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"Pride And Prejudice": Exploring The Chasm Between Love And Marriage In Georgian England

1575 words - 6 pages

“Pride and Prejudice”, is a novel which explores the huge chasm between love and marriage in Georgian England. Jane Austen’s presentation of passion and matrimony reiterates the fact that marriage is a “business arrangement”. Austen uses irony to make fun of polite society in this satire and Austen also emphasizes the point that social hierarchy dictates whom you can marry. The pressures of men and women in Georgian England are revealed through her exploration of the aristocracy’s prejudice against the middle class society in which she lived. Finally uses comedy to expose hypocrisy

Early in the Novel, Jane Austen is initially presents Mr. Collins with comic irony and as a figure of absurdity to be mocked as a potential husband; Austen reveals Mr. Collin’s s palpable and selfish reasons for marrying in a simple comic statement “Mr. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth — and it was soon done — done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire” Mr Collins an obsequious, egotistic and contemptible man uses a shallow approach to marriage, this is shown by the word “stirring”. Jane Austen uses a comic comparison to reveal how little time Mr. Collins has devoted to this change of heart. Mr. Collins is presented as a male whose “business” is to get married due to the pressures of society.

Equally, Mr. Collins’s proposal stresses even further, how he is willing to marry without passionate feelings, Jane Austen presents the ingratiating, self centered side of Mr. Collins in the line “I am convinced it will add greatly to my happiness” Firstly this quote is evidently suggesting that Mr Collins is a sycophant and he is trying to marry purely for selfish reasons and for his social status. Secondly, Mr Collins is also trying to secure the marriage in order to lessen the difficulty of the entailment of the state. Later however Mr Collins marries Charlotte Lucas who is a plain woman but who is similarly prepared to settle for an arrangement which suits them both. Austen also highlights society’s pressures in marriage as Charlotte Lucas most likely will not get another chance of marrying and cannot wait for love therefore this marriage is a business deal. Mr. Collins reaction to the refusal solidifies Austen’s portrait of this absurd character and of society’s prejudices. Finally Mr. Collins' comic inability to believe that Elizabeth could possibly be sincere in her recurring refusals illustrate what little respect he has for her and also the fact that this proposal is more of a business deal than a affirmation of love, in contrast Mr. Darcy’s feelings for Elizabeth are fervent.

Jane Austen also uses ironic humour in her portrayal of Lady Catherine De Bourgh. She is primarily presented as a pompous snob who doesn’t let the lower class forget their inferior rank, Austen highlights the society’s intolerance of the potential marriage of Elizabeth and Darcy through the line “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted” This line...

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