Reputation and Love in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

1583 Words4 Pages

In Pride and Prejudice, a novel written by Jane Austen, the role of wealth and reputation is a partnership that leads to marriage, but in most (if not all) cases have little to do with love. The most propelling conflict in Pride and Prejudice is, “The morally significant conflict between pride and vanity” (Pride). Vanity is connected to wealth; therefore wealth is a poor choice to consider opposed to love. The role that reputation and wealth play when it comes to love is limited due to human pride and vanity. “The meaning of “pride” and “prejudice” acquire are related to the central theme of all of Jane Austen’s novels: the limitations of human vision” (Pride). In Austen’s time the inability to see past wealth when considering marriage is a cultural tie to the era and its norms. It’s a pitiable and vain cultural upbringing that is frowned upon in this century. One does not simply marry for the sake of wealth and reputation. Without love, marriage cannot last. It ends in a deadlock or with two people living together but leading separate lives behind closed doors.
In Becoming Jane Austen, a novel by Jon Spence, Jane Austen's Cousin Eliza, marries Jane Austen's brother, Henry. She asks him to marry her because of her wealth. Though, Henry has no feelings for Eliza, he agrees to the marriage because of the wealth that is sure to follow their arrangement. Becoming Jane Austen is about, the life of Jane Austen and the novel speaks of the events that Spence believes to have much influenced Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. Spence quotes Austen in a conversation regarding her novel and the conversation was after her relationship with Mr. Lefroy seized, “My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire” (Jon...

... middle of paper ...

...r life. Jane Austen’s time and nowadays sees the same situation. Not all marriage is based solely on love. As shallow as it might sounds, when considering marriage, most, if not all people, consider wealth and the reputation of their partner. The norms of Jane Austen’s time in relations to wealth, reputation and marriage are much more elaborated by each individual's upbringing.

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1994. Print.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Bloom's Guides Pride and Prejudice. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Johnson, Claudia Durst, ed. Issues of Class in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Pride and Prejudice in Pride and Prejudice 23.1 (1968). JSTOR. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. .
Spence, Jon. Becoming Jane Austen. N.p.: Bloomsbury Academic, 2003. Print.

Open Document