• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Pride and Prejudice- Discuss how society viewed the ideas of love and marriage in the early 1800's.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pride and Prejudice- Discuss how society viewed the ideas of love and marriage in the early 1800's. Jane Austen was born in 1775 and spent most of her life in the countryside in a village called Steventon, Hampshire. She was the daughter of a clergyman, Reverend George Austen and her mother was called Cassandra Austen. She had a brief education starting at the age of seven and ending at eleven, when she settled at home. Like women in Austen's society, she had little education due to the beliefs at the time; the only education she would have received would likely have been to up her social status, through marriage. She wrote "Pride and Prejudice" to portray society's views of love and marriage to the reader and to shoe that marriages take place for different reasons. We see throughout the novel the excessive number of marriages and courtships that take place. The opening sentence "It's a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in the possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" introduces the theme of love, marriage and money in an ironic way. The irony is contained in the fact that marriage is meant to be about love and happiness but clearly revolves around wealth and social standing. In the novel we see two established marriages take place; The Bennet's and the Gardiner's. Throughout the novel four other marriages take place; Lydia and Mr Wickham, Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins, Elizabeth and Darcy and Jane and Mr Bingley. ...read more.

Middle

How can it affect them?" Mrs Bennet is immensely annoyed by this but does not possess enough wit to retort. For Mr Bennet this mockery of his wife seems his way of dealing with being stuck in a loveless marriage. In Jane's era divorce was not an option, people had no choice, they were devoted to that one person fro life. The Bennet's estate is entitled to the nearest male heir which, was common practice at the time, leading to very limited options for the daughters in the family. The marriage between Lydia and Mr Wickham was mainly for desire and attraction even though they were not financially matched. This itself was frowned upon by society and exacerbated by the fact that their courtship was very short, unorthodox and kept a secret. Marriage of their type shows the results of not following society's rules. Society viewed this as dishonesty and because of this their reputation would be severely tarnished. "That the loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable... and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the understanding of the other sex". Lydia's damaged reputation would also affect her families reputation, unless they disown her. " she has no money, no connection, nothing that can tempt him she is lost forever". The word no emphasises the fact that she has absolutely nothing and no-one. For Wickham, on the other hand, the slight on his reputation is less so, although still noticeable; "... ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy and Elizabeth's realization of a mutual and tender love seems to imply that Austin views love as something independent of these social forces, as something that can be captured if only an individual is able to escape the warping effects of hierarchical society. " In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you". Here he speaks well however, there are other feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed. The narrator relates Elizabeth's point of view of events more often then Darcy's, so Elizabeth often seems a more sympathetic figure. The reader eventually realises however, that Darcy is her ideal match. Intelligent and forthright, he too has a tendency to judge too hastily and harshly, and his high birth and wealth make him overly proud and overly conscious of his social status. When he proposes to her, for instance, he dwells more on how unsuitable a match she is than on her charms, beauty, or anything else complimentary, "not handsome enough". Here Darcy is reflecting society's views of love and marriage because many people married for higher social status and financial status rather than for love and beauty. Pride and prejudice is a love story but does not reflect the romantic side. It gives the reader a sense of all the different kinds of relationships, none of them are the same. It shows that the ideal couple is difficult to find, the established marriages in the book being The Bennet's and the Gardiner's. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. How is love and marriage treated in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?

    Elizabeth's refusal shows her to have more trust in love for a happy marriage rather than economical security, and strengthens the theme of love and marriage in the book.

  2. An exploration of Men and Women's relationships in Jane Austen's 'Pride and 'Prejudice

    This she found in Mr Collins. "I am not a romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home, and considering Mr Collins's character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness is as fair, as most can boast on entering a marriage state."

  1. Discuss Jane Austens presentation of the theme of love and marriage in Pride and ...

    matrimony to a gentleman of wealth was an important goal to achieve in most women's lives. Mr Bennet married his wife because she was beautiful in her youth and her ability to supply her with children. But eventually her beauty began to fade and so the happiness and the joyfulness of the marriage.

  2. Analyse Jane Austen's presentation of love and marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice. ...

    Austen is sarcastic in this comment, how could Mr Collins want to marry and let alone be in love with Charlotte after he has only just asked Elizabeth to marry him? The couple certainly have none of the four things Austen considers in an ideal marriage.

  1. Explore Austen's Presentation Of Marriage in "Pride & Prejudice"

    Mr. Darcy is not only well established in society and has a pleasant appearance but also has a fortune, and this makes him more able to give a woman security and financial stability. This therefore infers that society judged men not only on their personality and appearance but also

  2. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    In my opinion, pride comes in for the sharper criticism by Austen. She has chosen to personify this trait in several characters in "Pride and Prejudice" although it is hard to find one character who portrays prejudice alone, throughout the novel.

  1. Discuss Jane Austen's treatment of the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    Austen criticizes marriage without love for either social propriety, Mr Collins, or economic security alone, Charlotte. On page 85 Mr Collins gives his reasons for marrying, he says that it is right for every clergyman to set the example of matrimony in his parish.

  2. Examine the different marriage relationships and attitudes towards marriage presented in 'Pride and Prejudice'. ...

    are gentlemen, as their work has been rewarded and the status achieved. However, during Jane Austen's life, it would have been highly unlikely that a working-class man could become a yeoman or a gentleman, but a lady in the gentry class may marry up into the aristocracy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work