Marriage In Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

1008 Words 5 Pages
Although many of the characters within Pride and Prejudice marry for materialistic reasons, author Jane Austen advises those seeking to marry should marry someone who they truly love. Not common for an author at the time, Austen makes use of the characters within Pride and Prejudice to make commentary on society. Lydia Bennet and her mother, Mrs. Bennet see marriage as a necessity in the case of Mr. Bennet's death and do not value compatibility or love. In contrast, characters such as Elizabeth Bennet value their compatibility with their potential spouse.
Jane Austen was born December 16th, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. A daughter in a family with eight children, Austen’s father, Reverend George Austen encouraged his children to challenge
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During this time, women’s lives were influenced solely by their husband. The first priority of women was to become a wife and mother. Those who were unmarried were ridiculed by their community. Any inheritance received from her parents was in the hands of her husband (“Lives of Women”). A similar situation was touched on within Pride and Prejudice. Due to Mr. Bennet’s finances, in the case of his death, his property and money would go to Mr. Collins. Mr. Bennet speaks on this in chapter 13 when Mr. Collins writes a letter inviting himself to their house, “Mr. Collins, who, when I am dead may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases” (Austen 60). With the power of being entailed their entire estate, Mr. Collins uses this as a tool to persuade Elizabeth into accepting his proposal, “But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father…I could not satisfy myself without resolving to chuse a wife from among his daughters” (Austen 104). However, Elizabeth rejects his proposal, which if accepted, could have saved the Bennets from losing their house when Mr. Bennet …show more content…
Marriage is perhaps the largest discussed topic in Pride and Prejudice, with almost every character having their own thoughts on the subject manner. There are characters on every of the scale. On one side, characters such as Lydia do not consider their attraction to their potential partner. This is evident in her obsession with many men within the novel. In the book, she is cited as being her mother’s favorite and this grants her large opportunities to attend balls and other social gatherings, “a favorite with her mother, whose affection had brought her into public at an early age” (Austen 49). Austen uses Lydia to symbolize the average woman in the 1800s, those whose urgency to marry makes them prioritize money and social status, but neglect their compatibility and attraction. On the opposite side of this spectrum, Elizabeth values how she feels about a potential partner before she marries. Within the timeline of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth rejects two marriage proposals. The first from Mr. Collins and a second from Mr. Darcy. In the case of Mr. Collins, Elizabeth knows that marrying him would keep her family in their house, but does not accept. Because of her perception of Mr. Darcy, she rejects his first proposal, “In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a

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