Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
"Consider Charlotte's views on marriage and to what extent she puts
them into practice".
Charlotte Lucas, of Lucas Lodge, when talking to Elizabeth voices her
opinions on marriage. Among her conceptions are:
Â· That she thinks Elizabeth's sister Jane should encourage Mr Bingley
and show him how she feels, because nobody is self-confident enough to
truly love someone without reassurance from him or her, and that
Bingley "may never do more than like her, if she does not help him
Â· Mr Bingley doesn't know Jane's character as well as Lizzy does, so
it is impossible for him to be expected to know what she is thinking;
"Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane's disposition as you do".
Â· Charlotte thinks that Jane should "secure" Mr Bingley beforehand,
leaving plenty of time to fall in love with him afterwards.
Â· Elizabeth tells Charlotte that the four evenings Jane and Mr Bingley
have spent together are not enough to understand a person's character,
but Charlotte maintains that this is a sufficient amount of time to be
sure whether or not they could become a possible "suitor".
Â· Charlotte feels that "if Jane and Mr Bingley were married tomorrow,
they would still have as good a chance of finding happiness as if she
had been studying his character for twelvemonth".
Â· She also feels that "happiness in marriage is purely a matter of
chance", as people change when they are married, and "it is better to
know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you
are to pass your life".
Â· Elizabeth disagrees with the comments made - but we must remember
that both Jane and Elizabeth intend upon marrying for love. We also
know that Charlotte is twenty-seven, and she must marry soon in order
to gain a higher status.
Surely enough, when proposed to by Mr Collins shortly afterwards,
Charlotte puts her views into practise as she willingly accepts an
offer of marriage from a man who she knows very well is "stupid,
neither sensible nor agreeable", and whose "society is irksome".
As explained to Elizabeth, Charlotte is plain and does not own a great
sum of money. Therefore, when she accepts him, it is "solely from the
pure and disinterested desire of an establishment". There is a
distinct absence of any love or affection, and the acceptance can
almost be described as being similar to a business arrangement.
Charlotte is described as feeling "tolerably composed", which is
belittling and negative for someone who has just become engaged. In
order to gain an establishment, Charlotte is willingly marrying a man
who she knows is stupid. From this it has become clear that Charlotte
has put her views on men and matrimony into practice.
"Consider the problems Charlotte faces in her marriage and how she