In the 19th century, a controversy arose over what the true foundation and purpose for marriage should be. The basis of this conflict was whether one should let reason or emotion be the guide of their love life and if a balance between the two could be maintained. The relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy in Jane Austen's book Pride and Prejudice depicts such a balance, thus becoming the model for Austen's definition of a perfect couple and for true love. Their relationship is neither solely based on a quest for money on Elizabeth's part or emotions that blind the couple from all other important aspects of life. The significance of having this balance is portrayed through the inability of the other couples in the story to reach an equal amount of happiness as Elizabeth and Darcy because of their pursuit of either reason or passion.
Austen's view of true love is clearly evident in the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Elizabeth Bennet is an unfailingly attractive character, but what everybody notices about her is her spirited wit and good sense. She has a keen, critical mind when expressing her opinions and is unwilling to believe only the best of everyone. It is this intelligence that brings Mr. Darcy's admiration of her and her sense that she can rely on both mind and heart. Darcy carries the persona of a snobbish, arrogant, and self-assured man who assumes that he can get everything he wants. He explains his attitude by stating, " I was spoiled by my parents, who though good themselves … allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing." However, his arrogance is challenged when he is faced to deal with the fact that ...
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...th's marriage and that of Jane and Bingley. Jane and Bingley have always remained the same, and will always do so, but Elizabeth and Darcy can question each other's motives and can undergo change.
What happens in Pride and Prejudice happens to nearly all of us- we all share the unsteady feelings of falling in love. Yet, just like in the past, people view the idea of true love in many ways. Ways that may not seem perfect to us, but in fact create a lot of happiness in others. Jane always felt that she was happy when in the presence of Bingley. In contrast, Elizabeth " knew that she was happy." On Elizabeth's part, the relationship of hers would more likely be a happier one because her love is deepened by an intellectual awareness of her emotional state. She and Darcy both know exactly what they want from this marriage, otherwise they would never marry.
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