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Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

1046 words - 4 pages

During the time period of Regency England, the advancement in social hierarchy was dependent largely upon an ideal marriage, dictating the rest of a women’s life. Each character has different goals they strive for within marriage. The contrasting moralities of Elizabeth Bennet as opposed to Mrs. Bennet, Ms. Charlotte Lucus, and Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice can aid a reader in understanding the limited the roles of women as they strive for a worthy place in society. Elizabeth proves the social ability of women during this strictly male dominated time period. Austen is able to comment on the injustices within society through Elizabeth’s stance on the issue of her gender role in marriage, the indifference between herself and her male counterparts, and the juxtaposition between herself and Charlotte Lucus
During the novel Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet pressures her daughters to follow the societal normality by finding a husband that would secure a future. Her whole pursuit in the novel is to see her daughters married in return for a higher social positioning. Marriage and the Social Class are all important values that are deeply rooted in Elizabeth’s mother. She takes on the role of a matchmaker figure, attempting to pair up her daughters. Unlike Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet serves as a constant reminder of the importance of wealth and prosperity during this time. It is ironic, however, that during this pursuance Mrs. Bennet pushes away potential suitors. "Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes” (Austen 19) In contrast, Charlotte Lucus personifies a very opposing view of marriage than Elizabeth’s ideals. Her strive for financial stability and social security substitutes love in her marriage with Mr. Collins. Although, at face value no true conflicts arise from the marriage, Austen subtly emphasizes what is wrong with society view on marriage by Charlotte only accepting Mr. Collins “solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon that establishment were gained” (Austen 91). The reader can see this due to Charlotte’s burden and worry of her financial future from her family. “I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only for a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’ character, connections, and situations in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair, as most people can boast on entering the marriage state” (Austen 93) As Elizabeth battles for true happiness in marriage, Charlotte settles for Mr. Collins as financial assurance.
Her spouse Mr. Collins is weak in character by his flawed psyche towards marriage and women. His antagonistic nature and overconfidence in his relationship to Lady Catherine de Bourgh contrasts greatly with the values Elizabeth Bennet...

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