Marriage in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
In pride and Prejudice there are many different marriages that occur.
There are also, various, different incentives for these marriages. In
comparing Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship with, Lydia and Wickham,
and Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins the reader begins to see the
different reasons in which the partners marry. The reader can base
their views on the priorities of each relationship. If a reader was to
read of a marriage based on financial security like Mr Collins and
Charlotte Lucas' they may have preconceived ideas about how the
relationship will work if love is not involved, they may form
prejudices on the marriage based on their own beliefs and ideals.
Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship could be seen as the ideal state
between two extremes because they are marrying for love and financial
security whereas Lydia and Wickham's marriage is one of physical
attraction and emotions. On the other hand Charlotte and Mr Collins
are marrying for financial security alone, which is in direct contrast
to Lydia and Wickham's relationship.
Lydia and Wickham emotions dominate their reason.
Their marriage is one of 'little understanding of one another's
characters,' no 'good dispositions' no 'similarity in feeling and
taste' and we later find out no 'financial security.' This is outside
opinion of what is going on.
Lydia does not listen to Elizabeth's as Elizabeth expresses her
distaste of Wickhams character. Lydia's indiscreet and impulsive
attachment receives heavy condemnation from the people around her.
Wickham becomes disinterested in Lydia after there initial attraction,
which was based on good looks and affection for one another. Lydia
does not understand the shame she has bought unto her family and
boasts that the sisters should 'look up to her' because she is a
If Darcy had not intervened persuading wickham to do the honourable
thing it would have left the whole family in shame because Lydia would
have eloped with a man that no longer loved her and then she would
have been cast aside it was clear that Lydia was unaware of Wickhams
real intentions in gaining money from her and not loving her and that
she was run by her emotions rather than her sense. Her behaviour could
have cost the whole family's reputation. However Lydia may have been
saved from total degradation by Darcy's financial intervention, her
and wickhams marriage is now one void of love and respect. Making it
an imperfect marriage.
Charlotte's marriage also receives considerable disproval (although it
is nothing compared to the disproval that Lydia and wickham receive!)
The marriage is a practical one, mutually advantageous for both
charlotte and Mr Collins. Charlotte is twenty-seven and in Jane
Austen's day would have been considered...