Explore Austen’s Presentation Of Marriage in Pride & Prejudice Essays

Explore Austen’s Presentation Of Marriage in Pride & Prejudice Essays

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Explore Austen’s Presentation Of Marriage in Pride & Prejudice

Marriage forms the basis of the events featured in Pride and Prejudice
and is presented in various ways in order to convey to readers the
importance of it in society and the expectations which come with it.
Throughout the book, Austen clarifies what makes a good marriage and
how society views marriage as a unity of equal classes and a way to
establish connections.

The first aspect of marriage which is revealed is the way a person’s
position in society affects the choice of partner. Austen states in
the opening line of the book:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in
possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”

This line both sets out the beliefs that were held by society at the
time, but also the tone of the book and the attitudes of the
characters featured. From this line, we can learn that society
considered marriage to be not only a unity of two people but also a
unity of assets and connections in society. The expectations held by
people are also revealed in the way that it is expected of men with a
sound financial status to succeed in marrying a woman of equal if not
higher status in order to maintain the connections previously
established. This line stresses the belief that wealth was of great
importance in society and that it was a factor that was taken into
consideration even before love and was believed to form the basis of a
successful marriage.

Another aspect portrayed by this line is the extent to which Austen
included irony in her writing. The word universal for example
indicated that this is a worldwide belief, however, it is the belief
of the several characters portrayed throughout th...


... middle of paper ...


...formed due to the upbringing of people
in different classes and the fact that women at the time had very few
rights and little independence and therefore relied on men much more
than in today’s society. Due to the extreme differences between the
classes, many views were held in order to keep money in one family;
such as the view of arranged marriages between relations. Society had
very strict views on what was and was not acceptable behaviour and
people such as Lydia who broke these unwritten codes of conduct
suffered exclusion from society.

Although the storyline speaks about love and marriage, it also reveals
to readers other aspects of society which are not as positive, such as
a marriage of convenience, and therefore helps readers to understand
why many characters acted in the way they did and how society affected
behaviour and influenced decisions.

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