Marriage in Pride and Prejudice

Topics: Pride and Prejudice, Marriage, Elizabeth Bennet Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: December 2, 2006
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 of a wife" (pg1). The first sentence of the novel Pride and Prejudice highlights the importance of marriage in the world of the novel. The sentence implies that the only reason for marriage was to increase the characters social and financial position. The quote mentions nothing of love yet it provokes the feeling in the minds of the readers that the reason of marriage is to simply create security. Finding a proper marriage for the female characters that lived in a patriarchal society often became the solace of their lives. Elizabeth Bennet is a literary device used by Jane Austen to signify her values and attitudes on the importance of marrying for love. We often see the world through Elizabeth¹s eyes and we are positioned to empathize with her opinion on the absurdity of marrying for reasons other than love. Elizabeth is a free-spirited individual who differs from the other female characters of the novel. Elizabeth refuses to be wed to a man to whom she does not love. Elizabeth, although often guilty of prejudice attitudes, always recognizes and learns from her mistakes. Mr. Collins' introduction to Elizabeth is not a pleasant one although he is too ignorant to notice. Elizabeth finds Mr. Collins "a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man" (pg 93). Even though Elizabeth rejected his proposal, Mr. Collins was socially desirable; he would offer Elizabeth a home, respectability and long term stability for the Bennet family. However, Elizabeth realizes that Mr. Collins would have brought her to insanity and that she could never love such a man. The marriage between Darcy and Elizabeth reveals the characteristics which forms a successful marriage. One of these characteristics is that love cannot be brought on by appearances, and must slowly develop between the two people as they get to know one another. Darcy's instant...
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