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"What view of love and marriage does Jane Austen present to the reader in Pride and Prejudice?"

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Introduction

"What view of love and marriage does Jane Austen present to the reader in Pride and Prejudice?" In "Pride and Prejudice" I feel that Jane Austen puts across the view that people during her time married for social status and money rather than for true love and affection. She believes that people should marry for love and affection, but at the same time not to marry so as to diminish their place in society. We are shown many examples of her view of love and marriage through the characters in the novel. When Mr. Bingley moved in to Netherfield Park one of the first points Mrs. Bennet makes is that: "A single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Mrs. Bennet's comment shows that money is considered to be important grounds to base a marriage on. Mr. Darcy was seen as an attractive man and had an income of "ten thousand a year" which was thought to be a considerable amount of money in Jane Austen's time and the amount of money Darcy had made him attractive as a marriage prospect. ...read more.

Middle

her to make the same mistake that he did: "My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life. You know not what you are about." Jane Austen also believes that marriage should not make material possessions more important than the friendship and happiness between the couple this is shown through Mr. Bennet who wanted to help Elizabeth make the right decision about Darcy's proposal to her: "He is rich, to be sure, and you may have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. But will they make you happy?" Mr. Bennet had little respect for Mrs. Bennet: "I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least." Jane Austen believes that marriage should be based on affection and equality of status. Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley's relationship began with mutual attraction. They both are equal in status and have enough money to be comfortable with each other which Jane Austen would think to be a perfect match. "Mr. Bennet's property consisted almost entirely in an estate of two thousand a year" which was less than what Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Catherine sees that Elizabeth wants to ruin Darcy by marrying him: "You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the contempt of the world." She did not want Elizabeth to marry Mr. Darcy; she and his mother had planned for him to marry her own daughter to unite the wealth of their families: "While in their cradles, we planned the union: and now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplishes, in their marriage, to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family!" Elizabeth was aware of her status and believed that she was equal to Darcy: "In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal." Jane Austen's view of love and marriage is clear in "Pride and Prejudice." She believes that marriage should be based on affection, love and respect but at the same time also based on long-term security and happiness which is not far from the truth of our present day and age. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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