Pride And Prejudice Essay

2979 words - 12 pages

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

There was a tendency to marry for money in early 19th century England. It was very unusual for people to begin relationship for love in the Victorian Era. There was so much etiquette involved. The most popular places to meet suitable partners were balls and church socials. Even if a gentleman had formerly been introduced to a lady at a ball, this did not entitle him to speak to her at any other time or place. This would be highly improper. If there were a woman he wished to grow acquainted with, he would make inquiries and find a mutual friend who would then introduce them.

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. A person wanted a partner based on the dowry receivable and their allowance. This process went both ways: a beautiful woman might be able to get a rich husband, or a handsome man could flatter a rich young girl. In early19th century England women were frowned upon, and the only thing they were good for was marriage and domesticity. Marriage was very different when compared to today when it is very rare for two people to get married without a loving relationship, although back then divorce was never thought of either, where as today it is not rare at all. In these marriages, money was the only consideration. Love was left out, with the thought that it would develop as the years went by. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen comments that marriage in her time is a financial contract, where love is strictly a matter of chance. This is clearly evident from the very first line of the novel. Charlotte Lucas states that "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance," so money always came before love and happiness. All of the marriages in the book are formed under the bonds of money, rather than the bonds of love except for Lizzy and Darcy's, and also Jane and Bingley's.

The first relationship I am going to do is that of Mr and Mrs Bennet, I am going to do this because I think it is one of the main relationships in this novel and I also think they are an important couple because they are a big part of Elizabeth's life.

The marriage of the Bennets is a thoughtless one, a union of a reasonably intelligent man with a ridiculous wife. The suggestion that the initial attraction was purely physical exposure shows that the relationship is based on superficial grounds "Mr Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop." Mr Bennet's lack of satisfaction in his marriage leads him to shut himself from reality, failing to gain the control needed by a man that was required for a successful relationship, but people didn't...

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