The Presentation of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essays

The Presentation of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essays

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The Presentation of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

During the novel of Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, we
are presented with many marriages and relationships between the
characters. As each character is introduced to another (or if a new
character has been entered into the novel), Austen always tells us
about their social status and financial background as this was a major
contribution to marriage back then. In those times, one of the most
important reasons to marry was because of money and income; it wasn’t
common for people to marry for love alone. Charlotte Lucas knows this
and says “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance”. This
implies that the marriage could be a happy or unhappy time depending
on how well the characters know each other beforehand.

Austen created many single female characters in Pride and Prejudice
and she put each of them in a bad light, which is ironic as she never
married herself. Austen says in Pride and Prejudice that a woman who
never marries could only look forward to living with relatives and
therefore being dependant on them, as women didn’t have their own
careers; the only path open to them was marriage. This is why when
Charlotte Lucas marries Mr Collins at age 27, her brothers are glad
that she won’t ‘die an old maid’.

Women also married because they inherit nothing from their parents
(except when there are no other male relatives), so to marry well was
a necessity to support their lifestyles. However, it isn’t just women
who need to marry well to support their lifestyles; men who aren’t
first born need to marry well, also, as they inherit nothing from
their ...

... middle of paper ...

... how
much they love each other; Mr Collins and Charlotte got married as a
business arrangement; Elizabeth and Darcy have to overcome their pride
and prejudice to make their marriage work and make it interesting; Mr
and Mrs Bennet fell in love at first sight and now don’t love each
other at all.

I think that people should only get married if they are sure they will
be happy with each other and it is the right step for them to take
together. For example, Elizabeth didn’t agree to marry Darcy until
she knew him well enough to know he would make her happy. A
contradiction to this is Mr and Mrs Bennet as they thought they would
be happy together but they aren’t.

To conclude, I agree with Charlotte’s statement ‘happiness in a
marriage is entirely a matter of chance’ as nobody knows how a
marriage will turn out.

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