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'Pride and Prejudice'is a novel about love and marriage. Examining the main marriages in the story, discuss how successfully Jane Austen communicates her own views on the nineteenth Century attitudes towards marriage.

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Introduction

"Pride and Prejudice" 'Pride and Prejudice' is a novel about love and marriage. Examining the main marriages in the story, discuss how successfully Jane Austen communicates her own views on the nineteenth Century attitudes towards marriage. 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.' This is a very ironic opening statement. The reader instantly detects the wit and humour of the well-loved author Jane Austen. This wit and humour is reflected and plays a major part is this novel. For in fact rather than it being a 'truth universally acknowledged' it is in fact the notion of a certain shallow-minded Mrs Bennet. Mrs Bennet is the mother of five girls. She finds it her ultimate duty to get all of her five girls married and preferably to a wealthy gentleman. Marriage in the nineteenth century was very important for a girl. She would want to get married as soon as possible before she was too old to do so. Most young girls would want to marry a wealthy man, with a big estate who could take care of her. Jane Austen never married but she reflected many of her own views in her writings. Austen was writing at a time when then interests of society were of passion and emotion, which many of the authors of that time wrote about, but instead Austen's work reflected the classical ideals of order and reason. ...read more.

Middle

Her mind was less difficult to develope. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; her solace was visiting and news.' Mrs Bennet considers herself nervous usually when things don't go her way. Mr Bennet teases her usually in a sarcastic way, causing her to plead with him to 'have compassion on my poor nerves.' Theirs is a marriage that was once based on physical attraction. Once the excitement of 'youth and beauty' had faded, Mr Bennet realised that he had no real affection for her at all. Like her father and mother, Lydia Bennet also entered into a marriage of this kind. As it says it chapter sixty-one, 'His affection for her soon sunk into indifference; hers lasted a little longer...' Here Austen uses the omniscient voice to indicate her disapproval of the marriage and objection to how it has turned out. From the very beginning of Lydias disappearance, we, the readers, can see it is going to be disastrous, although Lydia acts as if nothing had happened. Their marriage would never have taken place if it had not been for the kindness of Mr Darcy in the mater. It would have been almost impossible for the other Bennet girls to marry if Lydia and Wickham. ...read more.

Conclusion

Darcy and Bingley's close relationship lets Darcy discover Bingleys real feelings for Miss Bennet. Darcy discovers that Bingley has infact very strong feelings for Jane. Luckily he discovers from Elizabeth that Jane has the same feelings for Bingley as he does for her. Perhaps if Jane had been more like Charlotte and 'thrown' herself at Bingley their marriage would have taken place a lot sooner. It is obvious from her language that Austen approves of this marriage. Although it happens quite quickly in the end, it is probable that their marriage will be a happy one. This novel is about love and marriage and the ways of the nineteenth century. Jane Austen has shown many typical views of her time. She has also shown us her view on these people she has written about. Her narrative voice in the novel persuades us to believe, what was happening, to be true. The irony in the story provides humour especially with Mr Bennet and Mr Collins. An important lesson that Jane Austen reflects upon in her novel is; not to let your pride reflect on who you are and not to let your prejudices blind you. If Elizabeth and Darcy had done this in the beginning then there would have been no story. Thanks to the imagination and great writing skills of Jane Austen, this wonderful story was brought to us and filled us with love, compassion and hopefully made us think twice about how our actions effect others. Kathryn McKendry 4B ...read more.

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