Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

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Jane Austen'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" Jane Austen used this quote to open her second book, 'Pride and Prejudice', which was first published in 1813. This is a story of the attitudes towards love and marriage in the nineteenth century, through the eyes of a number of people in different family situations and levels of society. It explores what was socially acceptable and disgraceful at the time, as well as the author, Jane Austen's, personal opinion on the matter. This is shown mainly through the character of Elizabeth Bennet, the second of five daughters of Mr and Mrs Bennet, inhabitants of the Longbourn estate. At this time, it was very important that young girls of around sixteen and above should aim to marry as soon as possible to avoid becoming destitute and unable to support themselves after the inevitable death of their father, whose estate would usually be inherited by the next male heir in the family. In the case of the Bennets, this is a distant cousin with whom they had not been in contact with for some time. His name is Mr. Collins... Another worry for young women at the beginning of the nineteenth century was how high a reputation they had. It was unorthodox for a female to admit, like Lydia does when in Meryton, that she had come into town to find a man, because she would seem very eager and this may result in people looking down on her. On the other hand, if a lady acted as though she didn't like a man so that he wouldn't think she was chasing him, the man might think that she really disliked him and decide to admire another woman instead. Life could be very complicated... ... middle of paper ... ... You know that it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself." This makes it perfectly clear that Lizzy thinks that it would be impossible for anyone, no matter how set-against romance they are,to marry someone for a reason other than love. This proves that she is a romantic, and once set in her ways cannot see how anybody could think differently to her. In conclusion, I would say that Jane Austen looks down upon marrying for material success or gain, and superficial attraction and mismatch because at least one person in the relationship will end up being unhappy. She does, however, believe in marrying for love because you will be able to live the rest of your life happily with a partner you are devoted to. I also think that if you choose to marry, you should only do it for this reason because I believe that all you need is love.

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