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What does Jane Austen seem to be saying about love and marriage in her novel " Pride and Prejudice "?

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Introduction

What does Jane Austen seem to be saying about love and marriage in her novel " 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. " The opening lines of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice are a quotation typical of the satire that she uses throughout her novel. Austen's views on love and marriage are explored in various ways, through the events in the novel, the dialogue of the characters and through her use of irony and satire.The characters created by Austen are portrayed as having varying and often contrasting views on the subjects of love and marriage and consequently their motives for marriage also differ. Jane Austen's positive views on love and marriage are expressed primarily through the attitudes of the character of Elizebeth Bennet. Elizabeth believes that the most important motive for marriage is love; two people who are not in love should not get married. Austen creates Elizabeth's character in such a way that she is very likeable and respected by the reader. ...read more.

Middle

This is reflected by Charlotte's actions, she spends as little time as possible alone with her husband. "... when Mr Collins could be forgotten there really was an air of comfort throughout." Mr Collins shows Elizabeth around the house in great detail. His emphasis whilst showing her around is on the material comforts of the house. The importance of the material objects in the house to Mr Collins is reflective of his character and also exposes the foundations of his marriage of convenience as being purely superficial. Jane Austen is successful in showing how marriages such as that of Mr Collins and Charlotte are false and of only limited, material value. Love is what finally brings Elizabeth and Darcy together. The true love that Elizabeth is waiting for before she marries takes time and before this true love is found, Elizabeth goes through many different emotions. " Her feelings as she read were scarcely to be defined. " As Elizabeth is reading Darcy's letter to her various emotions are sparked off. The difficulties that Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship overcome shows how strongly they feel about one another. ...read more.

Conclusion

The convenience of this marriage is contrasted by the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy, which at the outset could not have been more difficult. Elizabeth and Darcy's conquering of the many obstacles that came between them again stresses that no matter how hard it may seem at the beginning, a relationship bases on love, and not convenience or practicality will be successful in the end. Austen also uses the relationship between the characters of Jane and Mr Bingly as a prime example of the result in the persistence in true love. In conclusion Jane Austen strongly believes that a couple should get married because they love each other and not for any other reason. Her views on this subject are expressed through the characters in her novel. She uses the relationships of Darcy and Elizabeth and Jane and Bingly, contrasting them with the relationships of Mr and Mrs Bennet and Charlotte and Mr Collins. Austen effectively illustrates that marriages of true love are successful, but that relationships bases on superficial and materialistic values may last but with little happiness. Jane Austen's acute use of satire and irony throughout her novel displays very effectively the prejudice and pompous attitudes of society at the time. ...read more.

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