Learning of Love and Marriage in Jane Austen's Time from Pride & Prejudice
'Pride & Prejudice' was written in the 18th century by a new author
called Jane Austen. Her book can help us have a realistic insight to
the social life of her time. It is generated around the Bennet
household, a family who live in Meryton. The main theme narrows down
to character's relationships, marriages and 18th century society. I
hope to give a clear insight to how this novel helped me reach an
understanding of different relationships.
Relationships can come about through many circumstances and
situations. Their bases can also differ. In the novel we can see some
may be arranged, others based on love, as can be seen through the
protagonist, Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy. Others may be come about
for security or initial attraction. But the basis of a marriage shows
us how stable and successful the marriage is. Some marriages are
successful in the novel whilst other couples only co-exist.
A perfect example of a failed marriage is seen through Mr. and Mrs.
Bennet's marriage. They seem to co-exist, and Mr. Bennet always avoids
his wife. One might say he married her because of her looks when he
says ' for you as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you
the best of the party'. Through the novel he is 'in the library' or
steering clear of any involvement in what his wife does. When he does
speak to her, he often makes fun of her and talks about how he has
'high respects for your nerves they are my old friends' but his wife
doesn't 'understand his character' even after so many years of
marriage. Their relationship shows that even though Mrs. Bennet was
beautiful it does not compensate for her 'mean understanding, little
information and uncertain temper' so from this we can see that beauty
isn't a good basis for a marriage. Even if someone is beautiful, if
they come with no good personality then a marriage is almost certain
to fail. Mr. Bennet is not at all like her and they have a personality
clash, his gentleman qualities and her lack of social etiquette do not
go well together. Mrs. Bennet often embarrasses and puts the family to
shame at big events such as balls when she gloats about how Jane got
the most dances with Bingley at the ball.
Furthermore marriages based solely upon security and position are
bound to fail too. This is seen through Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collin
marriage. She says she married him for the money: 'I ask only for a
comfortable home', and to gain a higher status: 'considering Mr.
Collins character, connections and situation in life'- she believes
she will live a happy life. Socially what Charlotte wanted is
important. In society it was important to be married to someone well
off to be socially acceptable. Though money is important, from their
relationship we can see...