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Pride and Prejudice what factors influenced marriage and relationships in the early 19th century?

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Introduction

Pride and prejudice According to the novel Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen, what factors influenced marriage and relationships in the early 19th century? Jane Austen comments that marriage is a financial contract, where love is a matter of chance; this is very obvious from the very first line of the novel. Jane Austen published Pride and Prejudice in 1812, but had written it as first impressions in the late 18th century. Many of the characters had different reason for marriage, couples married for status, wealth, sexual attraction, independence, companionship and love. Pride and prejudice opens with one of the most famous sentences in English literature 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.' This opening sentence is relevant to the novel as Pride and Prejudice is based on the reason for marriage. In the novel Mr.Bingley and Mr.Darcy are the rich men, and the Bennet girls are the wives who the rich men are in want of. An example of couples marrying for status is Lydia marrying Wickham. Wickham never loved Lydia as he went after Georgiana Darcy and Miss King but not for love or companionship but for money. ...read more.

Middle

Although it seems apparent that he shows some affection for Lizzy he says to her that he has no intention of marrying her because of her financial situation. Mr and Mrs.Hurst also marry for wealth, Mrs.Hurst is Bingley's sister...but all Mr.Hurst wants to do is drinking, gambling, hunting and generally having a good time. Charlotte marries Mr.Collins for independence, Charlotte wants her own house and settles for a tolerable husband in order to get what she wants, and she enjoys her marriage the most when her husband is not around and she gets some leisure time to herself. 'Charlotte talks of the healthfulness of the exercise, and owned she encouraged it as much as possible ', this shows she encourages him to be away as much as possible. Lady Catherine De Bourgh wanted her sickly looking daughter to marry Fitzwilliam Darcy for wealth, to unite the two great states of Pemberly estate and Rosings Park. An example of marrying on the basis of sexual attraction is shown in the Bennet's marriage. Jane Austen portrays this as an insufficient reason for marriage as it results in indifference. When Mr and Mrs.Bennet were younger they married each other for two different reasons. Mr.Bennet married Mrs.Bennet on a basis of sexual attraction. Mrs.Bennet on the other hand, married her husband simply for marriage status. ...read more.

Conclusion

My feelings be repressed, you must not allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you' Lizzie replies 'I would now thank you, but I cannot. I have never desired your good opinion' After Lizzie's rejection to Darcy's proposal his attitude changes, he becomes more humble and still shows affection for her. She then becomes infatuated with Darcy especially in the kind act he did by bribing Wickham into marriage, to prevent the Bennet family's shame. Her affections are shown when she says, "I do, I do like him, with tears in her eyes, I love him." She accepts him by saying 'you are too generous too trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once and. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you and you will silence me on the subject forever.' Jane Austen considers the marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy to be the perfect marriage. It includes all the reasons for marriage and has a strong element of love. She shows us the key factors of a perfect marriage, money is a main factor to many people but this is not they key to eternal happiness. It is strongly suggested that love is the most important reason marriage however a successful marriage is composed of not only love but all the reasons for marriage. ?? ?? ?? ?? David Bulley ...read more.

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