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For Love Or For Money: The Golden Question Of Marriage

999 words - 4 pages

Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times; however, it is not sure why marriage started. It could be due to the lack of resources, economic issues, social issues or simply just a mutual attraction to another person. In Regency Era England the question of why people marry still perplexed many. The most common thing to do was have your child marry into a wealthy family, securing their spot on the social ladder. In Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility, she creates strenuous situations where this question of marrying for financial stability as opposed to love is brought up. By comparing and contrasting the different ...view middle of the document...

This statement validates that the obvious thing to do was marry for financial motives, regardless of who the person you were marrying was and what feelings you had towards them.
Although marrying for economic stability seemed to be the popular decision in Regency Era England, if you did not marry for money you married for love (Kantor 17). Many of Austen’s characters hoped for a romantic love but the financial significance of marriage could not be ignored. After all choosing who you married was a multi-step process and one of the most important decisions you will make in life (Sullivan 108). A character who is a prime example of hoping to marry for love is Marianne, due to her excessive sensibility and romantic nature. Marianne fell madly in love with John Willoughby but Willoughby never really loved Marianne because “he was in the habit of leading women on, all the while planning to marry for money” (Kantor 43). He claims that his “affections have long been engaged elsewhere,” and that he is engaged to a very wealthy young woman (Austen 149). This demonstrates how one-sided a relationship could be which tended to be the case when it came to marriages that were based on love. Even though there were individuals in Regency Era England who would have rather married for love instead of marriage, overcoming the challenges that came along with that choice were difficult.
Despite the difficulties that come with it, Austen explains that marrying for love will ultimately lead to a longer and happier relationship. In The Jane Austen Handbook it says that:
Asking yourself if you love him is the most important question of all. Your choice in a husband may provide you with more fine clothes and fine carriages than your sisters and friends, but will they make you happy? If he is a good man, and has made you love...

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