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Pride and Prejudice - Marriage: Lydia and Wickham

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Pride and Prejudice Marriage- Lydia and Wickham From the start of Pride and Prejudice it is clear that marriage is one of the most important aspects of the novel with the famous opening line reading "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in a want of a wife". This opening line tells us about the plot and Mrs. Bennett fills in the gaps in the rest of the first chapter with Mr. Bingley taking on the role of the single rich man and the wife being anyone of her five young daughters. We also see the urgency of Mrs. Bennett to have her daughters married, To understand this urgency one must have an understanding of the way things were in the nineteenth century. Nineteenth century England was an aristocracy and peoples social standing was decided on how wealthy their family was and how mannerly and agreeable they were as individuals. The goal of a man was to grow up to be a wealthy gentleman and marry a beautiful woman who would be a good mother and a good wife. ...read more.


Jane Austen's ideal view of marriage is like that of Darcy and Elizabeth who built their marriage Love. Charlotte Lucas who married Mr. Collins simply for the security she would receive with out any regard for the life she would have to live with an obnoxious, arrogant and self-absorbed fool. The idealistic marriage that was based on a relationship of true love was a rare thing as most women like Charlotte were willing to settle for someone they didn't even like if it would mean financial security but in the novel there are two exceptions in the form of the oldest two of the Bennett girls, Jane and Elizabeth. Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley who also falls in love with her and they eventually get married even after Darcy had tried to sabotage their relationship because of his disapproval of Janes family. They go on to live a happy life together, this marriage lasts for all the rest of their lives and the love never leaves them making it one of the strongest marriages in the novel. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy get married also but after a long time of mutual dislike that was founded on Mr. ...read more.


Luckily Darcy to the relief of Elizabeth and the whole Bennet family is there to save the situation as he finds Wickham and pays him enough so that he can get rid of his debt under the condition that he marries Lydia, Wickham agrees to the terms and marries Lydia saving the reputation of her family but leaving her tied down with a man she doesn't love. This marriage breaks up as Wickham loses all interest in Lydia as he realizes he is permanently stuck where he is and Lydia realizes that she's married someone that she doesn't love and soon after Lydia loses all interest in Wick ham. Jane Austen would have seen this type of marriage before in her time so she would have a good idea of the repercussions it would have and creates a very accurate scenario. This marriage shows how badly wrong things can go if people marry for the wrong reasons even for the time this marriage would have been frowned upon. Pride and prejudice is a novel that contrasts between the best types of marriages and the worst and tries to break down some of the social barriers, after all it was written by a single educated woman. ...read more.

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