Attitudes Towards Marriage Presented in Pride and Prejudice Essay

2399 Words 10 Pages
Explore the different attitudes to marriage presented in Pride and
Prejudice.

In the time of Jane Austen, marriage was mainly based on attraction and compatibility. Women had the right to choose husbands, but status in society and wealth were very important parts of their decision. In
'Pride and Prejudice' we see many different attitudes and reasons for marrying in the gentry.

Jane Austen was brought up in a family who loved to read novels, a new concept of writing that was very different to poetry and plays. At first novels, written mainly around letters, were not taken very seriously and were believed to be overly sentimental and unrealistic, and also thought to be dangerous to influential young women. Jane
Austen's first
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She is "taken in" by his
"truthful looks", which is quite ironic because whilst Mr Wickham tells stories about his dealings with Mr Darcy, very few things of what he is saying is the truth. Elizabeth is attracted to him because he is the opposite of Mr Darcy, and has very few failings in society.
For example, he does not look down upon the society that he is in, and shows very little pride or arrogance that makes Mr Darcy look like a most disagreeable man in the Meryton society.

In the novel, Lizzy receives three offers of marriage in total - two from Mr Darcy and one from Mr Collins, whose is first. Lizzy's good judge of character means that she believes Mr Collins to be somewhat of an "oddity", a silly man wanting to heal the breach with the Bennet family by marrying one of the five daughters for the wrong reasons.
Elizabeth knows that Mr Collins does not love her, and certainly she does not love him, so refuses his proposals. "You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so", and "My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer?" prove that she will only marry for love.

At the time of Mr Darcy's first proposal, Elizabeth has just heard that he is responsible for the separation of Jane and Mr Bingley. Due to what Wickham has told her, Elizabeth also thinks that the bad treatment Wickham has received is also all Mr Darcy's fault. Therefore in his

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