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Pride and Prejudice Coursework

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Coursework Pride and Prejudice is a story of love and marriage. This is the statement that I shall attempt to evaluate by analysing the different relationships that Austen shows us in the book. During the era in which Pride and Prejudice was set love and marriage did not go hand in hand. Throughout the novel Jane Austen describes marriage as more for convenience than compatibility. We see this in the book as almost every marriage is considered on economic backgrounds. We also see this in the hopeful claim that a wealthy man must be looking for a wife, which I believe can be interpreted as: a single woman must be in want of a husband, especially a wealthy one. I believe that Austen portrays her beliefs on love and marriage through the main protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. For instance, I believe that when Elizabeth states that she would only marry if there was love in the relationship, that it was in fact Austen sharing her views on the matter. ...read more.

Middle

Austen combines the topic of pride and prejudice in the class system with the theme of love and marriage frequently in the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy. This is seen when Darcy proposes to her for the first time; he states that he found it very hard to overcome his prejudice towards her bad connections and lower position in society to propose to her. The relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy is without doubt the most important in the book. Austen includes almost all the main theme in their convoluted relationship. Darcy shows a large amount of pride in his social standing. This can be seen in his antisocial behaviour when he refuses to dance with anyone because they are a lower class at the ball in Meryton, though he attributes this to shyness. He also shows prejudice against the people of Elizabeth's (lesser) social standing, which hurts her pride, and in turn makes her prejudice against him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Austen shows us another example of this in the relationship between Wickham and Lydia, which was started in a flurry of passion and physical attraction. Austen believes that the ideal relationship is 'rationally founded' and is based on 'general similarity of feeling and taste'. This is embodied by the relationships between Jane and Mr Bingley and Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. As well as sharing the above qualities they also share similar temperaments, interests and intelligence. There is love in both these relationships, but it is not the key factor and both relationships are very secure financially. In conclusion I believe that while love and marriage is a very large theme in Pride and Prejudice, it would be wrong to say that it is the book on only love and marriage. I believe that there are strong commentaries on pride and prejudice in the class system and the importance of reputation, and that Austen uses the twists and turns of love and marriage as a way of getting her point across on the other themes as well. ...read more.

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