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Pride and Prejudice - Different Attitudes towards Marriage

Powerful Essays
I am going to explore the many different attitudes towards marriage that are found in Pride and Prejudice.

One of the most obvious attitudes that is shown throughout the book is Mrs Bennet's expectations. Her main aim is to get her daughters married to men with fortune. I think her reason for this is because as Mr and Mrs Bennet do not have any sons, their estate will not be entailed onto the daughters, and so Mrs Bennet wants to secure them a good future. She is arranging their marriages to pick someone suitable for them and also she may want them married to rich men for the society aspect. It would make them look higher class and would gain respect, as at that time people with more money were treated better.

There is evidence of her attitude towards marriage in the book. When Elizabeth declines Mr Collin's proposal, Mrs Bennet is obviously upset because if Elizabeth agreed to marry him then her and her sisters would be guaranteed the estate. Mrs Bennet says "Mr Bennet you are wanted immediately, we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzie marry Mr Collins". After this she vows to "never see her again" if she does not marry Mr Collins, and when she still declines the proposal, Jane Austen describes Mrs Bennet as "excessively disappointed". You can also tell she cares a lot about her class and what people think of her and her family. This is shown when she says "You will not be fit to be seen when you get there" when Elizabeth suggests going by foot to see Jane. She wants her daughters to marry well which will make their family look better. She is also happy about Lydia and Wickham's marriage, even though they did wrong by eloping together, and everyone knew they weren't really in love.

Her attitude towards her ...

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...kham?s debts, lots of people worry about it and Mrs Bennet complains about her ?nerves?. It makes people think badly of the family and shames them. People knew that Wickham wasn?t in love with Lydia, and that Lydia lives for the excitement. Lydia?s attitude towards marriage was that she enjoys flirting and having a good time, so wasn?t thinking of her future. In the book it says that Mr Wickham?s ?affection for her soon sunk into indifference?. As they were not thinking about love or their future, their marriage is not a happy one and although Lydia likes to brag about being the first one of the daughters to be married, it is predicted she will regret this later.

I think there are many different attitudes towards marriage in Pride and Prejudice, but In think Jane Austen gives the impression that couples who marry for love are much happier than couples who don?t.