Comparison of Mr. Wickham's and Elizabeth's Attitude Towards Marriage in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
The novel, 'Pride and Prejudice' revolves around a mother of five
daughters, Mrs. Bennet, whose sole purpose is to marry off her
daughters to suitable men. Her eldest, Jane, is her most prized
daughter. Mrs. Bennet is assured that Jane's beauty and meticulous
manners will win her a prized husband. In the end Mrs. Bennet succeeds
in marrying her to a husband and in addition she gets Lydia and
Elizabeth married too; Jane to Mr Bingley, Lydia to Mr. Wickham and
Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy.
Pride and Prejudice is an enduringly popular 19th century novel
written by the English author Jane Austen. The general theme through
this book is marriage as it focuses mainly upon different types of
marriage and the proposals leading up to them, she gives us the view
of the characters and their thoughts towards marriage, as there are
some people who marry for wealth and others marring for happiness and
Mr Wickham is a man that is looking for a woman to marry, preferably a
woman with money. But in the novel Mr. Wickham becomes attracted to
Elizabeth Bennet. When he arrives in Meryton, he and takes an instant
liking to Elizabeth, even though he knows she has no money. If they
were to marry they would be living every day as if it were their last.
This is because Mr. Wickham does not get a very good income as an
officer in the regiments. He leaves the Bennet house and goes on to
look for a wife with money. He does not look far to find Miss King. He
became engaged to her and her money, and Elizabeth on hearing about
the engagement thought it very "wise" and "financially independent".
Unfortunately Miss King's parents came in time to cancel any
arrangements made between them, because they knew Mr Wickham wanted to
marry their daughter for her money. Also that he had no money of his
Finally Mr. Wickham decides to run away with Lydia, which eventually
turns out to be a good thing for Mr. Wickham. The Bennett's thought
that they would get bad name now and that they would never get Janeor
any of their daughters for that matter, to marry a man of great
fortune. No man would want to marry a woman who has a family with a
This is when Darcy comes in and helps out by finding both Lydia and
Mr. Wickham. He pays Mr. Wickham ten thousand pounds to marry Lydia.
But Mr. Bennet thinks Mr. Wickham is 'a fool' to 'take Lydia with a
farthing less than ten thousand pounds'. In the end this saves the
Bennet family from a bad reputation and shame. Mr. Wickham ends up
So all in all it seems that Mr. Wickham was generally looking for a
woman with money enough to live with and have an ordinary life with
the exception that he had taken a liking to Elizabeth...