Marriage Traditions In Persuasion By Jane Austen

1316 words - 5 pages

England has always had a rich history of interesting cultural traditions but arguably none as prevalent as marriage. Marriage, the union of two people with emotional ideals and expectations, are brought on by many different factors that include: for love, for money, for climbing social status, escapism, survival, etc. In Jane Austen’s novels, she focuses on the importance of marriage in her world because she wanted to emphasize how marriage is the most important life event of a woman as this would determine her place in society. Persuasion shows readers good and bad examples of marriage: the amiable Crofts and other couples such as Sir Walter & Lady Elliot and the Smiths. Jane Austen uses the Crofts to support the importance of marriage equality as a contrast to marital traditions of Regency England.
In Persuasion, Admiral Croft and Mrs. Croft have a marriage that values respect and equality. The Crofts become friends with Anne after renting her house, Kellynch Hall, while her family is in Bath and Anne finds them to be a very happy couple. On a walk, Captain Wentworth suggests Anne should take a carriage home driven by the Crofts. Anne notices that Admiral Croft is driving at first but then Mrs. Croft, “ by cooly giving the reins a better direction herself, happily passed the danger and by once afterwards judiciously putting out her hand, they neither fell into a rut, nor ran foul of a dung-cart” (85). Jane Austen cleverly disguises a metaphor when describing the Croft’s marriage: both drive the carriage and share the reins without fighting with each other. They face every obstacle on the road and in life together because they have such a healthy emotional bond that it does not matter what challenges they face as long as they face them together. Later, when the Crofts are visiting Bath, Anne observes the couple “brought with them their country habit of almost always being together” (158). Even in a large city like Bath, the Crofts are constantly together and enjoying one another’s company. They stop and meet with old friends, talk with other Navy friends, and other activities as a united couple. The Navy plays a large role in their relationship as well. Even when the Admiral has to go to sea, his wife always travels with him. Mrs. Croft shares many similarities with other Navy men such as loyalty, constant companionship with her husband, and upholding the respect and equality that greatly influences her marriage. Jane Austen, who writes Anne to be a character that readers like and trust, portrays Anne envying the happy marriage between the Crofts as an ideal she wishes she and Wentworth could have had. Jane Austen outlines her perfect marriage through the Crofts’ value balanced power and regard for each other.
Jane Austen admires the Crofts as a model couple for quality marriages in her society. The couple represents an equal union between two people in love that Austen argues is too rare in the Regency era. Anne and Austen feel similarly on...

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