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Views on Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

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Each of the characters in Pride and Prejudice has his or her own idea about what leads to a successful marriage. He is rich, to be sure, and you ay have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. But will they make you happy? ...I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband. [Mr. Bennet] Oh! Do anything rather than marry without affection. [Jane] I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. [Charlotte Lucas] With reference to these extracts, what do Mr. ...read more.


Charlotte Lucas, for example, is very practical in her views of marriage. She wishes to marry simply for the sake of marrying, as she was considered an old spinster before she married Mr. Collins, and feared that she would never marry and would forever remain a financial burden on her parents. Of course, she also marries Mr. Collins to boost her social standing, not least because he will inherit Longbourne at the death of Mr. Bennet, since the estate is entailed. However, when Elizabeth visits charlotte in Kent after her marriage to Mr. Collins, she finds that Charlotte has manipulated the rooms and even her lifestyle so as to see as little of her insufferable husband as possible. The reader, at this point, asks themself if happiness is truly worth giving away for security and worldly gain. ...read more.


He married Mrs. Bennet when they were both young, because he was mesmerised by her charm; however, shortly after their marriage, he decided there was not much else to her besides her looks. He then decided to amuse himself for the rest of his married days by burying himself in his books and making witty, sarcastic remarks that Mrs. Bennet, try as she might, could not understand - much to the reader's amusement. He does not believe that riches alone will suffice to make a marriage run smoothly, for he tells his daughter Elizabeth, '... I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband.' The theme of love and marriage is critical in Austen's novel, and in it she addresses the different opinions people have about it. However, she also stresses that many women married for money rather than love, and the reader is left to decide if happiness is truly worth sacrificing for the sake of worldly comfort. ...read more.

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