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Pride And Prejudice Versus Marriage And Tolerance

1423 words - 6 pages

In Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, Austen reveals a sparkling comedy of love and marriage, wit, form, and feeling that achieve some type of balance between pride and prejudice.  Mr. and Mrs. Bennett illustrate how comic characterization can be used to reveal different marital situations.  Pride and Prejudice shows many aspects of marriage and demonstrates how one can make the most of their life regardless of the circumstances.  Elizabeth and Darcy have discovered themselves through their differences and the loss of their pride and their prejudices.  The traits pride and prejudice can be seen as desirable merits: self-respect and intelligence.  Pride and Prejudice shows that human nature can be influenced by the society in which one subscribes.

 

Marriage, one of the basis of the novel, was somewhat a tragic experience for Mr. and Mrs. Bennett.  Mr. Bennett was captured by a pretty face, and was in a marriage that tied him to a foolish woman for the rest of his life.  The result was disastrous to Mr. Bennett's character: he was, "forced into an unnatural isolation from his family, into virtual retirement in his study and the cultivation of a bitter amusement at his wife's folly and vulgarity," (Daiches 753-754).  Though he was not happy in his marriage to Mrs. Bennett, he was content enough to remain with her and their five children: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine, and Lydia.

 

Mrs. Bennett, in this world where eligible marriages for young ladies are chief objectives, had succeeded in her aim, using her good looks while she had them.  Mrs. Bennett's main concern was marrying off the elder Bennett girls to men with monetary means.  They had beauty and intelligence, but an inconsiderable fortune.  Austen reveals that, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife," (Austen 1).  Mrs. Bennett's desire to have her children married, through her expression of that desire reveals the defects of her character in a richly comic manner, is itself natural and laudable; "for girls of negligible fortune genteelly brought up must secure their man while they may, or face a precarious shabby genteel spinsterhood with few opportunities of personable satisfaction or social esteem," (Daiches 751).

 

Marriage is a form of unison that allows two people to come together and be as one.  In spite of this, Elizabeth Bennett is proposed to by Collins and declines to be part of the blessed unison.  Mrs. Bennett threatens to disown her daughter because of her fear of Elizabeth becoming an old maid.  Elizabeth's best friend, Charlotte Lucus, then accepts Collins.  Though it may seem that Charlotte settled in her marriage to Collins, she handles it very well.  Charlotte, "knows it is her last chance, and she takes it deliberately, weighing...

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