• 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. Discuss Jane Austen's presentation of the theme of love and marriage in "Pride and ...

    It wittily and pointedly establishes the idea of wives as an extension of property, and the importance of social class and wealth. Furthermore, not all single men "want" or require a wife, rather, the other way round, much as the mothers of unmarried daughters such as Mrs Bennet would like to think so.

  2. Pride and Prejudice - marriage

    of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life." Lizzie shows a practical approach to marriage, and therefore rejects Charlotte's views. She feels that Charlotte is joking as she says "You make me laugh Charlotte; but it is not sound.

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

    There were very few occupations they could do. One of which was to be a governess (being employed to teach children whilst living with them). Even so, this was not a highly respected job. As a result, it was difficult for a woman to get money, unless she inherited it or married.

  2. The importance of marriage in Pride and Prejudice

    Through the book we are lead through the development of five main relationship. Austin has purposefully chosen these specific partnerships in order to illustrate different types of relationships, and how the attitudes and personalities of the two parties concerned influence the outcome of the relationship.

  1. Pride and prejudice- theme of marriage

    This is the financial and historical reality which lies beneath Austen's narrative and it also can explain Mrs Bennet's desperate need to marry off her daughters. Opportunities to meet and talk to men were very limited at the time and socialising was normally done at parties and balls.

  2. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    the Darcy from the first part of the book married to Elizabeth. This long, interwoven theme of marriage can appeal today as social classes and position are factors in people's marriages - Austen seems to be saying that none of this is important, and one should marry someone that he/she

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

    Bingley so Mr Collins had the option of marring the second oldest. "Mr Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth - and it was soon done - done while Mrs Bennet was stirring the fire." Elizabeth had made up her mind about Darcy from the first time she came acquainted with him at the ball in Pemberley.

  2. How is the central theme of 'marriage' presented in 'Pride and Prejudice'? How has ...

    Mr Bennet had been 'captivated by youth and beauty' but Mrs Bennet's 'weak understanding and illiberal mind' prevented any lasting affection from either of them. By the end of the novel Lydia and Wickham cause a reckless relationship and it has already turned into an existence which is 'unsettled in the extreme'.

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