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Oral on Pride and Prejudice

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Cordelia Manley F6 Oral on Pride and Prejudice Written by Jane Austen and published in 1813 Pride and Prejudice is still to this day considered a classic for its sparkling social comedy and portrayal of human relationships. I have chosen to do my oral today on a the importance of marriage in society in the early 1800's as this is one of the many relevant issues that lie at the heart of Pride and Prejudice. P5: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" The very opening of P+P already indicate the importance of marriage to both men and women in the early 1800's. Marriage based upon its profits is a concept that has its roots in the upper class nobility of England; however, as seen in this book, it can severely affect the lower nobility as well. Marriages in the eighteenth century were ones of convenience and were more similar to business arrangements than the union of two inseparable souls. ...read more.


Collins proposal: P98/99: "Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honorable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it." It is clear from this extract that Charlotte not only excepts Mr. Collins proposal but considers herself lucky that he has even made such as offer. Another example of marriage for reasons other than lust/love/affection is that of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, whose marriage was one mainly of security. Mr. Bennet's name, reputation and small fortune made him an acceptable suitor for Mrs. Bennet of whom we are told has 'no particular connections'. There is no indication of passionate love between the two within the novel, more of an understanding and tolerance for one another and the length of this loveless marriage just goes to prove how important family values were in the early eighteenth century, divorce was out of the question. ...read more.


Even so this marriage is a good example of a very ill one, as there was bribery, no proper courtship involved and as the groom was not in possession of either wealth or a kind personality. I believe that Jane Austens personal experiences with marriage as well as the role of marriage in society at the time in which she wrote P+P played a very important role in creating such a novel. Jane herself was proposed to by an eligible bachelor, however refused him , another uncommon act for a women in those days. She remained an old maid thereafter and therefore also lived with her parents for most of her life. I feel that Jane's views on marriage and especially on women's role in marriage are very strongly shown in the novel. Jane Austen herself one said that Elizabeth Bennet was her favorite character out of all her novels, which show that she admired Eliza for her strong personality, mind and outspokenness which set her apart from all the other characters in P+P. Perhaps when writing this book, Jane Austen's personal views on society in the early 1800's were reflected in Elizabeth's character...which is why she and her views are so realistic and powerful ...read more.

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