The Austen Marriage Essays

The Austen Marriage Essays

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The females in Pride and Prejudice have their moral values reflected in their marriage. They each have a predetermined standard – whether it is love or monetary gain, or superficial or complex – of what constitutes a marital relationship. According to Zimmerman, “the character from whose point of view much of the action is seen is Elizabeth” (67). She is either the one being married or is the one giving opinion on another’s marriage. Jane Austen utilizes Elizabeth as the crux of the plot’s movement entrenching Elizabeth’s viewpoint of a marital relationship. Furthermore, Austen’s focus on Elizabeth’s actions is the result of Austen revealing her artistic philosophy on marriage. Austen’s and Elizabeth’s stance on marriage are intertwined. Although Austen’s life philosophy on marriage is indefinite, her artistic perspective can be grasped from her portrayal of Elizabeth. From Elizabeth’s actions and beliefs, I will prove that Austen’s artistic standpoint on marriage is a marriage that requires compromise.
The theme of marriage is affirmed from Austen’s first few sentences. Immediately, Austen introduces that “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (Austen 1). Thus, the theme of marriage is established: wealthy men choose a wife, and young women pursue a wealthy husband. The key here is that these young women imply that money, possession, and security are the purpose of marriage. Moreover, during Victorian England, women had been “educated to become wives and nothing else” (University of Texas). The Victorian women had an obligation to uphold, but to have financial wealth included made marriage pleasing in women’s eyes. Love was not a necessity. However...


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...usten reveals that the ideal marriage as seen in Elizabeth’s case represents the manner in which others should follow. By the joy that Elizabeth and Darcy feel from their compromises, society too can learn from this and improve itself. Marriage in Elizabeth’s case satisfies society’s demands; marriage through compromise creates a better person in both Elizabeth and Darcy, a paradigm that society should practice.



Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: TOR, 1988.
Moore, Melissa. "Women's History Then & Now - Marriage." Digital Writing and Research Lab. 3 May 2002. 20 Mar. 2011. .
Zimmerman, Everett. "Pride and Prejudice in Pride and Prejudice." Nineteenth-Century Fiction 23.1. June, 1968: 64-73. JSTOR. JSTOR. Parsippany Hills High School Library, Parsippany, NJ, 20 March 2011, .

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