Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen Discusses The Characters Fear In Making Decisions.

969 words - 4 pages

The intricate nexus of marriage, status and love in Jane Austen's society is unfolded through the development of plots and characters of her novel Pride and Prejudice. Through life altering decisions made by her characters we see how their fear and foresight of situations will affect them. In the nineteenth century's rural England, marriage was a woman's chief aim, both financially and socially. Financially because of women's dependent position marriage was the "only honourable position", infinitely preferable to the dependence of an unstable spinsterhood. Money was, therefore, a very significant aspect of Austen's society, especially when marriage was concerned. "A single man of large fortune" was naturally considered as "a nice thing" for the unmarried girls. Partners were chosen for what might now seem unemotional reasons, fortune and connections, similar to, but preferably better than one's own. By representing a series of marriages, Austen in this novel unearths and elucidates different aspects of the various characters fears towards their decisions.In Pride and Prejudice the most successful of her marriages is the Elizabeth-Darcy one. This predominantly love based marriage succeeds solely due to Elizabeth’s stubbornness and fear of ending up in a marriage similar to that of her parents. If it were not for her fear of being in a loveless marriage Elizabeth would have been married earlier in the novel, to Mr. Collins. The marriage of Elizabeth’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, is one of the faulty ones. Mr. Bennet married his wife being "captivated" and tempted by her "youth, beauty" and physical appearance. He forgot that the first appeal of a pretty face does not last long unless serenity of mind and sweetness of temper provide more enduring powers of attraction. Moreover, Mrs. Bennet inherited no property and therefore from every point of view, this marriage is a failure. Mr. Bennet, consequently, has to endure her "weak understanding" and vulgarity to such an extreme degree that he has nothing to revel in, except confining himself to his library all the day. Aware of the long-term consequences of a loveless marriage, Elizabeth uses her knowledge in determining answers to the various marriage proposals she receives.Charlotte's loveless matrimony for financial security with the pompous Mr. Collins is another interesting marriage in the novel Pride and Prejudice. Being twenty-seven and plain looking and realizing that it is her last chance, she accepts the grotesque Mr. Collins, to whom the role of romance and love in life is beyond the reach. He only wants a wife, because in the eyes of society it is time for him to settle and be married. Charlotte only accepts his proposal due to her age and deep seeded fear of becoming a spinster. Charlotte is in many situations embarrassed and ashamed of her husbandCharlotte knows that apart from some kind of security and happiness, marriage gives a woman a position. She has few hopes of...

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