Love And Marriage In Pride And Prejudice

3131 words - 13 pages

Explore the variety of attitudes towards love and marriage in regards to
chapters one, nineteen, thirty-four and fifty-eight in Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice

Introduction

Jane Austen was born in 1755. She was the seventh of eight children.
The family was well educated and affectionate. Her father was a
clergyman and they lived at the rectory in the parish of Steventon in
Hampshire. She wrote several novels one of which was ‘Pride and
Prejudice’. It is full of romance, drama and humour. The novel was set
in pre 1914 in a society were women had no vote, were unable to voice
their opinion and had no income of their own so they had to rely on
their husbands.

‘Pride and Prejudice’ stands upon the affirmations of love and
marriage. Jane Austin believed that the perfect relationship existed
between two people who respected and loved each other. She illustrates
the idea of a perfect relationship and also demonstrates how some
relationships are not ideal.

I am going to explore the variety of attitudes towards love and
marriage in regards to chapters one, nineteen, thirty-four and
fifty-eight.

Chapter One

The opening sentence immediately links money and marriage without
referring to love.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in
possession of a large fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

It is a very bold statement and very presumptuous. In those days
people were more concerned with status and money rather than love,
that’s the way that society operated. If you were married to somebody
of a high class who had good connections then people would admire you
and respect you. This is what Mrs Bennet believed. Attitudes towards
love are based on material wealth not emotional wealth. There was a
lot of competition as to who could get their daughters married off
first.

Mrs Bennet likes to gossip and is very persistent. It is made clear
that she is more concerned with marrying off her daughters as opposed
to Mr Bennet who doesn’t concern himself with such matters. When Mrs
Bennet tells her husband about how “Netherfield park is let at last”
he doesn’t seem to care and his reply is straight to the point and
very blunt. Mrs Bennet is very demanding and impatient so when Mr
Bennet doesn’t reply or carry on the conversation she gets precipitate
and continues to nag him further. “Do you not want to know who has
taken it?” ‘Cried his wife impatiently’. The fact he made no answer
shows us that he is used to her going on and that their relationship
is not very strong as he doesn’t value her enough to even take note of
her, he shows no interest in what she was to say. He simply gives a
very calm response “you want to tell me; and I have no objection to
hearing it” so he’s showing no immediate concern but answers her to
stop her pestering him. Mrs Bennet begins to explain that “Netherfield
is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England”
again she is...

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