Marriage Traditions in Persuasion by Jane Austen Essay

Marriage Traditions in Persuasion by Jane Austen Essay

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England has always had a rich history of interesting cultural traditions but arguably none as prevalent as marriage. Marriage, the union of two people with emotional ideals and expectations, are brought on by many different factors that include: for love, for money, for climbing social status, escapism, survival, etc. In Jane Austen’s novels, she focuses on the importance of marriage in her world because she wanted to emphasize how marriage is the most important life event of a woman as this would determine her place in society. Persuasion shows readers good and bad examples of marriage: the amiable Crofts and other couples such as Sir Walter & Lady Elliot and the Smiths. Jane Austen uses the Crofts to support the importance of marriage equality as a contrast to marital traditions of Regency England.
In Persuasion, Admiral Croft and Mrs. Croft have a marriage that values respect and equality. The Crofts become friends with Anne after renting her house, Kellynch Hall, while her family is in Bath and Anne finds them to be a very happy couple. On a walk, Captain Wentworth suggests Anne should take a carriage home driven by the Crofts. Anne notices that Admiral Croft is driving at first but then Mrs. Croft, “ by cooly giving the reins a better direction herself, happily passed the danger and by once afterwards judiciously putting out her hand, they neither fell into a rut, nor ran foul of a dung-cart” (85). Jane Austen cleverly disguises a metaphor when describing the Croft’s marriage: both drive the carriage and share the reins without fighting with each other. They face every obstacle on the road and in life together because they have such a healthy emotional bond that it does not matter what challenges they face as long as they fac...

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...s reasons such as greed, self importance or calculating ambition. The only successful and happy marriages, she argues, is one of genuine respect and equality. Personally, I agree with Jane Austen in that one should only get married if one is deeply in love as well as have absolute respect for their significant other. I understand that it is good to be ambitious
and that at this time period, one of the only ways for a woman to move up in society is to marry. Also, a woman could be in a bad situation in her home, such as Anne being disregarded and disrespected at Kellynch Hall by her family, and could use marriage as an escape. However, I honestly believe that waiting for the right person to marry is better than escaping one horrible situation for another. Jane Austen’s powerful message of a union based off respect, equality, and love transcends to relationships today.

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