Jane Austen's View of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay

Jane Austen's View of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay

Length: 1897 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Jane Austen's View of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want if a wife"

This comment is humorous and satirical, but holds an underlying truth.  The fact that Jane Austen opens the novel with such a comment on marriage evidences the importance of the theme in the book.  Indeed the novel is all about marriage in society.  Austen lived in a time when marriage was the only way out for some women, or they would be forced to become a governess and lose their independence.  The way that this opening sentence is out provides another theme, satire.  Austen sees the following marriages that she writes on as amusing but they are still frowned upon, such as the marriage of Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas.  Austen sees this marriage as beneficial for both partners.  He can potter around the garden and suck up to Lady Catherine deBourgh, while Charlotte spends her time alone reading.

The first marriage to be examined is that of Mr and Mrs Bennet.  This is not a marriage of love, but of vulgarity and shallow natures of both parties. Mr Bennet is of a higher class than Mrs Bennet, who is "a woman of mean understanding" contrasting Mr Bennet's "quick parts".  They have been married 23 years and at once, the Bennets realise that they have absolutely nothing in common, so they withdraw from each other.  Mr Bennet spends all day in his study retreated from Mrs Bennet and her gossip.

"With a book he was regardless of time"

"Mrs Bennet spends her day with tittle-tattle and idle conversation.  She is vulgar in her behaviour; the only aim for her is to get her daughters married off to someone with lots of money."

Austen shows us ...

... middle of paper ...

...g from the couple's opening resentment of each other - Elizabeth herself describes the "malice of Mr Darcy".  His all turns around, and we know that Darcy is the most suitable husband for Elizabeth. He is generous and intelligent, and Elizabeth is "convinced that she could have been happy with him" when she almost loses him.  In fact of course they are, and we don't need a sequel to be told that!

Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.

Fritzer, Penelope Joan. Jane Austen and Eighteenth-Century Courtesy Books. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Monaghan, David. Jane Austen Structure and Social Vision. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1980.

Rubinstein, E., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pride and Prejudice. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Use of Satire in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen Essay examples

- Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, published in 1813. This story follows the main character Elizabeth, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, and marriage in the society of early 19th-century England. Satire is used in Pride and Prejudice to make fun of human vices or weaknesses. Satire can be described as a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice is held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule (Satire). It is basically used to attack the characters to bring a change about them....   [tags: pride and prejudice, jane austen]

Powerful Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Essay

- Values and attitudes are often reshaped through modern texts in a reflection of their respective contexts, thus illuminating the universality of central ideals. A comparative study of Austen’s bildungsroman novel, Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Weldon’s meta-fictional hybrid text, Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen (1984), through their intertextual connections, provides a heightened appreciation for both. Whilst Austen examines the significance of autonomy and introspection to achieve fulfilment and moral growth, Weldon enriches readers’ understanding of complex social mores in Pride and Prejudice through reflecting the rise of neoclassicism in a postmodernist society....   [tags: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Morality]

Powerful Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice Essay examples

- In Pride and Prejudice, the author Jane Austen expresses her views on the attitudes and reasons for marriage in the 1800’s. Austen used the different relationships between the characters in her novel to outline her personal view on marriage. I believe that Austen’s expresses her view of the perfect marriage by three characteristics of compatibility, respect and most importantly love. In the novel Austen relies on her opinions to shape the plot of Pride and Prejudice. Austen expresses her opinions through the main characters’ relationships between Elizabeth Bennet, Mr....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen]

Powerful Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

- Pride and prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen during the early 1800s. The novel mainly focused on the reality of what went on during that time with women. Throughout the novel we are able to see many of Jane’s moral visions and where she stands in life based on her moral judgement. Interestingly, Jane writes her novels solely from her experiences. Her characters are representations of the people around her, and by reading about them we can see what it was like to live their lives. As a woman, Jane Austen provides us with a compass of morality....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Morality, Novel]

Powerful Essays
1554 words (4.4 pages)

Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Essay

- In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen portrays a world in which choices for individuals are very limited, based almost exclusively on family wealth, social rank, and connections. A woman in such a world had little choice for her future; marriage presented the only option for leaving her family, and her response to a marriage proposal provided her only input in the outcome of her life. Although members of the upper class, the Bennet sisters and Charlotte Lucas have no inheritance, making marriage their only option for attaining wealth and maintaining or increasing their social standing....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice, Marriage, Love]

Powerful Essays
1967 words (5.6 pages)

Compromise and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Compromise and Marriage in Pride and Prejudice        It is not unusual for an individual to disagree with social customs or expectations. Some people are only happy when they can rebel against society. Most mature adults eventually realize that compromise is necessary to achieve happiness. This is the case in the early nineteenth century England setting of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. In the novel, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is a lively, independent woman, whose family's financial situation and whose strong mindedness suggest that she may never marry....   [tags: Pride Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
1934 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Pride and prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen and is probably one of the most famous and best loved novels in the English language. In my essay I shall be comparing the proposals of Mr Collins and Mr Darcy to Elizabeth. A proposal is a declaration of love to one person involving powerful feelings where one cannot imagine going on in life without the other, it is also a great compliment. The central theme of the novel is marriage. As well as the marriage between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy; Austen uses many other marriages within the novel to show and assist the reader in assessing her recommended ingredients for a lasting and happy marriage....   [tags: Pride Prejudice jane Austen Essays]

Powerful Essays
6668 words (19.1 pages)

Analysis of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay

- Analysis of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen It centers on the elder sisters of the Bennet family, Jane and Elizabeth. Their personalities, misunderstandings and the roles of pride and prejudice play a large part in the development of their individual relationships. The spirited Elizabeth and softhearted Jane have to deal with not only their own feelings but also the status of their family, both of which affect the outcomes of their marriages. The struggle is very believable and realistic because the story takes place a long time ago....   [tags: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Marriage Essays]

Powerful Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Feminism in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay

- Feminism in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice, holds feminist views and uses the novel to show her opinions about women's issues. Pride and Prejudice is a personal essay, a statement of Jane Austen's feelings about the perfect lady, marriage, and the relationship between the sexes. Jane Austen's characters, plot, and dialogue are biased to reflect her beliefs. The biased process and importance of marriage are introduced with the first line of the book....   [tags: Papers Jane Austen Pride Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
1707 words (4.9 pages)

The Significance of Chapter 34 in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Essay

- The Significance of Chapter 34 in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 'Pride And Prejudice' is a 19th Century romantic novel written by Jane Austen in 1813, it presents a true representation of society's expectations towards marriage and love at the time. It focuses on two central characters Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy and their love-hate relationship. Elizabeth the second eldest daughter of five sisters is an intelligent woman with a lively disposition, strong-minded determination and a woman who religiously sticks to her principles....   [tags: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Essays]

Powerful Essays
2195 words (6.3 pages)