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

The Theme of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Theme of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Marriage is a central theme in the novel Pride and Prejudice. In this essay I shall be discussing the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice, by looking at how all the different marriages are portrayed and exploring the author's view of marriage. Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813. In the 19th century, marriage was treated quite differently. There was no real way for young women of the "genteel", or upper and middle classes, to strike out on their own or be independent. Professions, universities and politics were not open to women. Few occupations were open to them, and the few that were (such as being a governess) were not highly respected, and did not generally pay well or have very good working conditions. Therefore most "genteel" women could not get money except by marrying for it or inheriting it and since estates were often entailed to male heirs, this was an unlikely occurrence. This being so, families were anxious that their daughters should have a good marriage, which would improve their position both socially and economically. The opening line of the book, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" reflects this obsession with ensuring good marriages. ...read more.

Middle

He takes them now for people of fashion.''" When he learns who they are, he treats them no differently, and Elizabeth "[glories] in every expression, every sentence of her uncle, which marked his intelligence, his taste, or his good manners". The Gardiners have a happy marriage and appear as a well-balanced couple. I think in this couple Jane Austen shows how she does not disapprove of people earning their keep by being in respectable business. The next marriage is the rather scandalous affair of Wickham and Lydia. Lydia "had high animal spirits, and a sort of natural self-consequence", and Elizabeth is worried "the wild volatility, the assurance and disdain of all restraint which mark Lydia's character" will shame all the Bennet sisters. In the end, Elizabeth is proved right, as Lydia elopes with Wickham, who at first appears "amiable and pleasing". However, beneath his "happy manners" he is shallow and fickle, switching his affections from Elizabeth to Mary King and then back to Elizabeth, and attempting to elope with Georgiana Darcy before his elopement with Lydia. Thinking back on what Wickham has said, Elizabeth "was now struck with the impropriety of such communications to a stranger, and wondered it had escaped her before. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is when Elizabeth finds herself starting to fall in love with him. Darcy finds that he is attracted to Elizabeth much earlier on, and that "[her face] was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes...he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness." Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet approve of the marriage, although Lady Catherine does not. "Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and as she gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character in her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement, she sent him language so very abusive, especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end. But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little farther resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself" This does not appear to This is Jane Austen's perfect marriage. Both characters are very much in love and Elizabeth has married above her class. ...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. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    As a conclusion, romance is what a writer like Austen is really good at, and the people of her time would buy it (if it sold well in her time, then she'd be financially worry-free). That is why it is written in the form that it is.

  2. What are the Variations of humour portrayed in Pride and Prejudice?

    Mrs Bennet is most excited when Mr Bingley arrives in Hertfordshire, for the one off the girls may be betrothed to him in time- "A single man of large fortune, four or five thousand a year! What a fine thing for our girls!"

  1. In Pride and Prejudice, what views does Jane Austen convey to us regarding Pride, ...

    Jane Austen has shown to the reader not to misjudge on your first encounter. Lady Catherine de Bourgh shows her prejudice towards Elizabeth when she visits Elizabeth telling her not to marry Mr Darcy. Jane Austen shows her message very clearly when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth again at the eng

  2. Discuss the way Jane Austen treats the theme of love and marriage in Pride ...

    What's more, an unmarried woman was expected to live with her family for the rest of her life. In Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine de Bourgh makes this clear: 'Young women should always be properly guarded and attended, according to their situation in life.

  1. Independant Essay - Emma

    Some of the points she makes to herself appear as funny; occasionally because we recognize they are not true, and sometimes because we realise she is entirely wrong about something. However, there are times when the humour is simply straightforward, which helps to change the reader's opinion of Emma.

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

    Lydia and Mr Wickham have a totally incompatible marriage based on lust. They were forced into marriage because of the scandal of Lydia sleeping with him prior to marriage. You could think Mr and Mrs Bennet are partly to blame for Lydia running away and causing uproar because of their poor parenting.

  1. Pride and Prejudice - marriage

    You know it is not sound, as you would never act this way yourself." The themes that are encompassed throughout the story are love, reputation and class, and the development of characters heavily relies on these three central themes. Charlotte's views on these relative themes, especially love, are what makes

  2. Pride and Prejudice Analysis on the Theme of Love.

    are not always a true reflection of the way things really are. This is shown best through the characters of Wickham and Darcy. * Darcy also has to overcome his first impression of Elizabeth, especially her less than friendly attitude towards him.

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