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What can we learn of the economics of Marriage and the power of sexual attraction from Jane Austin's "Pride andPrejudice"?

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Introduction

WHAT CAN WE LEARN OF THE ECONOMICS OF MARRIAGE AND THE POWER OF SEXUAL ATTRACTION FROM JANE AUSTIN'S "PRIDE AND PREJUDICE"? "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." From the very opening of the novel three themes become apparent, which are marriage, money and irony of language. This essay will focus on the theme of marriage, its economics and the power of sexual attraction in the novel. The arrival of Mr. Bingley and the news of his wealth is the event that sets the novel off because it creates the prospect of a marriage of wealth and good connections for the Bennet girls. From the first sentence the reader can see that Mrs. Bennet is "a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper," She feels that a marriage should be based on wealth, good connections and social status. Her marriage with Mr. Bennett is a very good example of the power of sexual attraction. Mr and Mrs. Bennet's Marriage is a good example of how sexual attraction has led to a marriage which is now not been reciprocated at all. He once loved her for her looks and certainly not for her personality and intelligence and as she as she has aged she has lost her good looks their marriage is now purely based on sarcasm and there is no love evident in the marriage at all. ...read more.

Middle

Charlotte, is six years older than Elizabeth and is lacking fortune, she is a very down-to-earth person, and feels she must capitalize on any opportunity that presents itself in order to avoid been an unmarried woman without a fortune in a male-dominated society. She accepts Mr. Collins proposal "solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment." Mr. Wickham is an attractive well mannered man. His good looks and charm attract Elizabeth and this is the first person in the novel that she is attracted to. From this we can see, once again that Elizabeth would like her spouse to be good looking and someone that the will be able to love and be happy with. This shows how influential the powers of sexual attraction are in this novel. After Elizabeth finds out what Mr. Wickham is really like, her feelings towards him change rapidly and as a result the romance is lost. Lydia finds her self in "love" with Mr. Wickham. The romance leads the two to run off together. This so called "love" is purely based on sexual attraction and the fact that it will impress her mother and make her other sisters jealous. Once again we see how influential the ever apparent theme of sexual attraction is. This marriage is really a disaster, Lydia is unaware of all the trouble she has caused to her family and personally I can not see this marriage to be a success. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bingly ignores class differences and Jane always tries to find the best in people. Their marriage seems to be rushed and as if no real love is involved. Jane is said to be the most attractive daughter and one may say that this is what attracts Bingly to her. Although Jane is extremely different to her mother, she still has some of her traits, one may say that she has married because it is the right thing to do and because she does not want to be alone for ever. It is hard to say whether this marriage will be a success or not. In conclusion, Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice" teaches the reader a lot about the powers of sexual attraction and economic motive and how they can change the path in which a marriage will take. From the novel the reader learns how influential the powers of sexual attraction are and how they can lead to an imprudent marriage. In the nineteenth century, marriage was very different from what it is today. We also learn that marriage in the nineteenth century was a woman's only key to economic independence. In "Pride and Prejudice" most of the marriages are typical marriages of that time, for social convenience, the woman needs security and the man needs a wife, and it works out fine except no feeling is involved. The only marriage based neither on sexual attraction nor economic motive, but on true love is the marriage of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Word Count: 1438 ALEX DAY 16/4/2002 - PAGE 1 - ...read more.

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