Comparing Jane Austen And Charles Dickens

"You know what I am going to say. I love you (Dickens 1)." In modern day times, marriage proposals are seen as the epitome of love as demonstrated by the beginning of this proposal by Dickens; however, during the early 1800 's, the majority of people married for social reasons rather than love. These differing purposes are made evident in the proposals made in classic novels written by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Comparing these two proposals shows the development of marriage during the 1800s from a social device to an emotional and loving act through the different arguments, attitudes, assumptions, and diction both men use in addressing the woman as well as the effect it produced. The first proposal from Jane Austen 's Pride and Prejudice…show more content…
While Mr. Collins’s attitude was pompous and unaffectionate, the man in Dickins 's novel has an attitude of genuine and passionate love. Throughout the entirety of the proposal, Dickens writes about the love the man has for this woman. He says, "You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided. You could draw me to any exposure and disgrace (Dickens 5-9)." Through this quote, Dickens establishes the relationship between the two and how much the man cares about the woman. Rather than using an unknown patroness to be persuasive, the man in Dickens 's novel uses the woman 's brother to prove his good character when he states "your brother favors me to the upmost (Dickens 21)." These arguments are more effective because they are more meaningful to the woman, assuming she loves him back and the opinion of her brother is important to her. The man also argues that the marriage would not only make him happy, but would benefit her as well. He states that his “circumstances are quite easy, and you would want for nothing. My reputation stands quite high, and would be a shield for yours (Dickens 14-15).” Through this statement, the man uses material and social factors like Mr. Collins in Austen’s novel, but the purpose is different. Rather than using these arguments as the backbone of his proposal, the man in Dickens novel uses it as a side comment to ensure the woman of the comfortable life they would enjoy together. The man understand what marriage is and views his bride-to-be as an equal partner, rather than an object like Mr. Collins does. His diction throughout is clearly affectionate and well-planned out, but it is also very humble and vulnerable as well. He explains to
Get Access