Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice And Emely Bronte's Wuthering Heights

1667 words - 7 pages

The characters in the novels Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, each face life altering choice which not only effect their own lives but also the individuals around them. These choices influence their futures and can completely alter the course of the novel. When critically assessing these novels, it is very important to consider the choices made by the young people throughout; these choices can ultimately shape the entire plot of the novel.
The first choice to consider is Lydia’s decision to flee with Wickham, and eventually marries him and Lydia seems to have no understanding of how her elopement with Wickham could be perceived as a sinful act. Zimmerman (Zimmerman 64-73)believes that “Lydia's interest in marriage has displaced any other perspective [she] might have, including a moral one”. Often marriages were arranged between parents to make sure their daughters or sons would find suitable husbands and wives in both regards to money and social standing. Marriages were also common to form political unions between houses, or to finalize a business contract. So the fact that Lydia and her family are not of a wealthy background Wickham cannot want her for financial reasons, consequently society would presume they had run away for sordid reasons. This, of course, would disgrace the family and bring disrepute on her family. They would be outcast from society and without society, the Bennet sisters could not hope to make successful marriages. Lydia married Wickham as she believed he was one with large fortune and high social status; however Wickham married Lydia for her looks and her naivety. For instance according to Austen (Pride and Prejudice: 263), “Wickham's affection for Lydia was just what Elizabeth had expected to find it; not equal to Lydia's for him”. On a more specific level, Lydia’s decision to marry Wickham also affects Elizabeth’s relationship with Darcy. When Elizabeth realizes that Darcy is the man she would most like to marry, the outcome is complicated by Lydia's marriage to Wickham as Darcy and Wickham have been foes for many years. Darcy, led by his love for Elizabeth and a sense of responsibility, acts to make the best of wrongs done to her family by Wickham. Lydia’s choice to run away and marry Wickham is a curiously obtrusive event in Pride and Prejudice.
The rough road that is the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is full of choices. For instance, Darcy’s decision to pursue Elizabeth, even though it would be against the society norm of someone of his social and finical standing to court someone of Elizabeth’s lower status. Mr. Darcy is a wealthy gentleman with an income of at least £10,000 a year, and the owner of Pemberley, a large estate in Derbyshire, England (Austen, 1993). As the reader, we are presented with Elizabeth’s point of view of events more than Darcy’s and thus Elizabeth is portrayed as the more sympathetic character of the two. We eventually realise that...

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