Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay examples

Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay examples

Length: 1657 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice

Looking at the social, historical and cultural context

In the 19th century when Austen wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the way
in which marriage was viewed was very different. It would have been
expected of a young woman to find a ‘suitable’ partner for marriage
before they were thirty, as after this they could be seen as an
embarrassment to their family. By suitable, it does not mean in the
way in which marriage is viewed today. Today marriage is seen as an
expression of deep love and respect for another person. In Austen’s
time, a ‘good’ marriage was seen to be one where wealth and social
status of the man and woman were socially suitable. There was very
little, if nothing at all based on a good love match. This can be seen
in Austen’s opening statement, ‘it is a truth universally
acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must
be in want of a wife.’ Austen’s use of irony immediately indicates
that she does not agree with this popular view of her time. Austen’s
views are depicted throughout the book through the thoughts of
characters, especially through the main character, Elizabeth Bennet.
They seem to share the same view that social suitability is not enough
for marriage, but it should be based on love and understanding. For
Austen to hold this opinion in the time that she lived shows she was
ahead of her time, as her opinion is the common view among today’s
modern society.

Austen illustrates two main examples of the ‘ideal state’ of marriage.
These can be seen through the relationships and eventual engagements
of Bingley and Jane, along with Elizabeth and Darcy. The way, in which
Austen portrays these two relati...


... middle of paper ...


...and compatibility and the
feelings of the two people involved, were not high on the priority
list for a good, successful marriage. However Austen thought this
should be the other way around, as she believed that love and
compatibility are one of the most important aspects of a good marriage
and that money and social status should only play a part in marriage,
not decide it. This can be seen where she shows her personal feelings
towards each different type of marriage shown. In the marriages she
sees as being ‘good’ marriages, we can assume that they will be happy
when the marriage has been based on a balance of their personalities
and their love. Throughout each she continually stresses the
importance of love, equality and compatibility in a marriage. The
reader is shown the alternatives to this, in both the positive and
negative consequences of marriage.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay examples

- Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice Looking at the social, historical and cultural context In the 19th century when Austen wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the way in which marriage was viewed was very different. It would have been expected of a young woman to find a ‘suitable’ partner for marriage before they were thirty, as after this they could be seen as an embarrassment to their family. By suitable, it does not mean in the way in which marriage is viewed today. Today marriage is seen as an expression of deep love and respect for another person....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
1657 words (4.7 pages)

What attitudes to love and marriage does Jane Austen explore in Pride Essay

- What attitudes to love and marriage does Jane Austen explore in Pride and Prejudice. Can you identify Jane Austen’s own view. Jane Austen’s novel of Pride and Prejudice is set in the early 19th century and the central theme of the novel is love and marriage. Marriage was viewed very differently in those days and each character in her novel has different views of marriage. Marriage to women gave status and independence as women could not acquire money on their own without inheriting or marrying into good fortune, so many girls at that time did not marry for affection or love....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
1920 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

- With books, it is possible to explore the world, live in a different time period, or take a glimpse into the future. Reading can take you anywhere at anytime. However, this is not the only pleasurable insight reading could give you. In my case, reading allows me to see the world in a different perspective from someone else’s lens and unexpectedly learn more about myself along the way. These things are exactly what happened when I read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The classic novel is about Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with culture, morality, education, and social hierarchy....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet]

Powerful Essays
1660 words (4.7 pages)

Jane Austen’s Concept of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Jane Austen’s concept of marriage in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice explicitly revolves around the theme of matrimony. Many among us interpret her subject matter and ideas in the novel as a reflection of her own private life affairs. It is suggested that the theme of marriage and relationships in her novels appears more like a depiction of her own personal experiences in life but one still remains indecisive about it because the author never got married unlike the romantic stories she wrote with a ‘living happily ever after’ endings....   [tags: marriage, relationship, matrimony]

Powerful Essays
1554 words (4.4 pages)

Jane Austen 's Northanger Abbey Essay

- “Man has the power of choice, woman only the advantage of refusal,” (NA 74) says Henry Tilney, the hero of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1817). From the reader’s perspective, Tilney seems to have no characteristics to recommend him as Catherine Morland’s suitor: the narrator describes him as “impertinent” (NA 107), “rude” (NA 115), and as “indulging himself a little too much with the foibles of others” (NA 21). Yet, he chooses to propose to Catherine, and she elects to accept him. Why. Why are certain characters accepted as ideal partners in marriage, while others are rejected....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Marriage, Jane Austen]

Powerful Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Decisions Made by Women in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

- Decisions Made by Women in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' This opening paragraph of "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austin has become one of the most famous sentences in English literature. It states that the novel will explore the theme of marriage. Jane Austen lived in an opinionated world and this is reflected in her novel. In "Pride and Prejudice" no secret is made of the need to marry for money....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
2540 words (7.3 pages)

Pride and the Prejudice Essay example

- “The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.” (1) Said Mr Darcy. This is one of the world's most popular novels, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has charmed readers since its publication of the story of the amusing Elizabeth Bennet and her relationship with the aristocrat Fitzwilliam Darcy. During this essay it will explore the construction of characters, in particular it will be Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy also exploring the social situation in which the characters operate and exploring the cultural context (Victorian England)....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Jane Austen]

Powerful Essays
1534 words (4.4 pages)

Explore proposals of marriage and the representation of married women in Pride and Prejudice

- Explore proposals of marriage and the representation of married women in Pride and Prejudice Marriage is the ultimate goal in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The book begins with the quote 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife', and this sets the tone for all the events that are to follow. It manages to present a miniature version of all that happens over the course of the novel, the entire plot of which is basically concerned with the pursuit of advantageous marriage by both male and female characters....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1896 words (5.4 pages)

Attitudes Towards Marriage Presented in Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Explore the different attitudes to marriage presented in Pride and Prejudice. In the time of Jane Austen, marriage was mainly based on attraction and compatibility. Women had the right to choose husbands, but status in society and wealth were very important parts of their decision. In 'Pride and Prejudice' we see many different attitudes and reasons for marrying in the gentry. Jane Austen was brought up in a family who loved to read novels, a new concept of writing that was very different to poetry and plays....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
2405 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on Pride and Prejudice - Different Attitudes towards Marriage

- 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....   [tags: Jane Austen essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)