The Impact of Wealth on Love Relationships in Pride and Prejudice Essay

The Impact of Wealth on Love Relationships in Pride and Prejudice Essay

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In Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice the effect of money propels the development of love relationships more than any other factor. There are three burgeoning relationships in the novel that can be closely studied to see the impact of money on love in Austen's time period. Three of the relationships, that of Charlotte and Mr. Collins, Lydia and Mr. Wickham, and Jane and Mr. Bingley only help to propel the most unlikely couple, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, together. Although Charlotte and Mr. Collins and Jane and Mr. Bingley's love relationships are heavily impacted by wealth and the financial security the match can bring to both the woman and her family, perhaps none of the relationships are more doubtful or economically advantageous as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's.

Mr. Collins first comes to town because he is entailed to receive Mr. Bennet's estate and he believes the best way "of atonement" for the unfairness of the entailment is to marry one of the Bennet daughters (Austen 47). His chief reason for wanting to marry reinforces the first line of the book when the reader learns that "having now a good house and a very sufficient income, he intended to marry" (Austen 53). After finding out that the first Bennet daughter is suggested to be on the way to another engagement, Mr. Collins quickly moves on to the second daughter, Elizabeth, to gain his wife and make amends for the unfairness of the atonement. In his proposal, there are none of the romantic ideas that the present reader may associate with an engagement. Instead, Mr. Collins calmly states his reasons for wanting to marry, as it is the right thing for a clergyman to do, that his patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh desires him to do so, and pertaining to the entail...

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...Prejudice shows not only the prevailing attitudes regarding the time Austen lived in, but also the impact of money on love and marriage. Although the novel was written almost two hundred years ago, it suggests a great deal about the ideas that have helped to shape modern ideals for a spouse. The idea of marrying among one's own class and the advantages of marrying well are still present in society today, although it is believed to have of less importance. Maybe this was true, the phrase "It is just as easy to fall in love with a poor man as it is to fall in love with a rich one" would not still be commonly known. Perhaps the timelessness of Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is directly related to the timelessness of the ideas that if one marries, it will never hurt to marry well.

Work Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

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