Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice portrays varying attitudes to marriage. "The intricate social network that pervades the novel is one that revolves around the business of marriage". Through her female characters the reader sees the different attitudes to marriage and the reasons that these women have for marrying. These depend on their social status and their personal values. The reader is shown the most prevalent and common view of marriage held by society in Austen's time, and through the heroine, a differing opinion of marriage is explored. We are shown how marriage is viewed by the very wealthy and the values they emphasise in marriage. Through the characterisation of these women and use of irony, Austen has influenced the reader's opinions on the characters attitude about marriage and that of their contemporaries. Charlotte Lucas's views on marriage conform to those of contemporary society. For Charlotte, ' situation' is all. She requires no emotional motivation, only a willingness to participate in the arrangement. marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. She does not need even a pleasing manner from her husband, as is evident from her choice in Mr. Collins. She does not believe that love is necessary for marriage and thinks that a woman should take the first opportunity offered to her in marriage, and, possibly it could lead to love. This is evident from her comments to Lizzie in reference to Jane and Mr. Bingley. When she is secure of him, there will be ... ... middle of paper ... .... Norton & Company, 1966. 374-388. Litz, A. Walton, Jane Austen: A Study of Her Artistic Development. Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 198. Moler, Kenneth. Pride and Prejudice: A Study in Artistic Economy. Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 1989. Mullane, Janet & Wilson, Robert Thomas, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc., 1988, Vol. 19, pp. 2, 4-8, 14, 17, 32, 42, 55-6, 58, and 66-7. "A Review of 'Pride and Prejudice,'" Critical Review, Vol. 3, No. 3, March, 1813, pp. 318-24. Southam, B.C., (ed.), Jane Austen: The Critical Heritage. Landon, NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul - Barres & Nobel Inc., 1968. Weldon, Fay. Readings on Jane Austen Taplinger Publishing Co. Inc, 1984 in. Ed. Wright, Andrew H. "Feeling and Complexity in Pride and Prejudice." Ed. Donald Gray. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1966. 410-420.
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