. In conclusion, the statement presented by Mrs Bennet; 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' is not accurate. Mrs Bennet's small mindedness and ignorance mean that she can not understand alternative reasons for marriage. Mr Collins and Wickham could prove this statement correct, as money did pay a part in their decisions to marry; yet they are depicted as scandalous or idiotic characters in the novel. Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley's attitudes to marriage were different as, instead of money being a prime factor pushing them to marry, compatibility was considered, pride overcome and prejudice put behind them, to produce love in a marriage. Georgia Anderson ...read more.

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