Marriage And Maturity In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice

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Marriage and Maturity Many of the main events in Pride and Prejudice are proposals and engagements. Characters mary for a variety of reasons, not just love. Lydia marries because she’s young and naive; Charlotte marries because she’s worried about not having a home if she doesn’t. Only Jane and Elizabeth marry because they truly love their husbands. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen shows that the high pressure to get married in the British Regency period often leads to unhappy marriages. Lydia and Mr. Wickham are pressured to get married after eloping, even though Mr. Wickham isn’t interested in Lydia, and Lydia’s family doesn’t approve of Mr. Wickham. Lydia is a young girl who is not yet mature enough to make wise choices. Mr. Wickham …show more content…
Collins because of the pressure of wanting stability and, although she is happy with her house and other aspects of her life, she has no interest in her husband. Mr. Collins’ interest in Charlotte was entirely imagined, as he proposed to her very shortly after being rejected by Lizzie. Charlotte “accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment” (Chapter 22). Neither of them cared at all about the other’s personality or values, just about getting married. When Lizzie visited Charlotte, she “took her sister and friend over the house, extremely well pleased, probably, to have the opportunity of showing it without her husband’s help” (Chapter 28). This shows that Charlotte is very happy with her house, but doesn’t want her husband around. Lizzie observes that “When Mr. Collins said anything of which his wife might reasonably be ashamed, which certainly was not unseldom, she involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte. Once or twice she could discern a faint blush; but in general Charlotte wisely did not hear” (Chapter 28). Charlotte has no desire to even listen to her husband; she ignores him and happily goes about her life. If Charlotte did not have to worry about getting married young or dying poor and alone, she could have waited for someone she actually enjoys talking to, but instead she’s stuck with Mr. …show more content…
Darcy are very happy with each other. When Mr. Collins, whom Elizabeth does not like, proposed, she explained that “You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so” (Chapter 19). Elizabeth, instead of giving in to the pressure from her mother to marry, understands that she and Mr. Collins could never make eachother happy, and so she wisely did not marry him. When Mr. Darcy proposes for the first time, Elizabeth again chooses to follow her opinions, rather than marry someone she doesn’t like. She tells Mr. Darcy, “I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry” (Chapter 34). Elizabeth chooses to risk remaining single instead of marrying someone she doesn’t want to be with. Elizabeth doesn’t accept any proposal until she is confident that she truly loves the man she will marry. When Elizabeth accepted Darcy’s second proposal, she tells her father, “I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable” (Chapter 59). Elizabeth’s wisdom in waiting to marry until she knew she would be happy with her husband resulted in her and Darcy being happy

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