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Using chapter one as a starting point, discuss Jane Austen's presentation of marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

Using chapter one as a starting point, discuss Jane Austen's presentation of marriage in Pride and Prejudice. In this essay I intend to discuss Jane Austen's presentation of marriage in Pride and Prejudice. Marriage is a major theme in the book as we see from the opening line, which gives a clear indication of this. In the 1st chapter we meet Mrs Bennett who plays a major part in the theme of marriage throughout the book. She is quite determined to see her five daughters married and we see this straight away in the opening chapter. A wealthy man has come to Longbourn and Mrs Bennett immediately thinks of him marrying one of her daughters, "you must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them." she has only heard of his fortune but this is enough information for Mrs Bennett to know he is good enough for her girls. She is quite desperate for Mr Bennett to visit him, "you must visit him as soon as he comes." ...read more.

Middle

Here she is trying to justify to herself and others that she married him for the right reasons. But we see that she is happy to be with Mr Collins as all these things compensate for the lack of love between them. She is happy to have the life Mr Collins can give her but she prefers to be out of the presence of Mr Collins, she sees very little of him and often avoids him. "Without thinking highly of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want". The relationship and marriage of Lydia and Wickham is the complete opposite of all other marriages seen in Pride and Prejudice. Their relationship is based on pure lust and would have been extremely frowned upon in those days. They run away together and this was one of the worst things you could do in those days in terms of yours and your family's reputation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their marriage contrasts to that of Darcy and Elizabeth. Their love does not come so easy and they both have to overcome their feelings of pride and prejudice before they can realise the others true character. But their marriage comes across as the picture of a good and successful marriage. They match each other well, and Elizabeth being witty and lively could not be happy with a man who didn't share her talents and understanding. She has found that in Darcy and their marriage is based on respect, intellectual equality and common sense. In conclusion I have discussed Jane Austen's portrayal of marriage and found that she has covered various types of marriages and reasons for them. Austen's portrayal of marriage is quite cynical throughout the book, which is shown in the amount of loveless marriages in the book, in cluding Mr and, Mrs Bennett's. She uses characters like Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins to show that love doesn't always dictate marriage. But the central characters in the book both marry for love and the book ends with the picture of a successful marriage based on love, respect and common sense. DAWN LAWSON ESSAY 1 PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE ...read more.

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