Jane Bennet Attitude Towards Marriage

1500 Words 6 Pages
The theme of marriage is highlighted as a key theme of Pride and Prejudice essentially from the initial line of the first chapter. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. Through the use of this quote, Austen shows us that she is evidently humoured by the fact that wealthy men were rather desperate for wives and mocks the fact that they married out of convenience and there seems to be irony in her tone. She uses the Bennet family in the novel to portray the various attitudes towards marriage. Jane Austen flags the fact that this society did not see love as a vital thing in marriage and marriage was done mostly upon the assurance of a stable income.
Elizabeth is
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Although, this can be questionable because we learn that Charlotte has accepted this marriage out of mere convenience. Perhaps this is a reflection of women’s’ attitudes towards marriage at the time; women were submissive and had low aspirations. Jane sees that this marriage is a sensible decision, although an unimaginable match. Thus, we see that Jane tends to hold the more stereotypical and traditional view of society. This is patently seen in this extract when Jane says, “Consider Mr Collin’s respectability- and Charlotte’s prudent steady character”. She initially had similar views to Elizabeth on the marriage of Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins finding herself quite surprised on hearing the news, yet, her good nature exceeded this and she accepted the marriage more readily than Elizabeth. Furthermore, Jane is more practical when it comes to Charlotte Lucas’s marriage and understands that a woman should marry for financial security. “…she is one of a large family; that as to fortune, it is a most eligible match”. Jane in an attempt to find the best in this situation compliments their personalities and tries to persuade her opinionated sister that this marriage has its advantages. Consequently, Jane appears to hold a more realistic view than Elizabeth and understands that seeking a love match may put one at risk of being financially unsecure. ‘… she may feel something like regard and esteem for our cousin.’ Jane’s use of something like here is very dismissive and vague which shows it is not very attractive to us and to Austen. Jane seems to accept the marriage solely because she believes Charlotte Lucas will now be financially stable. However, at the ball, Jane is in awe of Mr Bingley’s manners, looks and character suggesting to the readers that the notion of a love marriage is actually more appealing to her and it was

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