Marriage In Pride And Prejudice

1675 Words 7 Pages
Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, examines the connection between marriage and many factors that can affect it, such as love and affection, money and wealth, social classes, societal norms, and personal expectations. To do so, it follows the relationships of five couples: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Wickham and Lydia Bennet. All of these relationships begin and progress differently and develop under a variety of motivations and circumstances. By the end of the novel, it becomes obvious that many of the relationships either exhibit similar qualities or blatantly contrast each other.
The marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet appears distant, loveless,
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Bingley is based on a relationship of pure, idealistic love. Jane and Mr. Bingley share a common attitude towards marriage: they both want to marry for love, happiness, and affection for another person. Mr. Bingley had never experienced true love prior to meeting Jane, but when they meet they both experience an immediate attraction to one another. Mr. Bingley finds Jane incredibly beautiful and Jane appreciates Mr. Bingley’s kindness, humility, and amiability. In addition, they possess remarkably similar personalities; both of them display incredible optimism — though often slightly naive — and always look for the good in people. They also both demonstrate a great deal of humility. Ironically, this nearly ruins their chance to marry one another, as neither believes that the other reciprocates their affections. Not until Mr. Darcy assures his friend that Jane returns his affections does Mr. Bingley allows himself to openly profess his love and propose to her. Their relationship begins with the idealistic notion of “love at first sight” and, despite some obstacles from outside influence, such as Mr. Darcy’s and Miss Caroline’s attempts to separate them, remains generally simple and …show more content…
One can group the marriages into one of two categories: happy and suitable or unhappy and unsuitable. While Jane and Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy both end up in happy, suitable marriages, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Charlotte and Mr. Collins, and Lydia and Mr. Wickham all end up in unhappy, unsuitable marriages. Some clear contrasts that exist between the characters include the respective marriages of Jane and Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Charlotte, and Jane and Lydia. For example, Jane and Mr. Bingley experience an immediate attraction which remains largely consistent and static throughout the novel, while Elizabeth’s relationship with Mr. Darcy progresses much more gradually and experiences substantial changes over time. Another contrast exists between Elizabeth and Charlotte’s in their respective motives for and attitudes toward marriage. Through the novel, Elizabeth makes it abundantly clear that she will not settle by marrying someone that she does not love when she refuses Mr. Collins’ offer of engagement. Conversely, Charlotte appears content to overlook her lack of affection for Mr. Collins in order to receive the security and comfort which a marriage to him will supply. Jane and Lydia provide yet another difference in their conduct in the novel. While Jane obediently adheres the rules of etiquette and society’s expectations for young women in that era, Lydia frequently

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